The Civil Wars' Joy Williams and John Paul White announce formal breakup

John Paul White and Joy Williams of The Civil Wars attend the 11th annual Americana Honors & Awards at The Ryman Auditorium on Sept. 12, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Sony Music

The members of folk duo The Civil Wars have made it official: They're breaking up.

Joy Williams and John Paul White issued a statement on their website Tuesday morning announcing the decision, which comes nearly two years after the duo pulled out of a world tour over irreconcilable differences.

Each thanked their fans in the statement and issued a free download of "You Are My Sunshine."

"I am saddened and disappointed by the ending of this duo, to say the very least. JP is a tremendous musician, and I will always be grateful for the music we were able to create together," Williams said. "I sincerely hope that 'You Are My Sunshine' will be accepted as a token of my gratitude for every single person that has supported our duo throughout the years. I'm so thankful and my heart is full. Looking ahead, I'm excited to share the music that I am writing and recording in the midst of this difficult transition. I've loved being back in the studio, and have missed performing live. I look forward to seeing you soon."

White added, "I would like to express sincere thanks to all who were a part of the arc of The Civil Wars -- from the beginning, to the end, and all points in between. My deep appreciation goes out to all who supported, disseminated, and enjoyed the music. Whatever shape or form the next chapter takes, thanks for being a large part of this one."

The duo met on a songwriting project and had instant chemistry as songwriters and performers. Championed by many fellow musicians like Taylor Swift, their first album went gold and they won four Grammy Awards before personal differences ended their partnership. They released a second album, but did not tour in support of it.

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