— 2011 —
There was barely a dry eye in the house when Irish boyband Westlife announced they were going their separate ways back in 2011. Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily and Shane Filan had been a near-permanent fixture on the Official Singles Chart since their debut single Swear It Again hit the top spot in May 1999.
Defying critics and even surviving the departure of fifth member Brian McFadden in 2004, the band enjoyed 26 Top 40 hits, including an astonishing 14 Number 1 singles, making them one of only six acts to have scored more than 10 Official Number One singles, alongside Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Madonna, Cliff Richard and Take That.
But now it’s time to dab those eyes dry. Westlife’s Shane Filan , who had the lion’s share of lead vocals during his time with the boys, is striking out on his own. He’s back to start his own Official Singles Chart story with his first ever solo release Everything To Me.
— 2013 —
Westlife star Shane Filan launches solo career
“Everything To Me is Shane’s first release since Westlife announced split in 2011”
After Westlife’s split, Shane showed interest in being a solo music artist for his daily living. In December 2011, press reports announced Filan was close to signing a solo deal with one of several potential competing UK record labels. Filan and his manager Louis Walsh, had been in talks with several of the labels at the time. “There’s four, possibly five labels so far who have made it clear that they want to sign Shane,” said a music source to showbiz writer Paul Martin.
In a March 2012 interview with Paul Martin, Filan said he would be signing within the next few weeks.
“It’s exciting but, of course, I’ll be nervous. It’s only natural when you’re coming out of a band after 14 years, you don’t know where your life’s going to take you
In 2013, Filan announced he had officially signed a record deal with UMG subsidiary London Records worth 20 million British pounds. UMG had previously offered him a solo deal in 2001; the first member of Westlife to have received such an offer, but turned it down. For the new deal, Filan stated that he had spent the past 12 months in both US and UK writing songs and recording, and that a forthcoming single and an album would be released later in the year.
On 10 May 2013, he announced that his first single would be released, along with three other tracks, later revealed in July to be “Everything to Me”, and “Everytime”, “Today’s Not Yesterday” and “Once”, respectively. The release date was announced as 25 August.
On 10 September 2013, Filan released About You, the second single from his album You and Me followed by the album shortly after.
— 2014 —
Shane Filan one year after going solo
It has only been a year since former Westlife member Shane Filan launched his career as a solo artist, but the 35-year-old Irish singer is now hinting on the release of his second album. Shane told in an interview that his next record will probably hit the market first quarter of next year. Seemingly, Shane is starting to enjoy his journey in the music industry as a man of his own.
Asked if he will do more song writing and composition this time around, Shane answered that he is open to exploring all opportunities available. If he encounters people who are willing to lend their talent for his next albums, Filan said that his doors are wide open for their contributions.
But while the father of three remains loyal to his choice of music genre—which is pop—Shane shared that he also wants to bring in more ballads, powerful ballads at that, in his next offerings. The singer-songwriter also welcomes the possibilities of collaborations with various artists. A song featuring any of his former Westlife bandmates in his next album will definitely pleasure the group’s ever-zealous fans, however, Shane set the record straight when he said that there is nothing slated for him and the lads at the moment.
For Shane, his live shows are one of the most important aspects of his career as a singer. Every time he does one, he said he always “wanna make sure that its’ good.”
But apart from bringing to stage his own music, Shane also presents special gifts to his fans. Sometimes he performs Westlife songs, sometimes a cover of other popular hits which his fans also love, and sometimes he does both.
On the mention of his Philippine tour, Shane fondly shared that the Philippines is one of his biggest territories. And when asked if he has a message for his Filipino fans, Shane said, “I can’t wait to be back in Manila… I can’t wait to see everyone.” He is also urging his fans to bring their friends when they come see him on the concert because, “we’re gonna have a good time,” he added.
In his 16 years of professional music, Shane said that his greatest learning as a musician is: understanding the importance of having a “killer song” to offer to the listeners. Having been with one of the world’s biggest boy bands ever for 14 years, he believes that people are always in constant search of one great song to enjoy.
— 2014 —
Shane Filan announces ‘You and Me’ winter UK tour
SHANE Filan has announced that he will be touring Britain as a solo artist for the first time next February and March.
