Westlife

Westlife’s Kian Egan says his sons ‘don’t understand’ how famous their dad is

In his most personal interview ever, Kian gives the Sunday worlda glimpse into his family life, which is shared between their homes in Strandhill, Co Sligo and Barbados.

The multi-millionaire entertainer, father of three sons Koa (10), Zeke (7) and Cobi (4), said he and his wife, Jodi, strive to keep their children anchored in their privileged lifestyle.

Despite being aware he’s in Westlife, Kian says his young sons don’t understand the band’s power of attraction as they prepare to play two shows at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium next Friday and Saturday at The Wild Dreams Tour.

“Koa started listening to music, acting, singing and following artists, and all of a sudden he became a huge Billie Eilish fan and a Harry Styles fan,” he tells me during a break between rehearsals for what should be Westlife’s biggest ever. live performance.

“The other week he was watching a Harry Styles concert online and he said, ‘Dad, are these the kind of concerts you do?’ I said, ‘Yeah, mate, that’s about it.’ He said, ‘Really, that big?’ I said, ‘Yeah, that concert you’re watching over there, that’s where we’ll be playing in two weeks.’ He was like, ‘What!’

“His brain is processing it slowly and I think next weekend is going to be pretty mind-blowing for him in a weird way. It’s going to be like, ‘Wait a second, that’s way more than I thought!

“So far he hasn’t paid attention to the whole Westlife thing, although he’s always fascinated when someone asks me for a picture. They all are, my youngest, Cobi, is very funny, he fits into the picture.

“Then they would be full of questions and you try to explain Westlife to them. They don’t understand it, so it will be an interesting summer for them.

As parents, Kian and his British-born wife Jodi are acutely aware of the pitfalls to avoid when raising children in a lifestyle that isn’t the norm.

He says, “We’re the kind of parents who constantly say, ‘Listen, you’re very privileged. The reason for this is that dad’s job is quite a unique scenario and you have to understand that not all children live a life like you.

“They go to the local school and it is extremely important that they receive a normal education. Our life at home is busy, there is basketball, skateboarding, piano, guitar, singing and surfing.

School holidays are spent at their home in Barbados. “Barbados gives us the opportunity to live in a very different way and to live a very different life,” says Kian. “It’s great for surfing for us too.”

One of the most successful boy bands in the world, Westlife is now bigger than at any other stage in its career, with the opening of new markets such as China and South America.

Westlife recently held an online concert for China that attracted 44 million fans and will be touring there in person next year.

“We have a race next year in China at 10 Aviva Stadium-sized stadiums in cities we’ve never heard of,” Kian reveals. “When you’re sitting there and you think 44 million people, that’s the population of England and over 10 times the population of Ireland watching on a mobile phone.

“As a human being, it’s very difficult to get used to the idea. Personally, I just ignore it. Even in the first run of Westlife, before we broke up, I always ignored how big it all was and how successful it was and just kept going.

Why is Westlife so popular in China? “We were told that all the Chinese kids in school are learning English through our music and that’s why it’s such a hit. It was songs like My Love, You Raise Me Up, World Of Our Own…all the hits.

“They weren’t even radio songs there, it was thanks to them that the children learned English. So over the years people have put two and two together that they were Westlife songs and Westlife was a band. All the time, we knew nothing about it.

Westlife’s current tour, which includes Wembley Stadium in London in August and a concert in October for 80,000 fans at the Singapore Grand Prix, is set to go on indefinitely.

Reflecting on their astonishing 24-year run, Kian points out that the years have also brought personal grief over the loss of parents. “There are only four out of eight parents left,” says Kian, whose own father died of cancer in 2009.

“But I have memories of asking the public in Croke Park to sing happy birthday to my dad on his 60th birthday,” he adds.

“Now that my father is gone, I can look back on it in memory and say, ‘It was such a touching time.

“These are things that money can never buy. These are experiences that fortunately only come from the work we do. It is a very privileged position. »

WESTLIFE will play at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin next Friday and Saturday.