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Westlife is an Irishmarker pop band formed on 3 July 1998.The group's original lineup comprised Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, Shane Filan and Brian McFadden who left in 2004. Currently, Filan and Feehily serve as the band's lead vocalists.The band is the only act in UK history to have their first seven singles go straight to Number 1, and they have gone on to sell over 43 million records worldwide which includes their studio, single, video, and compilation albums.

They were signed by Simon Cowell and are currently managed by Louis Walsh. In 2008, they were declared as Ireland's ninth-richest celebrities under 30 years old and 13th in general. They are the third biggest selling pop band worldwide and biggest selling band of the decade (2000-2009). 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 band has also broken a few top records, including "Music artist with most consecutive number 1's in the UK" and the "Biggest selling arena act in the Wembley Arenamarker". (See Westlife records)

Over years of their career, Westlife's music has evolved from teen pop to a pop sound, with an emphasis on ballads. All of the band members are songwriters, although most of their hits have been composed by external writers, most notably Steve Mac and Wayne Hector. (See Songs written)

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.

History

Formation

Prior to Westlife, Kian, Mark and Shane along with fellow Sligonians Derrick Lacey, Graham Keighron and Michael Garrett, were part of a six-member pop vocal group called IOYOU. Managed by choreographer Mary McDonagh along with two other informal managers, they released a single titled "Together Girl Forever". Louis Walsh, the manager of the 1990s boy band Boyzone, was contacted by Shane's mother and came to know about the band. However, IOYOU did not meet Simon Cowell's approval for a record deal with BMG, and thus changes were needed. Three members of IOYOU were told they would not be part of the new band, and auditions were held in Dublin where Nicky Byrne and Brian McFadden were recruited. The new group, formed on 3 July 1998, was re-named Westside but as the name was already taken by another band, it was changed to Westlife. Also changing the spelling of Brian's name to Bryan. Boyzone singer Ronan Keating was brought in to co-manage the band with Walsh. Westlife then released an EP titled Swear It Again, though only in Asia.

Dreams Come True - World Of Our Own (1998-2002)

Westlife's first big break came in 1998 when they opened for the Boyzone and Backstreet Boys' concerts in Dublin. Later that year, they won the 'Best New Tour Act' award at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party. In March 1999, the band released their first single, "Swear It Again" which immediately topped the charts in Ireland and in UK for two weeks. Their second single, "If I Let You Go", released in August 1999 along with the highly acclaimed "Flying Without Wings" (their first 'Record of the Year'), released in October the same year, also followed suit. "Flying Without Wings" was also included on the soundtrack of the Warner Brothers film, "Pokémon 2000". The first album, simply titled Westlife, was released in November 1999 and peaked at #2 in the UK. Ironically, the album was the biggest chart dropper in the music history of UK, falling from #3 to #37, and is also the band's only original studio album that never reached #1. In December 1999, the double a side fourth single was released,"I Have A Dream"/"Seasons In The Sun", knocked Cliff Richard's "The Millennium Prayer" off the top spot and earning them the 1999 UK Christmas number-one single. The fifth and last single from the album, "Fool Again", also peaked at #1. Then, the band went on a short UK and Asian tour in support of their debut album before releasing a second album.

Coast to Coast was released a year after and was another #1 UK album beating the Spice Girls' Forever album. It became the country's 4th biggest selling album of 2000 and is Westlife's biggest selling a