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COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Music group Aqua, the cornerstone of Denmark's pop industry and a major export earner, is to disband, Danish media has reported.

"We are taking a break until further notice," the London-based band said. "Our group has lost its sparkle."

Local media interpreted the announcement on Wednesday as signaling the break-up of one Denmark's greatest successes ever on the international pop music scene.

In 1997, the band soared up charts with its kitschy "Barbie Girl" hit, sparking an unsuccessful legal action against its U.S. record company MCA Records by the doll's maker Mattel.

Mattel said the use of the name Barbie was unauthorized, while the lyrics were sexually suggestive and did not conform with the doll's image.

In its four year existence, Aqua sold 18 million albums and 10 million singles worldwide, earning three billion crowns (228 million pounds).

The four-musician group comprised Norwegian singer Lene Nystroem and Danes Rene Dif, Soeren Rasted and Claus Noreen.

Long criticized for flagging inspiration, the band was having difficulty with production of a new album when it decided to cease activities.

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