West Life

Westlife are an Irish pop group formed on 3 July 1998. The group’s original lineup comprised Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, Shane Filan and Brian McFadden (departed from the band in 2004). The group is the only act in British or Irish history to have their first seven singles go straight to Number 1, and they have gone on to sell over 44 million records worldwide which includes their studio, single, video, and compilation albums.Despite the group’s worldwide success, they’ve only had one U.S. hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts: “Swear It Again”, which made it to #20 in 2000.
Westlife were originally signed by Simon Cowell and are currently managed by Louis Walsh. They garnered 14 number one singles in the United Kingdom, the third-highest in UK history, tying with Cliff Richard and trailing behind only Elvis Presley and The Beatles. The group has also broken a few top records, including “Music artist with most consecutive number 1’s in the UK”. It was officially announced by the Official Charts Company that they are the “2nd biggest selling artist” (trailing behind Robbie Williams) and “Biggest selling band of the decade” (beating Coldplay) in UK with 11 million album sales.
On 1 June 2008, Westlife marked their 10th anniversary with a concert in Croke Park, Dublin which saw more than 83,000 fans attending the special occasion. Music Week revealed on their website that Westlife is the official third top touring act within the years 2005–2008, while they were 7th top touring act of 2008. Also in 2008, they were declared as Ireland’s ninth-richest celebrities under 30 years old and 13th in general with 36 million euros as a group. In 2009, they dropped as 16th richest Irish with estimated 8 million euros each.
The boyband concept is designed to have different parts and roles. Filan, Feehily and McFadden (pre-departure) all take part on the main vocals while Byrne and Egan usually perform the backing vocals and very occasional solos in songs up to the recent date. These are the classifications on vocal abilities: Filan has ‘the popular tune’ (mid-range to high voice) and thus sings the tenor-like melody most often, whereas Feehily has ‘the soulful voice’ and can go from quite low baritone notes through to a very high tenor voice. He sometimes sings falsetto. Byrne has ‘the husky voice’ and can sing high harmonies effortlessly, while Egan has ‘the rocky voice’ and usually does low harmonies.
The band’s main key instrument is their vocals. Some of them also play musical instruments like Egan who plays piano, drums and guitar; and Feehily plays piano. During their gigs and concert tours, they are accompanied by a band, acoustic and rock, and do not usually play instruments onstage.
Over years of their career, Westlife’s music has evolved from teen pop to a pop sound, with an emphasis on ballads. Most of the group’s hits have been composed by experienced songwriters, most notably Steve Mac and Wayne Hector. For the band’s list of own songs composed, see Songs written.
When Westlife got signed formally in 1998, their managers were already emerging them to be big superstars as they went to grandiose producers and songwriters. They released their debut album and single in the right time with the bandwagon peak of pop boybands and girlbands. They went well firstly on UK and Irish music charts and got an extensive popularity worldwide. It is notable that their popularity is always there with a huge and loyal fanbase everywhere. As a testament, their latest single “What About Now” peaked at #2 on both UK and Ireland and have 13 million+ views on their music video of “Flying Without Wings” on YouTube.
Finding success worldwide was not an easy task for the band as they also passed through hard criticisms. As a boyband, they were compared to other co-boybands such as Backstreet Boys, Boyzone, Blue, A1, and Take That and to other pop bands like S Club 7 and Spice Girls.
  • Westlife (1999)
  • Coast to Coast (2000)
  • World of Our Own (2001)
  • Unbreakable – The Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (2002)
  • Turnaround (2003)
  • Allow Us to Be Frank (2004)
  • Face to Face (2005)
  • The Love Album (2006)
  • Back Home (2007)
  • Where We Are (2009)
  • Gravity (2010)
Background information
Origin Sligo and Dublin, Ireland
Genres Teen pop, dance-pop, pop rock, jazz, big band
Years active 1998 – present
Labels Sony Music, RCA, Syco Music
Website http://www.westlife.com
Members
Nicky Byrne

Kian Egan

Mark Feehily

Shane Filan

Past members
Brian McFadden
Comments
  1. ridi says:

    my one of the favourite team.

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