After being on hiatus for a full year, country duo The Civil Wars, whose debut album Barton Hollow won two Grammys for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and Best Folk Album in 2012, has officially broken up.
That same year, a rift occurred between band members Joy Williams and John Paul White, one that was reportedly so bad that they stopped speaking to one another. A second album, titled The Civil Wars, was released in 2013, and fans noted a darker and more brooding edge to the songs – likely a result of it being recording as the conflict between Williams and White occurred. At the time, the only reason The Civil Wars gave for cancelling its tour and going on hiatus was “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition.” Now, it appears that the band is done for good.
Neither have clarified exactly why the rift occurred, though Williams told Entertainment Weekly last year that “over time it became apparent that we both wanted different things.” Whether that was personal – both are married, but not to one another – or professional will likely always remain a mystery.
An official statement on The Civil Wars‘ website announced the breakup. Check it out below:
“The Civil Wars — made up of duo partners Joy Williams and John Paul White — have regretfully decided to permanently part ways. The difficult decision ends a tumultuous period for the four-time Grammy Award-winning band, who has been on indefinite hiatus since late 2012. As a thank you gift and farewell, the band is offering a download of their rendition of “You Are My Sunshine.” Recorded in 2010, the track was originally released in 2011 as a b-side to the band’s limited edition Barton Hollow 7″ vinyl. This is the first time the song has been available digitally in the U.S. Both Joy and John Paul have added their personal words on disbanding here below.
“Joy Williams comments, ‘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. 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.’
“John Paul adds, ‘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.’ “