The Private Life of Westlife: Bankruptcy, Devastating Loss and Return to Aviva Stadium

Westlife is Ireland’s best boy band and there’s no denying it.

They have been Flying Without Wings since they were formed in Sligo in 1998 by Louis Walsh, 24 years ago.

The quartet (we won’t mention the day Brian McFadden broke our hearts) has been churning out hit after hit for decades and there’s no stopping them.

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This summer, they will make their big comeback with two shows at the Aviva stadium.

But who are the men behind the ballads? Let’s take a look into the private life of Westlife singers.

Marc Feehily

Westlife star Mark Feehily

Also known as Robobunny, Mark took time out of his busy schedule earlier this year to perform on The Masked Singer as a little bunny with a big voice.

On top of that, Mark called on the government to speed up legislation for families with children born through surrogacy.

The singer and his partner Cailean O’Neill welcomed their daughter Layla into their lives in October 2019 and that’s why Mark entered the ITV Singing Competition.

He previously told Amy Huberman: ‘Right now in Ireland the legislation is designed around the more traditional heterosexual gender, a man and a woman have a baby, and right now families who have children by surrogacy must abide by the rules. and the laws that were invented for a completely different situation.

“Like put it this way, I would love in the future not to have to go halfway around the world to do what we did.

“And number two, when we come back here (to Ireland), I’d like the state to recognize…it’s basically Layla’s equal rights that I’m interested in.

“And children who are born via surrogacy when they come back to Ireland have to somehow be brought into the laws that have been written for a different group of people and I really think it’s important that Ireland , seeing quite quickly as the number of people who have children through surrogacy, whether they are same-sex parents or not, the children are there, they were born and they deserve to be recognized.

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Nicky Byrne

Nicky Byrne in a radio studio.
Nicky Byrne in a radio studio.

Bertie Ahern’s son-in-law was a semi-professional footballer before his move to Westlife.

The boy band’s dark horse went on to a successful career as a TV and radio presenter when the guys went on hiatus.

He presented with Jenny Greene on RTE 2FM for years and he still finds time to host Dance with the Stars with Jennifer Zamparelli.

We can’t forget when he reached the semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016, a feat for Ireland.

Nicky also inspired the most recent book by her sister-in-law and world-renowned novelist, Cecelia Ahern.

“Freckles” follows the story of Allegra Bird, nicknamed Freckles, after a stranger told her, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Cecelia said it was Nicky, who is married to her sister Georgina, who first reported her.

She told RTE Radio 1: “My lovely brother-in-law Nicky Byrne told me.

“Somebody said something in a room, and he didn’t know if it was me or my mom because we were turning into each other, and he said ‘it was you or your mom , you know you’re the average of the five people you’ve spent the most time with, choose wisely.

“And the wise choice felt a little threatening to me, so I immediately started thinking about someone, a character hearing this and not taking it in the best way.”

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Shane Filan

Shane Filan

The Westlife frontman released three solo albums – You and Me, Right Here and Love Always as the band went on hiatus from 2012 to 2018.

Shane married his wife, Gillian Walsh, cousin of Kian Egan in 2003.

They had three children together, a daughter and two sons. Nicole Rose, born in 2005, Patrick Michael, born in 2008, and Shane Peter, born in 2010.

Shane has had his fair share of ups and downs. Just days before Westlife’s last concert in 2012, it was declared bankrupt.

This happened when a real estate business he entered into with his brother collapsed during the recession, but it has been going strong for Shane ever since.

Kian Egan

Westlife's Kian Egan
Westlife’s Kian Egan

Kian was crowned King of the Jungle by Ant and Dec on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in 2013 and he’s had nothing but success since.

The boy from Sligo was a Voice of Ireland coach for years and he was even declared number five for Ireland’s sexiest man in 2014, what an achievement.

Kian and his wife Jodi Albert recently shared their grief after suffering a miscarriage. The couple revealed the devastating loss in March this year.

Sharing a photo of herself and Kian on vacation, Jodi wrote: “I posted a photo similar to this on Valentine’s Day… someone commented and said she looked pregnant…on any other occasion I might have been offended…but on this occasion I thought.. ooh she guessed right, I am and can’t wait to get to 12 weeks to share our happy news!!

“But sadly we lost our little one at 9 weeks pregnant… this is my second miscarriage although 3 and a half years apart… this one hit differently because we allowed ourselves to get excited and to dream about what the future would look like with a new beautiful little blessing to add to our family.”

She ended her heartbreaking post by saying, “To my hubby who just became my rock…you are the most amazing man…I love you and our boys so much and I’m so grateful. for what I already have.”

The couple have three children, Koa, Zeke and Cobi.

Brian McFadden

Brian McFadden and Vogue Williams at a golf event together at the K Club in 2012 posing for a photo
Brian McFadden and Vogue Williams at a golf event together at the K Club in 2012

Also known as the boy who rocked the nation and created a Reeling in the Years moment in 2004.

Announcing his departure from Westlife, Brian explained that he wanted to spend more time with Atomic Kitten star Kerry Katona and their two daughters Molly and Lily, but his marriage to Kerry ended a few months later.

And he later admitted his decision to leave Westlife came after the band were asked to cover Barry Manilow’s hit Mandy.

He told the Irish Independent: “It was definitely a turning point. I’ve always been very proud of Westlife, and I still think we never got the respect we deserved, but I was really ashamed of this song. From the second we went into the studio to record it, I lost interest.”

In 2018, Brian claimed he was offered a mega deal to reunite in Five Pieces, but said the other four snubbed him.

“I was offered a big multi-million pound deal. It was the other Westlife boys who said ‘no’. They didn’t want me back,” he told the Irish Sun.

“How does that make me feel? It upsets me because I didn’t know they still had those feelings towards me.”

Brian’s career wasn’t the only part of his life to make headlines. After his divorce from Kerry, he had two high profile relationships. He split from Delta Goodrem in 2011 and married Vogue Williams. However, Vogue and Brian announced their divorce in 2015.

Formerly ‘Bryan’, teamed up with ex-Boyzone star and Coronation Street actor Keith Duffy to form the duo Boyzlife and they’ve been on the road playing boyband hits for years.

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