Westlife

Westlife’s Mark Feehily shares he was forced out by the media | OUTInPerth

Westlife singer Mark Feehily has shared that he was often called “too big” when he first started out in the music industry and that his decision to come out was forced by a media outlet threatening to report that he was gay.

Feehily was a guest on the Irish TV show Friday Late Show when he talked about his experiences.

The singer said that in Westlife’s early days people in the music industry often referred to him as the “fat guy” alongside his bandmates Shane Filan, Kian Egan, Nikki Byrne and in their early days Brian McFadden.

Feehily said it was unusual for people to comment on her body, often just before it appeared on television. While the singer says the music industry has improved, people on social media are still making harsh comments.

“Look, it’s the music business, and things are a little different now, but back then people would have no problem telling you, ‘you’re fat, lose weight,’ like right before you go on TV.

“Now, instead of being someone in the record industry, it’s Instagram or it’s Twitter.” said the singer.

Feehily also recalled the time he was forced to tell the world he was gay, because a tabloid threatened to “take him out.”

“One day I got a phone call from someone who works around us and they said The sun know you’re dating someone, a man, and basically they’re going to make history.

“They want to know if you want to go talk to them and explain your situation or not, but it’s in the paper anyway.

“It was unexpected, I don’t look back in anger, but I don’t think anyone should be forced out that way.

“Fortunately, in the media industry, they wouldn’t even think of doing something like that now. This is something that happened twenty years ago, but it is no longer the case today.

Westlife formed in 1998 and quickly found success with their debut album. Brian McFadden left the band in 2004 and the band disbanded in 2012. The four longtime members reunited in 2018.

The group releases its twelfth album wildest dreams end of 2021.

OIP staff


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