Westlife are an Irish pop vocal group, who were formed in 1998 in Sligo, disbanded in 2012 and reunited in 2018. They were originally signed by Simon Cowell in the UK, Clive Davis in the US and managed by Louis Walsh and Sonny Takhar. The group currently consists of Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, and Nicky Byrne.
So far, they have a total of thirteen major album releases, eleven of which are studio albums. Five albums are as a five-piece and eight are as a four-piece. The group rose to fame with their debut international self-titled studio album, Westlife (1999). It was followed by Coast to Coast (2000), World of Our Own (2001), Unbreakable – The Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (2002), and Turnaround (2003), which continued the group's success worldwide. Before the start of their Turnaround Tour in 2004, one of the original members, Brian McFadden, departed from the band. The four remaining members continued as a group to release their cover albums Allow Us to Be Frank (2004) and The Love Album (2006) and the studio albums Face to Face (2005) and Back Home (2007). After an almost one-year hiatus of studio recording in 2008, they regrouped and released the studio albums Where We Are (2009), and Gravity (2010), and the compilation album Greatest Hits (2011). After eight years, the quartet group released their eleventh studio album, Spectrum, in 2019.
The band has sold over 45 million records. The band has received over 1.5 billion views on their official YouTube channel alone with more than 2.4 million page subscribers as well, were streamed more than 300 million times, and more than 550 million streams on Spotify as of 2018 and more than a million followers on the said streaming media platform as of May 2019.
They generated singles such as "Swear It Again", "If I Let You Go", "Flying Without Wings", "I Have a Dream", "Seasons in the Sun", "Fool Again", "My Love", "What Makes a Man", "Uptown Girl", "Unbreakable", "When You're Looking Like That", "Queen of My Heart", "Mandy", "Tonight", "Hey Whatever", "You Raise Me Up", "Bop Bop Baby", "The Rose", and "World of Our Own". 19 out their 29 singles as lead artist and as featured artist received UK certifications from 1999 to 2019, 17 out of 29 singles from 1999 to 2009 reached the top 2 on the UK Singles Chart. They have the second most certifications for a boy band in the UK Singles Chart after Take That and the most singles certifications for a pop band on the UK number one singles artists chart since The Beatles.
According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), Westlife has been certified for 13.1 million albums, 1.3 million video albums, and 10 million singles, with a total of more than 24 million combined sales in the UK. They are also currently ranked 19th with the most number-one albums of all time and sixth highest band in the list. The group have accumulated 14 number-one singles as a lead artist as well as having eight number-one albums in the United Kingdom, making them Ireland's most prolific chart-toppers. In 2012, the Official Charts Company listed Westlife 34th amongst the biggest-selling singles artist, 16th amongst the biggest selling groups, and 14th with most top ten hits all the highest for a boy band and a pop group in British music history. They are the biggest selling album group of the 2000s decade in the UK as well. Three of their studio albums were part of the 50 fastest selling albums of all time in the UK. The group have the most consecutive number-one studio albums in a decade in the UK and Ireland for a band since the Beatles and for a pop band and act since ABBA. Also in Ireland, they have 11 number-one albums with a total of 13 top two albums, 16 number-one singles as well as 34 top-fifty singles.
They are holders of the following Guinness World Records: first to achieve seven consecutive number-one singles in the UK, most public appearances in 36 hours by a pop group, most singles to debut at number one on the UK chart and top selling album group in the United Kingdom in the 21st century.It makes Westlife one of the most successful musical groups of all time, among the highest profile acts in 2000s popular culture in most territories worldwide, and one of the few boy bands to have continued success after their commercial peak. On the best-selling boy bands of all time list, they are currently eighth worldwide along with the biggest selling boy band from Ireland in history globally.
Westlife have not managed to break into the US market so far, achieving only one hit single in 2000, "Swear It Again". Despite this, the United States ranked in the top five for the number of views of the band with an annual total of more than 30 million on their official YouTube channel alone with multiple videos uploaded as of June 2018.The pop band has received numerous accolades including one World Music Award, two Brit Awards, four MTV Awards, four Record of the Year Awards, with an overall total of 91 awards and 20 nominations so far. As a live act, Westlife have sold 5.5 million concert tickets worldwide from their fourteen concert tours so far. They still hold the record for the most shows played at The SSE Arena, Belfast and SSE Arena, Wembley. It makes them the biggest arena act of all-time in the United Kingdom. They sold out Croke Park Stadium in their home country in a record-breaking five minutes. Their fourteenth, and latest concert tour is called Stadiums in the Summer Tour.