Hall & Oates have announced their musical split after five decades performing together.

The US pop duo became entangled in an ongoing legal dispute last year regarding John Oates’ alleged attempt to sell his half of their jointly owned company, Whole Oats Enterprises.

“It hit me by surprise,” Hall told Variety magazine.

John Oates
John Oates, one half of the pop duo (Ken Howard/Alamy/PA)

“I don’t know, man — all I can say is people change and sometimes you don’t really know someone like you thought you did.

“Difficulties can be made from things that aren’t difficult, and then it goes to a place where it can never come back from.

“It’s unfortunate and untimely, but some things just change. People rewrite history and harbour thoughts you had no idea about.”

Hall officially confirmed it is the last fans will see of the band, revealing the duo have not had a creative relationship for “at least 25 years”.

“We didn’t write songs together, we didn’t do anything together except perform live shows,” the 77-year-old said.

Daryl Hall
Daryl Hall attending the 1998 Brit awards in London (Peter Jordan/PA)

The duo first formed in 1970 and produced hits including Rich Girl, Maneater, Private Eyes, I Can’t Go For That and Kiss On My List. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame two years later.

Last year, a judge sided with singer Hall in his request to keep Oates temporarily blocked from selling his share of the duo’s joint venture without his musical partner’s permission.

Hall has since reunited with fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and British star Dave Stewart – best known for his Eurythmics duo with Annie Lennox – on his upcoming sixth solo album.

“Dave has been my shadow partner since 1984,” Hall said.

“We’re best friends. This was a real duo album, two people coming together, understanding one another and writing songs — most of them were written on the spot.

“I had ideas and Dave enhanced them. It’s a real 50-50 project. Dave and I have a real partnership and have had for a long time.”

Hall insisted that a number of the track titles, which were speculated to have been about Oates, “couldn’t be less about that”.

A representative for Oates has been contacted for comment.