Liam Payne & Cheryl Cole Announce Split

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Liam Payne and girlfriend Cheryl Cole have parted ways, the former One Direction singer (and now solo artist) said Sunday, July 1.

"Cheryl and I are sad to announce that we are going our separate ways. It's been a tough decision for us to make. We still have so much love for each other as a family. Bear is our world and we ask that you respect his privacy as we navigate our way through this together," Payne wrote on Twitter. Cole, also a singer -- who goes by Cheryl now and was previously in Girls Aloud -- posted the same statement on her own account.

The couple began dating in 2016 and are parents to one-year-old Bear, whom they welcomed in March 2017.

In March this year, Cole addressed rumors that Payne was involved with one his backup dancers. "I usually don’t bother myself to respond to stupid articles," Cole tweeted, referring to cheating gossip. "But in my silence, they hold the pen. This is a stupid article, clutching at very small straws." Minutes later, she added they were heading f on vacation "and the only thing we’re making are memories."

Payne recently announced the release date his debut solo album, which will out on Sept. 14.