A-ha to bid the world a last ta-ta

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Norwegian pop group A-ha, which achieved world fame with its hit single "Take on me", will disband after a farewell world tour next year, it said Thursday.

"A-ha has decided to call it a day," the group said on its official website.

"Doing this now will give us a chance to get more involved in other meaningful aspects of life, be it humanitarian work, politics, or whatever else -- and of course through new constellations in the field of art and music," the band added.

"Take on me" topped charts in 27 countries including the United States when it came out in 1985. Since then, the group has sold 35 million copies worldwide of its nine albums.

A-ha is behind recognisable songs such as "Hunting High and Low" and "Crying in the Rain".

Singer Morten Harket, keyboard player Magne Furuholmen and guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy had split up for many years in the 1990s before making a comeback in 2000 with the single "Summer moved on".

"We've literally lived the ultimate boy's adventure tale, through a longer, more rewarding career anyone could hope for," the trio said, stressing they were "retiring as a band, not as individuals."

Throughout A-ha's history, 15 of its singles made it onto the 10 best sales in Britain list, according to its label Universal Music.

This year, the group produced a new album called "Foot of the Mountain".

Norwegian music professionnals quoted by local media said A-ha was Norway's greatest musical export "since Edvard Grieg", a classical composer and pianist who lived from 1843 to 1907.

"Change is always difficult and it is easy to get set in one's ways. Now it's time to move on," the group said when announcing their farewell tour.

Dates have not yet been announced, but A-ha will play in Norway for the last time on December 4 of next year in Oslo.