Australian pop duo Savage Garden, which over four years sold 20 million copies worldwide of its two albums -- "Savage Garden" and "Affirmation" -- has split. Singer Darren Hayes broke the news to Aust

Australian pop duo Savage Garden, which over four years sold 20 million copies worldwide of its two albums -- "Savage Garden" and "Affirmation" -- has split. Singer Darren Hayes broke the news to Australian journalists by phone from his home in San Francisco while promoting his upcoming debut solo album, "Spin."

"I always thought we'd do three or four albums before I went solo," Hayes said. "But that's it, Savage Garden is done." However, Hayes had not informed his partner, guitarist Daniel Jones, who was told by his father after seeing a report on TV. Jones telephoned Hayes, then called a conference in his hometown of Brisbane to confirm the split. "Darren was very apologetic that the media found out before I did," Hayes said. "We're still good friends."

Savage Garden formed in Brisbane in 1994 when English-born Jones put an ad in a music magazine. Their songs "Truly Madly Deeply," "To The Moon and Back," "I Want You," and "I Knew I Loved You" were inspired by their love for '80s glam pop. Released in 1997, the "Savage Garden" album (on Columbia for most of the world, and JWR/Roadshow in Australia) sold 12 million copies worldwide, and remains the longest running Australian album to stay at No. 1 on the official Australian Record Industry Association charts (12 weeks). The sophomore set, "Affirmation" has sold more than 8 million copies.

Savage Garden was the most played act on Australian radio and TV from July 1999 to June 2000, according to the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA). This year, the act won performing rights association ASCAP's most broadcast track award for "I Knew I Loved You."

Jones found being in the spotlight exhausting, and preferred working in the studio or on his yacht. Hayes said that Jones' dislike of touring was so severe that the "Affirmation" album was almost scrapped a week before release. He stayed on when Hayes promised him he would do all the publicity for the album. But he later said, "we could have been bigger if we'd done more promotion."

After their world tour finished in December 2000 in South Africa, Savage Garden announced a two-year break. Hayes recorded his album, said to be more electronic, in the United States. Jones launched a label, Meridienmusik. His first signing, Queensland pop duo Aneki -- which features former Savage Garden backup singer Jennifer Waites -- had a top-30 Australian hit with its single "Pleased to Meet You," which Jones co-wrote.

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