New life after Westlife

New life after Westlife

Popular Irish boyband Westlife broke up in June last year and the four members have not seen one another since then.

And no, it is not because of bad blood, says the group's lead singer Shane Filan, now carving a solo career as a singer-songwriter.

"I miss the boys. It's only natural, I think we all miss each other," the 34-year-old says in a telephone interview from his home in London.

"We haven't seen each other, but we talk quite a bit on the phone and we keep in touch. We're starting individual careers. We probably will meet up and talk about where our lives are at, but we need to create a bit of a life first."

Filan certainly has his hands full right now. His debut solo album, You And Me, is released today. To promote it, he is travelling around the world. He will be in Singapore to perform at a showcase gig for subscribers of SingTel's AMPed music streaming service as well as hold an autograph signing session here on Sunday.

"The next phase of my life has started. I'm looking forward to hopefully create some memories and seeing where my career goes."

If lead single, Everything To Me, released in August, is any indication, Filan's solo career is off to a good start. It peaked at No. 7 on the Irish charts and No. 14 on the British charts. Still, it is a far cry from his heady days with Westlife. Formed in 1998 with a line-up of Filan, Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily and Brian McFadden, the group sold 50 million records worldwide and registered 13 No. 1 singles on the British charts.

Of their 12 album releases, seven of them, including Coast To Coast (2000), Unbreakable: The Greatest Hits Volume 1 (2002) and The Love Album (2006), topped the album charts in Britain.

McFadden left in 2004 to go solo and the group carried on as a quartet until the split last year.

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