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Fergie and Josh Duhamel announce separation after 8 years of marriage

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Fergie and Josh Duhamel have separated after eight years of marriage, the two announced Thursday.

“With absolute love and respect we decided to separate as a couple earlier this year,” the stars said in a joint statement provided to EW. “To give our family the best opportunity to adjust, we wanted to keep this a private matter before sharing it with the public. We are and will always be united in our support of each other and our family.”

The announcement comes in the midst of Fergie’s musical comeback: The Black Eyed Peas singer, 42, is set to release her first solo album in 11 years, Double Dutchess, on Sept. 22. Two days before the separation announcement, Fergie released the sexy music video for her new single featuring Nicki Minaj, “You Already Know.”

PHOTOS: Fergie and Josh Duhamel’s Cutest Couple Moments Before Split

The Transformers: The Last Knight actor, 44, showed support for her forthcoming project in May of 2016, telling PEOPLE of her new music, “People are going to be amazed. It’s so good.”

Fergie and Duhamel were last seen together on social media in a pair of Instagram posts marking their eighth wedding anniversary in Janury. “8 years!! Love you babe,” wrote Duhamel of a smiley family snap featuring their son Axl, 4.

8 years!! Love you babe.

A post shared by Josh Duhamel (@joshduhamel) on

happy 8th anniversary to my bae 💋💋

A post shared by Fergie (@fergie) on

“Happy 8th anniversary to my bae,” wrote the “Glamorous” singer of a sunset photo.

After saying “I do” in a fairytale wedding in Malibu, California, in January 2009, the couple went on to welcome son Axl in August 2013. Throughout their marriage — the first for both stars — Fergie and Duhamel sang each other’s praises in public.

“We genuinely like each other,” the actor said in the May issue of Haute Living. “[We] have a lot of love for our son and have a good time together,” he added. “And that’s about it.”

Happy Father's Day @joshduhamel!! I Love You Daddy!! #firstschoolpicture #londontime 🏅🏅

A post shared by Fergie (@fergie) on

For her part, Fergie shared a sweet message for Duhamel on Father’s Day, penning alongside a photo of Axl, “Happy Father’s Day @joshduhamel!! I Love You Daddy!!”