By JENNY CHILLERY
Who wouldn’t remember Westlife with their beautiful song lyrics that could blow ones mind and make one fall in love instantly. Their songs gave many something to believe in. Back in the late 90’s this band of singers where one of the biggest bands in the world. The group originally started as five before Bryan McFadden made a decision to leave the band in 2004 to spend more time with his family and work on solo projects. Selling over 50 million records worldwide the five Irish heartthrobs were flying high on their implausible success. In 2012, the Official Charts Company listed Westlife 34th among the biggest-selling singles artists in British music history. Despite their success worldwide, Westlife never managed to break into the U.S. market, achieving only one hit single in 2000, “Swear It Again”
But what exactly has everyone been up to since that final farewell tour?
As one of the main singers of Westlife, it was no surprise that Shane Filan found himself at the centre of a record label bidding war immediately after the split. The singer kept Louis Walsh on as his manager and eventually signed a new deal with Universal Music. After a few ill-jugded property investiments earlier on in his career, the star found himself pretty much loosing almost everything. Plenty of ups and downs. Just days after Westlife performed their final farewell tour in June 2012, Shane was declared bankrupt after a property venture he entered into with his brother went badly wrong. But Louis sorted him out with a new solo deal and world tour, so after writing a load of new songs in Nashville, Shane released his debut album “You and Me” in November 2013. Two years later he returned with a second solo, the only westlife star to do so, so far.
Mark Feehily is in the catering biz. Mark Feehily was Westlife’s lead singer, along with fellow bandmate Shane Filan, but since the group disbanded, he has fallen below the radar. Splitting from his fiance Kevin McDaid in 2012, the piled on the pounds, and announced he was entering a French detox and weight loss camp in 2014.Mark opened his own catering business which sees him serving food and hot drinks from the back of a van as he travels to festivals and events around the UK and Ireland.
But while many fans are shocked that the singer is getting his hands dirty in the catering biz, Mark released various hits such as “Love Is A Drug” and did his own nationwide tour of the UK in 2016.
Kian Egan has possibly had the most success since the band split back in 2012.The father of two, who married former girl band member Jodie Albert in 2008, recaptured the hearts of the nation when he was voted King of the Jungle in ITV’s “I’m a Celebrity” 2013 series. Beating Princess Diana’s fashion designer David Emanuel and Emmerdale star Lucy Pargeter, the singer emerged victorious from a three-week stint in the Aussie bush, ready to launch the next stage of his career. Now Kian is helping other hopeful musicians. Since then, Kian has bagged the role of coach and mentor on the Irish version of popular talent show “The Voice”. He works alongside fellow judges Bressie, The Saturdays star Una Foden and S Club 7 member Rachel Stevens.
Nicky Byrne has left his singing career behind him since Westlife split. After a short stint as a dancer on Strictly, he is better known in Ireland as a TV and radio presenter. In 2012, Nicky hosted the Irish TV channel RTE’s reality show Football’s Next Star which followed ten hopefuls competing for a chance to win a place in Celtic Football Club’s youth squad. After a briefs stint on Strictly the singer is now better known for his presenting. Since then, the former singer has bagged himself a weekday show in Irish radio station 2fm. In January 2015, Nicky extended his CV even further when he was chosen to host the new weekly National Lottery game show in Ireland, The Million Euro Challenge.
Bryan left the group in 2004. Bryan has been flying solo since 2004 when he made the decision to quit the band to focus on a solo career. The singer had moderate success after leaving Westlife, and released his latest album The Irish Connection in 2012. Bryan is another band member who has turned his talents to TV presenting after landing the role as a judge on Australia’s Got Talent in 2010. After a moderately successful solo career, Bryan is also a TV presenter. In September 2014, ITV offered Bryan a 30 show series called “Who’s Doing the Dishes” which is usually aired in the late afternoon. The singer has joined celebrity talent show “Get Your Act Together” which sees showbiz stars work with legendary magicians Penn and Teller to improve their magic skills.
On 19 October 2011, Westlife officially announced they were splitting after a Greatest Hits album and a farewell tour.
“After 14 years, 26 top ten hits including 14 number one singles, 11 top 5 albums, 7 of which hit the top spot and have collectively sold over 44 million copies around the world, 10 sell out tours and countless memories that we will forever cherish, we today announce our plan to go our separate ways after a greatest hits collection this Christmas and a farewell tour next year. The decision is entirely amicable and after spending all of our adult life together so far, we want to have a well-earned break and look at new ventures. We see the greatest hits collection and the farewell tour as the perfect way to celebrate our incredible career along with our fans. We are really looking forward to getting out on the tour and seeing our fans one last time. Over the years Westlife has become so much more to us than just a band. Westlife are a family. We would like to thank our fans who have been with us on this amazing journey and are part of our family too. We never imagined when we started out in 1998 that 14 years later we would still be recording, touring and having hits together. It has been a dream come true for all of us.” Kian, Mark, Nicky and Shane said.
They described the split as an “amicable” one and they wanted a “well-earned break”