The news all lifelong Westlife fans have been waiting for has finally been confirmed. It looks like the massively successful boy band are to reform.
The band that originally consisted of Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Mark Feebly, Shane Filan and Brian McFadden were famous for taking boring tracks and turning them into massive hits.
In 2004 Brian McFadden quit the Irish band to concentrate on his family life and his own solo career.
The band itself remained together and released music until 2011 when they eventually all went their separate ways.
Louis Walsh who famously manages the group and appears as a judge on the X Factor has promised the boys ARE getting back together soon.
“A Westlife reunion is definitely going to happen – but I have no idea when,”
“I’m still really good friends with all of the lads,” he said.
“I was chatting to Mark Feehily last night about the Christmas album he’s bringing out, and its amazing. I’d forgotten how talented he is,”
“I think the reunion will be great, but it’s up to them to decide when they will do it,” he added.
They’ve been split for 6 years now and the news that fans will get to see them together again has excited them. Some people on social media have even speculated that the 2018 Croke Park Festival in Ireland would be the perfect time to reunite.
Westlife are doing a reunion, I can finally be happy again
— VICTORIA (@ToriquigleyX) November 11, 2017
Nah if the Westlife reunion actually happened I think I would genuinely not survive so prob best it’s not true cause I couldn’t cope
— Cliodhna✌️ (@cliodhnaryan_x) November 11, 2017
I wonder if any of my best mates love me enough to come with me Westlife’s reunion tour if it happens? 🙏🏼😭😍💕
— Charl. (@CharlieeB_x) November 10, 2017
@ShaneFilan please let it be true westlife are going to do a reunion my fave band of all time been to all concerts 👏👌
— Jodie Allen (@jowd1996) November 10, 2017
Just told my mother that Westlife might have a reunion, but it’d be in Croke Park in Ireland! Her reply was that we’d ‘just have to go’ road trip 😏
— Jordan Jenkins 🍂 (@JordJenks97) November 10, 2017
True or not it’s definitely raised the hopes of fans around the world.
Westlife were an Irish boy band, formed in Dublin in July 1998. Originally signed by Simon Cowell and managed by Louis Walsh the group split up in June 2012. Brian McFadden was a member from July 1998 until his departure in March 2004 and the remaining band consisted of Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, and Shane Filan.
Westlife sold over 50 million records worldwide and the group knocked up 14 number-one singles in the United Kingdom. They achieved a total of 26 UK top ten singles over their 14-year career. In 2012, the Official Charts Company listed Westlife 34th amongst the biggest-selling singles artists in British music history. Despite their success they never managed to break the US music market, only having one hit over there with “Swear It Again” in the year 2000.
Westlife were originally known as “Six as One”. The original members were Kian Egan, Markus Feehily and Shane Filan, along with fellow Sligo men Derrick Lacey, Graham Keighron, and Michael Garrett and the band name changed in 1997 to IOYOU.
Louis Walsh, the manager of fellow Irish boy band Boyzone, came to know about the group after he was contacted by Shane Filan’s mother, but the group failed to secure a record deal with Simon Cowell.
Cowell told Walsh: “You are going to have to fire at least three of them. They have great voices, but they are the ugliest band I have ever seen in my life.” Three members of the band (Lacey, Keighron and Garrett) were told they wouldn’t be part of the group, something they must regret to this day and auditions were held in Dublin where Nicky Byrne and Brian McFadden were recruited.
The new group was formed on 3 July 1998 and was renamed Westside but that name was already in use by another band, so it was changed to Westlife. In Westlife – Our Story, Byrne revealed that, unlike the others in the group, he was keen to change the name to West High. McFadden also changed the spelling of his name to Bryan to make it easier to sign autographs. Boyzone singer Ronan Keating was brought in to co-manage the group with Walsh. The band then released an EP titled Swear It Again.
Westlife’s debut album and single coincided with the rise of boy band popularity, and their success was massive in Ireland and the UK. They had 12 worldwide concert tours over their 14-years together.
Westlife performed for the Sultan of Brunei in the year 2000 and were rumoured to have been paid £2.5 million between them to play a private concert of seven songs. They also performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 2000, 2005 and 2009.
Despite their success worldwide, Westlife couldn’t break into the U.S. market. The band made an appearance on MTV’s Total Request Live and the U.S. edition of their debut album, Westlife was released, but it didn’t go down too will with the American market. In 2002, the biggest boy bands in the US, Back Street Boys and *NSYNC were going to be having a break so an attempt was made to promote and release a US version of World of Our Own, but was never successful.
Nicky Byrne said at the time:
“We sent over a CD of World of Our Own with no name on it. They didn’t know it was Westlife and every single radio station in the States – all came back and said that this is an absolutely huge hit. They said it was great for radio and people are gonna love it, especially as there’s just a slight bit of rock guitar to it. But as soon as we revealed it was Westlife, the radio pluggers all went, ‘Whoa, not Westlife – it’s a boyband.’ And we cannot break that down, no matter what song we come out with. The problem with America is that it’s all radio and you’ve got to break into radio first. And currently radio doesn’t want to play boy bands or pop music. If Bono wrote a song with us tomorrow and it was the biggest hit in the world, if Westlife’s name is put to it, it won’t be a hit in America because radio will not play us.”
Quite a career so far for the lads from Ireland. Looks like it may be set to continue though if Louis Walsh’s comments are correct and it would be good to see the them back in the charts. What do you think?