Life in a boyband is a lot of hard graft, long days, and packed schedules – and nobody knows this more than Westlife, who have been facing this down and coming up smiling since 1998.
For an astonishing 23 years, the four boys from Ireland have been one of the biggest groups Ireland’s ever produced. And the one thing that has never changed is the screaming fans.
And after decades in the industry, Shane Filan, 42, Mark Feehily, 41, Kian Egan, 41, and Nicky Byrne, 43, are as popular as ever.
In our exclusive interview, Nicky tells OK!: “We’ve never landed in an airport without somebody there, fan wise.”
Back in the day when the fab foursome would first tour, they were immediately a big hit.
Kian recalls: “Oh yeah. We had major hardcore fans that would be outside the hotel. We’d get in the car, they’d get in the car and follow. Then we’d go on tour, we’d get in the bus and they’d get in their cars and follow us to the next city.
“That still happens. There are probably 100 to 200 fans around the world that we know their name or face.”
Fans will be delighted to see more of the fab foursome, who are preparing to tour next year.
They’ll be playing their hits, as well as songs from their new album, Wild Dreams, which features numbers written by all four members for the first time – as well as a ballad co-penned by mega pop star Ed Sheeran.
And they’re clearly on cloud nine about playing Wembley Stadium next year, with Nicky gushing: “We’re the only Irish band to do it, apart from U2.”
The band, who have racked up 53 million record sales and 14 number ones, have all had a hand in writing their latest album and drawn on personal experiences.
This is especially true for Shane, who has written about his mum and dad passing away last year and says he found solace in songwriting. “It was therapeutic, "he tells us.
Westlife’s new album Wild Dreams is out on Friday 26 November.The band will be touring the UK and Ireland in 2022. Tickets are available at livenation.co.uk
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