U.K. pop act Hear'Say has officially split. The five-member group was fabricated for the 2001 season of the reality series "Popstars," a precursor to "Pop Idol" that was exported to the U.S. this year

U.K. pop act Hear'Say has officially split. The five-member group was fabricated for the 2001 season of the reality series "Popstars," a precursor to "Pop Idol" that was exported to the U.S. this year as "American Idol." "After thinking long and hard about this we feel the time is right to call it a day," the quintet said in a message posted on its official Web site. "We feel that we are fighting to regain public support and approval and so the band has come to a natural end."

The members of the group -- Myleene Klass, Kym Marsh, Danny Foster, Suzanne Shaw, and Noel Sullivan -- were hand picked from more than 31,000 applicants for the "Making the Band"-like series. The March 2001 release of Hear'Say's first Polydor single caused pandemonium as "Pure & Simple" logged the third-best first week in U.K. singles chart history.

It opened at No. 1 on the chart after selling nearly 555,000 copies, behind only Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas" and Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997." Written by Pete Kirtley, Tim Hawes, and Alison Clarkson, the single was later nominated for a Brit award, and won the Ivor Novello award for the year's best-selling U.K. single.

A month after the single's release, the group's debut album, "Popstars," sold 306,000 copies in its first week to debut at No. 1 on the U.K. album chart. The feat set a record as the biggest-ever first-week U.K. sales total by a debut act. A second single, "Show Me the Way to Your Love," debuted at No. 1 in July 2001.

In January, after less than a year as a member of the group, Kym Marsh exited the fold because "her personal situations and responsibilities have changed and her commitment to her children," according to a statement released at the time. Auditions were held to fill the fifth spot in the group and a planned tour was postponed to give Johnny Shentall, who had worked as a dancer with the U.K. teen act Steps, time to rehearse with the group.

"The last two years were like a whirlwind," the group's message continues. "Hear'Say were a phenomenon, we set new records with 'Pure & Simple' and our debut album 'Popstars,' then came the tour -- to perform in front of all our fans was absolutely amazing and was what we all got into this job for. We'd just like to thank all of our loyal fans - without you we would never have lived this dream and thank you for sharing it with us!"

As recently as August the group scored another hit, "Lovin' Is Easy," which opened at No. 6 on the U.K. chart.