Westlife On Split: We Lost Hunger For Music28/11/2011 18:15
By Kristiaan Yeo and Elizabeth Scott, entertainment producers
Westlife have explained their split by telling Sky News they lost their “hunger” for the music business.
The Irish group said they would be going their separate ways in October and and are now preparing for their farewell tour in the spring.
Despite being offered another lucrative record deal, they felt they could no longer continue.
Shane Filan told Sky News: “For us we don’t have the hunger like we did 14 years ago, even five years ago.
“We didn’t want to stick it out for the money. We had to be brave and make the decision.”
Nicky Byrne added: “As sad as it is and although none of us wanted the band to end, we knew it was going in that direction and we had to man up and take it on the chin.”
The pair said one of the highlights of their 14 years was being invited to record with Mariah Carey.
Their cover of Phil Collins’ Against All Odds in 2000 was a UK number one hit.
“We were in Asia at the time,” Byrne said. “We had to jet into Europe. We were picked up by her yacht and brought to her villa. It was amazing.
“She’s Mariah Carey and she is in this pink, low-cut, tight top and we are five 20-year-olds from Ireland going…’wow’.
“We ended up having great fun with her and then going into the studio where she produced the record.
“She’s looking from the mixing desk into the vocal booth studio and doing harmonies and stuff and we’re thinking ‘is this happening’?”
Not joining the final tour is Brian McFadden, who left the group in 2004.
Byrne said: “It has definitely been discussed… we never fell out with Brian… but we have done eight years without him.
“Right now there are absolutely no plans but there’s certainly mixed emotions whether we should or shouldn’t. To be quite honest we have never spoken to Brian about it – ever.”
Neither has the band talked to McFadden about the band’s decision to split.
Filan said: “It will be interesting to know what he thinks of it all.”
Byrne revealed he is not looking at continuing in the music business, but would like to have a career as a TV or radio presenter, or even venture into acting.
Westlife, which also includes Mark Feehily and Kian Egan, got together in 1998 and are managed by Louis Walsh.
The group has achieved 14 UK number one singles and sold over 44 million records worldwide.
Credit/Source: Sky News