Westlife (also initialised as W or WL) is an Irish pop vocal group, which formed in 1998 in Dublin, 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 Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, and Shane Filan.
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 will release their eleventh studio album, Spectrum, in 2019. Its first single "Hello My Love" was released on 10 January 2019 and its second single "Better Man" on 29 March 2019.
The band have sold over 40 million studio albums and 55 million records overall worldwide. The band has received over a billion views on their official YouTube channel alone with more than 1.9 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 hit singles including "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".
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.According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), Westlife has been certified for 12 million albums and 8 million singles in the UK. They are also currently ranked twenty-fourth with the most number-one albums of all time. The group have accumulated 14 number-one singles in the United Kingdom, and a total of 22 top five, 25 top ten, 26 top twenty, 28 top forty, and 29 top seventy-five hit songs, as well as having 7 number one and a total of 11 top 4 albums, making them Ireland's most prolific chart-toppers. In 2012, the Official Charts Company listed Westlife 34th amongst the biggest-selling singles artists and 16th amongst the biggest selling groups in British music history.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 a total of more than 30 million on YouTube as of June 2018.The band has received numerous accolades including one World Music Award, two Brit Awards, four MTV Awards, four Record of the Year Awards and overall with a total of 92 awards and 20 nominations (individual members' awards not included) so far. As a live act, Westlife have sold 5.5 million concert tickets worldwide from their thirteen concert tours so far. They still hold the record for the most shows played at The SSE Arena, Belfast and SSE Arena, Wembley. They sold out Croke Park Stadium in a record breaking 5 minutes. Also hailed as the biggest arena act of all-time in the United Kingdom. Their thirteenth and latest concert tour is called "The 20 Tour".