Westlife is an Irish pop group formed on 3 July 1998. The group's original lineup comprised Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, Shane Filan and Brian McFadden (departed from the band in 2004). The group is the only act in British and Irish history to have their first seven singles go straight to Number 1, and they have gone on to sell over 44 million records worldwidewhich includes their studio, single, video, and compilation albums.Despite the group's worldwide success, they've only had one U.S. hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts: "Swear It Again", which made it to #20 in 2000.
Westlife were originally signed by Simon Cowell and are currently managed by Louis Walsh. They garnered 14 number one singles in the United Kingdom, the third-highest in UK history, tying with Cliff Richard and trailing behind only Elvis Presley and The Beatles. The group has also broken a few top records, including "Music artist with most consecutive number 1's in the UK". It was officially announced by the Official Charts Company that they are the "2nd biggest selling artist" (trailing behind Robbie Williams) and "Biggest selling band of the decade" (beating Coldplay) in UK with 11 million album sales. See Westlife records
On 1 June 2008, Westlife marked their 10th anniversary with a concert in Croke Park, Dublin which had more than 83,000 fans attending the special occasion. Music Week revealed on their website that Westlife is the official third top touring act within the years 2005–2008, while they were 7th top touring act of 2008.Also in 2008, they were declared as Ireland's ninth-richest celebrities under 30 years old and 13th in general with 36 million euros as a group. In 2009, they dropped as 16th richest Irish with estimated 8 million euros each.They are named as the fourth most hard-working music artist in UK by PRS in 2010.
Westlife's first big break came in 1998 when they opened for the Boyzone and Backstreet Boys' concerts in Dublin. Later Act' award at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party.In March 1999, the group released their first single, "Swear It Again" which immediately topped the charts in Ireland and in UK for two weeks. Their second single, "If I Let You Go", released in August 1999 along with the highly acclaimed "Flying Without Wings" (their first 'Record of the Year'), released in October the same year, also followed suit. "Flying Without Wings" was also included on the soundtrack of the Warner Brothers film, Pokémon: The Movie 2000. The first album, simply titled Westlife, was released in November 1999 and peaked at #2 in the UK. Ironically, the album was the biggest chart dropper in the music history of UK, falling from #3 to #37. In December 1999, the double a side fourth single was released,"I Have A Dream"/"Seasons In The Sun", knocked Cliff Richard's "The Millennium Prayer" off the top spot and earning them the 1999 UK Christmas number-one single.The fifth and last single from the album, "Fool Again", also peaked at #1.Then, the group went on a short UK, US and Asian tour in support of their debut album before releasing a second album.
After going back to RCA Records for a one year album contract, they announced their second greatest hits to be released in 21 November 2011.It was recorded on May 2011 with the band's Gravity producer John Shanks. Filan answered when he was asked about the radical change in their music: "We’ve definitely changed – our music has evolved, but not drastically. Westlife is never going to drastically change, but I think we can get more exciting, different and more fun for the fans."On 14 May 2011, Irish songwriter Ruth-Anne Cunningham confirmed on her official site that she's working with Shanks and the band. On 27 May 2011, Feehily thanked Cunningham, Steve Anderson, Pete "Boxsta" Martin and Dan Radclyffe (aka Utters) for a week of songwriting with new tunes on the way.Filan added that he will record a new song on the last week of June 2011.Bryne explained: "I'm doing a bit of everything to be honest," "We just came back from the UK, we were there for four days. We were in the studio for four or five weeks but we finished there about a month ago.On their latest press release, they stated the upcoming album will have four or five new tracks aside from their earlier hits. Three or four of them will be singles.Egan added: “Our greatest hits album is out soon, and we’ve worked so hard to put together four or five new tracks for the album. The new songs are great and we’re all really pleased with them. We think the fans will love them too.”
The first single will be out on September 2011 and it'll be uptempo co-written by band member Feehily and producer Shanks. Feehily added, "It is the first time in about ten years that we've put something out in the summertime so we hope you're going to buy it"."It's a very different Westlife", "We are putting the finishing touches to our new songs"The band was set to play the single on their concert in Cork, Ireland on 9 July 2011 where fans are expected to hear a sneak peak of the song, but was later found out that it wasn't played nor performed at the said event. On an interview before the said performance Filan revealed, It was said that Cork would be the venue for the first performance of the new single, but Shane is not sure: "I don't think we'll be left as we are still undecided between two singles!"
With a new compilation album coming out, it is highly speculated Westlife will be doing a new greatest hits tour. According to The Mirror, a source close to the band revealed plans for them to play either the Aviva Stadium or another Croke Park gig towards the summer of 2012.