One Direction (1D) are set to disband next spring, according to reports that will leave the band's fiercely devoted worldwide fan-base heartbroken.
Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan are set to part ways for at least a year from March 2016, and focus on their solo careers, The Sun has reported.
A source close to the boyband told the newspaper that after five years, the members "fully deserve to have at least a year to work on their own projects."
They went on to stress there is "absolutely no bad blood" between the 1D members.
But, ending with a statement that will give shocked fans some hope, the source stressed the break is "definitely not a split" and the band will return "at some time in the future.”
A spokesman for the band said: "We don't comment on speculation."
The band's social media accounts have remained silent on the matter, but posts on Facebook and Twitter on Sunday afternoon cryptically quoted a line from their 2014 song No Control.
As the band do not plan to tour their fifth album, the hiatus means that a concert at Sheffield's Motorpoint Arena on 31 October could be their last concert for an indefinite time.
However, fans may be able to see 1D on TV interviews and performance planned to take place before the end of the year, according to the newspaper.
After a break over the festive period, the band will regroup for two months to complete their promotional commitments for their record label in February, before parting ways in March, The Sun has said.
The reports come amid a turbulent year for 1D, after Zayne Malik suddenly left the band in March, saying he wanted to live like a "normal" 22-year-old.
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But the band were quick to allay fears that they were splitting, but vowing to continue as a four-piece.
Malik is already be nurturing his solo career, and is thought to be working on a solo album with acclaimed music producer Naughty Boy, who has worked with a string of hit-makers including Emeli Sande, Cheryl Cole and Leona Lewis.
The announcement comes just days after 1D released their Drag Me Down video, featuring Harry, Louis, Liam and Niall going into space.
Having formed in the 2010 series of the X Factor, the four-piece are said to have made around £25 million each in the five years they've been together as a band.
Rapper Professor Green was one of the first to react to the news, tweeting: “1d are splitting up?! I thought they were on some kind of space odyssey?
“So there wasn't only one direction after all
“One direction go their separate ways - is this a paradox? Forgive me I left school in year 8.”
Additional reporting by PA
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