Boyzone

Country singer Robert Mizzell once worked for Boyzone security

American-born country singer Robert Mizzell has revealed he was once employed as a security guard at a Boyzone show during the band’s first Irish tour.

izzell, from Shreveport, Louisiana, says it was when he struggled to find a career after arriving in Ireland 30 years ago.

He also remembers making his living in a range of other jobs, from selling “mops and buckets” to insurance and pensions, to working in construction.

It was the resounding success of country superstar Garth Brooks in Ireland that allowed Robert to finally discover his own talent as a singer and performer.

In our new Sunday World podcast, My Country Life, Mizzell also shares how he approached Louis Walsh to manage it, but was turned down by the music mogul behind top artists including Westlife.

Recalling how he rose through the ranks to become one of our biggest stars, Robert says it was a friend named Henry Donoghue, an Aer Lingus pilot from Kildare, who recognized his talent.

He says: “Henry was a member of the Naas Musical Society and he was one of the first people I know who had a CD player in his car. One day he had a Garth Brooks CD and I was listening to Garth Brooks so I started singing along. Henry said ‘you have a good voice.’ I said ‘ah yeah.’ He said, ‘Damn, you can sing!’

“Henry knew another guy called Brian Harte who was a drummer in the area. We got together one afternoon in a garage and we started playing a few songs and I think it wasn’t until then that I kind of realized that this could be what I want. I had done all these other jobs and it was great to hear people say, ‘Hey man, you can sing!'”

A few months later, Robert hosted a Garth Brooks tribute show at the Johnstown Inn in Naas and invited Louis Walsh to come. “I found his number in the phone book and called him, but Louis said he wasn’t interested in the country scene,” Robert reveals.

“He suggested I contact Tommy Swarbrigg, who had been in Joe Dolan’s early band and had represented Ireland at Eurovision with his brother Jimmy.”

Singer and songwriter Swarbrigg became Robert’s first manager and wrote his first hit, Kickass Country.

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