'X Factor's' Alex & Sierra break up as couple and musical duo: 'We will cherish every memory'

Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton of Alex & Sierra have called it quits -- musically and romantically. 

The X Factor stars announced their decision to break up with a heartfelt message posted to Twitter on Friday. 

"We may be artists, but it seems the next words are some of the hardest we've ever had to write," their statement began. "Many of you have been keeping up with us for years; you watched us go from two kids who met on the beach in Florida in 2009 to a couple who won a TV show and released albums and toured the country."

"We've had an awfully magical times with each other and with you. Unfortunately things change a lot in 8 years, and though we didn't tell the public, our romantic relationship ended over a year ago," the statement continued. "But as everyone does know, we've been best friends forever and really tried to keep A&S going."

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Real-life couple Alex & Sierra, X Factor winners
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Real-life couple Alex & Sierra, X Factor winners
Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton of pop duo Alex & Sierra perform during their set on NBC's "Today" show in New York June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton of pop duo Alex & Sierra perform during their set on NBC's "Today" show in New York June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Sierra Deaton and Alex Kinsey, members of the group Alex and Sierra, arrive at "The X Factor" finalist party in Los Angeles, California November 4, 2013. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 08: Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton of Alex & Sierra attend the premiere of 'Finding Dory' at the El Capitan Theatre on June 8, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
BROOKLYN, NY - MAY 07: Singers Alex Kinsey (L) and Sierra Deaton perform onstage at the GRAMMY Park - The Next Generation: Emerging Artists on May 07, 2016 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage for The Recording Academy)
BROOKLYN, NY - MAY 07: Alex Kinsey (L) and Sierra Deaton pose at the GRAMMY Park - The Next Generation: Emerging Artists on May 07, 2016 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage for The Recording Academy)
SEATTLE, WA - FEBRUARY 24: Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton of Alex & Sierra perform on stage at The Showbox on February 24, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - DECEMBER 09: In this handout photo provided by Disney Parks, Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton of Alex & Sierra attend the taping of the Disney Parks 'Frozen Christmas Celebration' TV Special in the Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort on December 9, 2014 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The special will air on December 25, 2014. (Photo by Mark Ashman/Disney Parks via Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - FEBRUARY 24: Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton of Alex and Sierra perform at The Showbox on February 24, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Suzi Pratt/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 09: Singers Sierra Deaton (L) and Alex Kinsey of Alex & Sierra attend the Star Magazine Scene Stealers Event at Lure on October 9, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for Star Magazine)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA-SEPTEMBER 17, 2014: Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton are a duo that won the last season of 'X Factor.' They were photographed outside the Pantages Theater in Hollywood prior to opening a show for Train. (Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton of Alex & Sierra perform at the Pantages Theatre on September 17, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Zorn/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 10: Recording artists Alex Kinsey (L) and Sierra Deaton of Alex & Sierra attend FOX's 2014 Teen Choice Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on August 10, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 27: Singers Alex Kinsey (R) and Sierra Deaton at the 2014 Young Hollywood Awards brought to you by Samsung Galaxy at The Wiltern on July 27, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The Young Hollywood Awards will air on Monday, July 28 8/7c on The CW. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Variety)
LOS ANGELES, CA- JULY 27: Alex & Sierra pop duo members Sierra Deaton (L) and Alex Kinsey arrive at the 16th Annual Young Hollywood Awards at The Wiltern on July 27, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
BALA-CYNWYD, PA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton of Alex and Sierra pose at Mix 106.1 Performance Theater June 25, 2014 in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bill McCay/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: Singers Alex Kinsey (L) and Sierra Deaton of Alex & Sierra perform on NBC's 'Today' at the NBC's TODAY Show on June 23, 2014 in New York, New York. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton of Alex & Sierra attend NBC's TODAY Show on June 23, 2014 in New York, New York. (Photo by Chance Yeh/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 24: Recording artists Alex Kinsey (L) Sierra Deaton attend Friends 'N' Family 17th Annual Pre-Grammy Party at the Park Plaza Hotel on January 24, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 19: Singers Alex Kinsey, Sierra Deaton and TV personality Simon Cowell attend FOX's 'The X Factor' season finale at CBS Television City on December 19, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Singers Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton of Alex & Sierra arrive at 'The X Factor' Finalists Party at SLS Hotel on November 4, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 19: Singers Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton attend FOX's 'The X Factor' season finale at CBS Television City on December 19, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Finalist Alex Kinsey (L) and Sierra Deaton arrive at 'The X Factor' finalists party held at SLS Hotel on November 4, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
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"However, we've arrived at a place where it feels better to branch out rather than continue making music together," they wrote, before thanking fans for their support throughout the years. "No band lasts forever, whether they dated or not, but we will cherish every memory, and our love for you will most certainly last forever. We have a lot of love for each other and ALWAYS will, and we are real people behind the screen you're looking at, so keep that in mind before you say anything and please respect our privacy." 

Deaton and Kinsey later added, "Crying reading your responses. Didn't expect such understanding and kindness. Truly love you ALL. Always."

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