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The Civil Wars were a critically acclaimed American musical duo composed of Joy Williams and John Paul White. Formed in 2008, The Civil Wars won four Grammy Awards prior to their 2014 breakup.

Both Williams and White had solo careers prior to meeting at a songwriting workshop in Nashville in 2008. Williams had recorded several moderately successful albums and was signed as a songwriter to Warner/Chappell; White had independently released The Long Goodbye—which was originally set to be released through a deal with Capitol Records—and was writing for EMI Music. At the workshop, approximately 25 songwriters were assembled by music publishers to write radio singles for an unnamed band later identified as the country group Gloriana. Williams and White were randomly paired to write together, and quickly discovered an affinity. In a 2012 interview, Williams said that "when he started singing it was like I knew where he was going to go before he went there." In the same interview, White said that when he and Williams "started singing together, there was this weird click; it was like there was a dance going where I knew I could lead her but she could lead me, too." Following the workshop, White and Williams made immediate plans to meet again. They wrote the song "Falling" during their first session, which took place at Williams' house.

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