Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone. JLS are no more.

In a heartfelt message on their website, Aston, Oritsé, Marvin and JB announced that after six years together, they would be going their separate ways. The news prompted a nation to drop to their knees, raise their arms to the sky and curse the mysterious powers of pop. Take The Saturdays instead, we cried. For the children.

Sure, JLSters doesn’t roll off the tongue as smoothly as Beliebers or Directioners. And maybe Oritsé never could quite pull off a hat with the panache of Ne-Yo. But who among us can honestly say they will ever again be able to wear red, yellow, blue (or indeed green) without thinking of these cheeky songsters? It is surely just a matter of time before the limited edition condom range adorned with their faces begins to fetch hundreds of pounds on eBay.

Since the heady days of coming second to Alexandra Burke on X Factor, JLS have never failed to inspire our awe and admiration at their catchy hooks and lyrical artistry. Lines such as ‘I need you back in my arms/I need love CPR/‘Cause it’s getting so cold/Ooh,’ and ‘You could be the DJ/I could be the dancefloor/You could get up on me (on me, on me)’ demonstrated not only their flair for unique imagery, but also their appetite for the audacious. Never ones to shy away from the avant-garde, their classic refrain ‘She makes me wanna oh oh oh oh oh oh’ is testament to their bold disregard for conventional syntax. I only fear that now we may never know what she makes them wanna.

In an attempt to curb an epidemic of withdrawal symptoms, JLS will kindly bestow upon their adoring fans a farewell tour and an accompanying album: Goodbye; The Greatest Hits. It is difficult to say just how the record label will manage to condense their stellar repertoire into a single disc, but I would hazard a guess that classics like ‘Beat Again’, ‘Everybody in Love’ and Sound of Music-inspired ‘The Club is Alive’ will not be omitted.

On this sad day for music enthusiasts everywhere, I leave you with a message of hope. Do not stand at JLS’s grave and weep. Instead, buy their greatest hits album. It’s what they would have wanted.