Surprise separation: Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, pictured at the Met Gala in New York earlier this year, have ended their marriage
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony have split after seven years together.
The couple, who are parents to three-year-old twins Max and Emme, made the shock announcement in a joint statement this afternoon.
'We have decided to end our marriage,' they said.
'This was a very difficult decision. We have come to an amicable conclusion on all matters.'
'It is a painful time for all involved and we appreciate the respect of our privacy at this time.'
The split comes as a surprise to fans given the pair's recent and quite public displays of affection.
Lopez, 41, who this year joined American Idol as a judge, accompanied Anthony, 42, on stage while he performed during the show's finale on May 25, ending the racy performance with a passionate kiss.
They were last pictured together at the unveiling of her Boy's and Girl's Club billboard in Times Square in New York on June 10.
There was certainly no sign of trouble as the Puerto Rican singer turned out to support his wife, holding her hand and giving her a peck on the lips.
No warning signs: The couple at the unveiling of Simon Fuller's Hollywood star on May 23, at the American Idol finale on May 25 and right, at their last public appearance together at a Boys and Girls Club event in New York on June 10
Where's Marc? Lopez took her mother Guadalupe to meet Prince William and Duchess Kate at the BAFTA Brits to Watch party in Los Angeles on on Saturday night
However, Anthony was notably absent at the BAFTA Brits to Watch party in Los Angeles on on Saturday night.
Lopez instead took her mother Guadalupe to meet Prince William and Duchess Kate.
During their marriage, the pair mixed business with pleasure.
In 2005, they collaborated on Lopez's first full-length Spanish language album, Como Ama Una Mujer (How a Woman Loves).
They also starred together in 2007's El Cantante, a film about salsa king Hector Lavoe.
That same year, they took their love on the road as they teamed up for a tour and in November, Lopez announced she was pregnant.
In April this year, they announced plans for a television show together, Q'Viva! The Chosen, with Simon Fuller, the creator of Idol.
Hands on parents: The pair with their twins Max and Emme in July last year
The show was to feature the superstar couple as they traveled the world to find the best performers in Latin music, dance and other arts with the goal of creating a live extravaganza.
The show had no airdate, and it's unclear if it will continue.
While they both shared ambitions for professional success, they were also focused on raising their twins and Lopez recently hinted that more children were be on the cards.
'I think Marc would like to have more kids,' she said in January this year. 'We talk about it.'
Lopez and Anthony began their relationship just three weeks after her very high profile engagement to Ben Affleck was called off in January 2004.
In June that same year, they said 'I do' in a secret ceremony at her lavish Beverly Hills home.
At the time of their wedding, the ink was still drying from Anthony's divorce from first wife, former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres.
After flaunting her romances with exes Affleck and rapper Sean 'Diddy' Combs in the media, Lopez opted for a low key approach and didn't publicly acknowledge her marriage for another eight months.
Of course, Lopez had been married twice before; to restaurateur Ojani Noa, whom she split from in 1998, and to former backup dancer Cris Judd from 2001 to 2003.
Anthony has two sons Cristin, 10, and Ryan, 7, from his first marriage to Torres. He also has a teen daughter, Arianna, from a previous relationship.
The pair renewed their wedding vows in 2008 and again last year as they celebrated their sixth anniversary.
In a VH1 documentary Behind The Music recorded last year, Lopez revealed she had briefly dated Anthony in her youth, ending it because neither was ready to settle down.
When they met up again to record a track together for Lopez's movie Shall We Dance, they reignited the flame.
'We reconnected like we had never been apart,' she recalled.
'It was really the same chemistry and connection we had at the very beginning.'
Anthony added: 'That's when we knew - we'd matured enough, seen enough and lived enough to know that we were wasting our time not being together.
'I couldn't be more in love. I say it every day - I'm the luckiest man on earth.'
Lopez, who topped People magazine's 'most beautiful' list this year, has scored hit songs with If You Had My Love and Jenny from the Block. She also has become a top star in romantic comedy movies, most recently appearing in 2010 film The Back-up Plan.
As well as working on American Idol, her latest single On The Floor has been a top ten hit in several countries.
Anthony is a two-time Grammy winner and the top selling salsa artist of all time. His hit songs include Si Tu No Te Fueras and Contra La Corriente.
The highs and J.Los of romance
HUSBAND No. 1: Lopez wed Cuban-born Ojani Noa on February 22, 1997, after meeting him while he worked as a waiter at a Miami restaurant. They divorced in January 1998 but she later employed him as the manager of her Pasadena restaurant Madre's in April 2002 then fired him just six months later. She's spent the past few years trying to stop him from cashing in on their short relationship.
HUSBAND No. 2: She met Cris Judd while filming the music video for her single Love Don't Cost a Thing and the two married a year later on September 29, 2001, at a home in the L.A. suburbs. Their marriage effectively ended in June 2002, when Lopez began publicly dating Ben Affleck but they weren't officially divorced until January 2003. He now works as a choreographer in Hollywood.
WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE GIGLI: Lopez and Ben Affleck began dating in 2002, quickly earning the moniker 'Bennifer.' His cameo in the Jenny From The Block video that September was universally mocked. He has said the video, where he rubs cream into her derriere, is the biggest regret of his career. Undaunted at the time, he gave J.Lo a $1.2m six-carat pink diamond ring. She gushed that Affleck, now married to Jennifer Garner, was 'the one'. Starring together in 2003 flop Gigli cemented the damage started by the video and the union was universally lampooned. Their September 14, 2003, wedding in Santa Barbara was called off just hours before the event. They split in January 2004.