The Band Biography
- Kian Egan
- Nicky Byrne
- Shane Filan
- Mark Feehily
Ex-Member: Brian McFadden
Heritage: Ireland (Sligo & Dublin)
Manager: Louis Walsh
Foundation: Summer 1998
First Single: Swear it again (19.04.1999)
First Album: Westlife (01.11.1999)
No 1 Hits UK: 13 (7 in a row)
The whole thing began in the northern west of Ireland, in a small town called Sligo. Actually Sligo isn’t so small as the town has 18 000 inhabitants, among Shane Filan, Kian egan and Mark Feehily. The three boys had at the age of 16 a band with three friends, Graham, Derick and Michael – the band was called I.O.U. The were famous in Sligo and released in their home town a single called “Together Girl Forever”. Shane’s mother contacted Louis Wals then, who made of the guys supporting act of the Backstreet Boys in Dublin. But Louis didn’t like the band combination yet, so Derick, Graham and Michael had to go.
Louis went on with Kian, Mark and Shane and was searching in Summer 1998 with a casting in Dublin two new band members. There they found Nicky Byrne and Bryan McFadden. The band was now called Westside. In autumn 1998 they could sign a contract at BMG records. They became known with the press first as Westside, but had soon to change their name to Westlife, as there was already a band called Westside. On 19th April 1999 was their debut single Swear it again in Irland and UK released, which went from 0 to number 1 and so was the first No1 hit. Then followed If I let you go and Flying without wings, which followed the first single with the position, two more No1 hits. On 1st November 1999 the first album Westlife was released. It goes just up to the top of the UK & Ireland charts. The boys are totally happy with their success.
2000 they can go on tour as supporting act with Boyzone. 2001 the boys do their first own tour through Europe, Asia and Australia, the name of the tour is “where dreams come true”. Dreams are becoming true for the boys, the tour is a real success, which makes the lads also known at the outside of Ireland. Further singles, albums and no1 hits follow. Just 7 in a row, what brings them an entry in the Guinness book of records. The boys sell x-millions of albums and singles and get through it many prices, for example Brit-Awards, Record of the Year, Smash Hit Award, Meteor Award etc… And also further successful tours follow like 2002 the “in the round tour” and 2003 the “greatest hits tour”.
On 9th March 2004 there was a big change in the band and a shock for the fans. Bryan McFadden announced in a press conference in Dublin his leaving. The reason were, he wants to spend more time for his tow daughters Molly and Lilly and his wife Kerry. The band goes on with four.
And the four left ones Nicky, Shane, Mark and Kian keep on being successful. The fans stands by their sides and keep on being true. At the end of 2004 the boys are in the swing fever and release a swing album with the name “Allow us to be Frank”. Even this inspires a lot and also shows that the lads can do something different. Also the second tour, the No1s Tour, without Bryan, is a real hit. April – September 2005 the boys have a longer brake. Shane even becomes a dad of his and Gillian Filan’s daughter Nicole in this time. He married Gilllian on 28th December 2003. Nicky Byrne is also happily married. He married Georgina, daughter of Irish Prime minister Bertie Ahern, on 9th August 2003 in France. Not only Nicky and Shane are taken, but also the others. Kian is with Jodi Albert since 2003 and Mark came to his outing in September 2005 and is happy with Kevin McDaid. On 24th October the first single after the summer break was released. The name of the single is “You Raise Me Up” and this surprised the boys with their 13th No1 in UK and Ireland. One week later follows the album “Face To Face”, it shows that the time of Westlife isn’t over for long yet, and that the boys still have many many fans.
Shortly said: Westlife belongs to the best existing boy bands.