Filan will play 12 headline shows beginning at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on February 20.
Speaking about the new shows, Shane said: “I’m so excited to be heading out on my first ever solo tour.
“The album You and Me means so much to me and I cannot wait to play these songs live in front of an audience, and of course there will be some old fan favourites from memory lane and a couple of surprises in there too.”
Following the Liverpool show the tour calls at Birmingham (21); Reading (22); Manchester (24); Glasgow (25); Newcastle (26); York (27); Blackpool (March 1); Cardiff (2); Nottingham (3); Bournemouth (5); Southend (6); London (7) and Belfast (9).
— 2015 —
Second Solo Album Right Here and Hello Online interview
He may have enjoyed worldwide fame and success as a member of Westlife, but Shane admits it took time to adjust to life as a solo star. Describing his first solo gig as “nerve-racking”, the Irish singer has since become more confident performing without his former bandmates and is back with his second album Right Here – something he is clearly excited about sharing.
“I think making the second album is always a big step, everyone making their first album wants to get to their second album, so yeah it was something I was very excited about in all four to five months making it,” Shane explained to HELLO! Online. “I now feel excited to hear what the fans think of this album because I think it’s a lot better than my first and that was my main goal, to just improve.”
Describing his new album as “more pop” and “more current” than his first solo effort You and Me, Shane has co-written the majority of tracks and has even enlisted the support of his friend and former Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle to record a special duet I Could Be.
“I’ve known her for years through Girls Aloud and stuff like that,” Shane said. “I just wanted a great singer and she has just got a flawless vocal, she absolutely nailed it.”
While his fans won’t get to hear the new album until its release on 25 September, Shane revealed he has already received positive feedback from three important critics, his three children – Nicole, ten, Patrick, seven, and Shane, five.
“The two are huge fans, they probably want me to play the album in the car a bit too much if I’m being honest!” Shane laughed. “Daddy’s a singer and yeah they think that’s pretty cool but they’re five and seven, and my daughter is ten so she’s probably a bit more into Taylor Swift as well.”
Could they follow in their dad’s footsteps in the future? “They’re into music which is nice to see, they’ve got good little voices on them too which is good, it will be interesting to see where that goes in time.
“My daughter is starting a drama and stage school now which, I was very similar to her at that age so you never know we’ll see what happens. If they don’t want to do it, whatever, I don’t mind. It’s their life, maybe they wanna play soccer. They’re into soccer and Gaelic football at the moment so that’s their thing.”
Shane is clearly very proud and protective of his family, and talks of his desire to “provide” for his children and Gillian – his wife of almost 12 years – who he describes as an “amazing woman”.
“I literally couldn’t imagine life without her and that’s the truth,” Shane confided. “She’s an amazing mother of three happy, healthy children and to me that’s what life is all about.
“No success, music, money, whatever – as long as you can provide for that family that you love, that’s all I want to do. That’s my job as a father and she’s amazing. She’s an amazing woman.”
The couple have faced a series of highs and lows together – from Shane’s rise to fame to his bankruptcy in 2012 – something he says made their relationship even stronger than ever.
“Without a doubt,” he said. “They say ‘whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. That was a very tough time and a horrible time but it has made me stronger. It’s made me a lot more determined to succeed, not in a cocky way but I have to succeed because it’s my job.
“Things happen in life. I’ve had some amazing things happen in my life, with Westlife all my dreams came true. When it comes to music that’s as big as it can get, but also bad things happen too because life’s not perfect. So it’s how you learn from that and moving on now I just want to sing, have success and be able to provide and build it into a career.”
It has now been over three years since Westlife went their separate ways and Shane admits that he and his former bandmates Nicky Byrne, Mark Feehily and Kian Egan sometimes struggle to stay in touch.
He explained: “It’s kind of funny, you think we’d be in touch more but I think because we’re all doing our own stuff now and focusing on our individual careers.
“So yeah we don’t really see each other that often but I see the lads from time to time – maybe once or twice in the last year that I’ve seen them. I probably see Nicky more than any of the other lads in the band, just because I’ve done his radio show. He has a big radio show in Ireland now so he interviews me and stuff so it’s quite funny.”
However there is no bad blood between the former bandmates. “All the boys are great and we finished the band on a great note as in individually, personalities stuff like that, so there’s no badness there – we’re just totally on different paths at the moment.”
So could Westlife follow in the footsteps of other boy bands like Take That and make a comeback in the future?
“I wouldn’t consider something right now, because I don’t think it’s something any of us would want to do but that’s the honest answer,” Shane said. “For the future I can’t tell you what will happen in five years’ time, but you just never know. It could happen but it could not happen and it’s not fair to the fans to say ‘It might happen’ and then turn around and say ‘Oh it’s not happening’.”
The 36-year-old is currently only focused on his solo career and the upcoming release of his second album – something that fulfils his true passion for singing.
“I love the fact that the option I have is singing, because that’s all I want to do. That’s what I’m good at and I don’t even think about singing, it’s like breathing.
“It’s my dream job.”
— 2016 —
SHANE FILAN ANNOUNCES 2016 TOUR
– RIGHT HERE TOUR –
In the wake of releasing his hit album ‘Right Here’ in October 2015, Shane Filan has announced a major indoor UK Tour taking in some of the UK’s best loved venues.
Shane says,” I am so looking forward to getting out on the road in March 2016. This is going to be quite a tour. I am really proud of ‘Right Here’ and now can’t wait to perform the new songs live, alongside some old favourites. It’s exciting to be performing across the UK & Ireland early next year!”
The release of ‘Right Here’ has cemented Shanes position as one of the UK’s most popular male solo artists, following his amazing success with Westlife, one of the world’s most successful bands of the last few decades and this tour promises to show just why Shane is so well loved in his own right.
Shane added: “For me, there is nothing quite like the moment I see the audience singing along to the songs I wrote, and I hope the Right Here Tour will be just as memorable, just as special. I cannot wait to see all the fans again.”
‘Right Here’ was mainly recorded in London and Denmark, with Shane working on the music with Cutfather (The Saturdays, JLS), Jez Ashurst (Will Young, Gabrielle Aplin), Jon Maguire (Union J) and Tre Jean-Marie (MNEK, Jason Derulo). It was released in October 2015 and reached #1 on the Irish Album Charts and the UK Top 20 in its first week.
— 2017 —
IRISH POP SUPERSTAR ANNOUNCES 2017 TOUR
– LOVE ALWAYS TOUR –
Hot off the back of announcing his new album “Love Always” Shane Filan has announced his major indoor UK Tour – “Love Always” – taking in some of the UK’s best loved venues.
Shane says,” Love Always, is a collection of some of my favourite classic love songs. It’s an album I’ve wanted to make for a long time. For me there’s nothing quite like singing an amazing ballad and this album is full of them. Some of the suggestions for songs came directly from my fans because they would always say to me, we would love to hear you sing this song. So, I decided to make a list of all my favourite love songs and then put them together on one album. The hard part was narrowing it down to those on the album. There’s also a few original tracks on there, some that I’ve written myself. It’s always amazing to get into the studio and see what we can create. I can’t wait for my fans to hear the album. It has been a long time coming.
”Shane has cemented his position as one of the UK’s most popular male solo artists, following phenomenal success with Westlife – one of the world’s most successful bands of the last few decades – and his own hugely successful “Right Here” Tour in 2016, which saw fans pleading for another run on the road. Shane was keen to oblige and the idea for “Love Always” was soon born, with this latest tour including all his popular hits and tracks from the new album, as well as the tracks most synonymous with Shane.
Westlife had fourteen chart topping singles and forty-four million sales. Their career, Shane says, “fulfilled all of our dreams 1000 times over.” It’s been a remarkable journey for a singer songwriter who grew up inspired by an admiration of Backstreet Boys and Michael Jackson.
— 2018 till now
Westlife reunion with new single, album, and tour (2018–present)
On 3 October 2018 Westlife announced their reunion as a four-member band. In 2019 four singles were released, penned by Ed Sheeran. The group embarked on a hugely successful 50 date tour called ” The 20 Tour“, in honour of Westlife’s 20th anniversary since the release of their first single in 1999. On 15 November their 13th studio album, Spectrum, was released.