Kian Egan, Mark Feehily and Shane Filan, along with a couple of other friends, began performing as a vocal group in Sligo, Ireland, in 1997. They came to Louis Walsh’s attention, who took them to Simon Cowell in the UK, and auditions were held to find two new members – Nicky Byrne and Bryan McFadden. Westlife (originally Westside) signed a £4million deal in 1998 with BMG, and released their debut single, “Swear It Again,” in April 1999 and became the first of 16 UK #1 singles.
After four multiple platinum albums, and a greatest hits, Brian left the group, and the continued as a quartet. After a second greatest hits in 2011, the group disbanded and went on a farewell tour, ruling out reuniting. However, in October 2018, the group reunited and signed a new record deal with Virgin EMI and released a new single, “Hello My Love,” the following year. The group continue to perform, and are the fifth biggest-selling albums artist of the century in the UK.
After putting together Steps, and writing their debut single, Steve Crosby set about creating a follow-up mixed sex group in late 1997. Natalie Powers, Caroline Barnes, David Ducasse and Russ Spencer officially became Scooch in October 1998. Their debut single, “When My Baby,” was released a year later and entered the UK singles chart at #29. This was quickly followed by “More Than I Needed To Know” in January 2001, which reached #5, “The Best Is Yet To Come” in May, which reached #12, and the title track to their “Four Sure” album, “For Sure,” which reached #15. The album narrowly missed the UK albums top 40, and the group disbanded.
Scooch reunited for the BBC’s Eurovision Song Contest selection show in March 2007, with “Flying The Flag For You.” The song won 53% of the vote and the group went onto perform in the contest in Helsinki, coming in 22nd place, but reaching #5 in the UK chart. They remain friends and occasionally perform together.
In 1998, Global Talent Management put together a new boyband for their newly-formed record label. Dan Corsi, Andy Love, Michael Sharpe, Zac ‘Ziggy’ Lichman and Warren Morris released three singles as Northern Line (because they lived in Finchley) across 1999 and 2000. “Run For Your Life” entered at #18, followed by “Love On The Northern Line,” peaking at #15 in March 2000, and “All Around The World” reaching #27 in June.
Having invested around £4million in launching the group, they were dropped after their third single. Dan went onto become a DJ and model, Andy moved into songwriting, Michael became a stylist, Zac and Warren moved into club promotions.
Annie Lennox OBE is a singer, songwriter, activist and philanthropist, often called “the most successful female British artist in UK music history.” Her career began working with Dave Stewart as half of Eurythmics, launching her debut solo record in 1992 with “Diva,” containing the iconic singles “Why” and “Walking On Broken Glass.” The follow-up, a covers album entitled “Medusa” was equally successful, being nominated for a Grammy award in 1996, and giving her a UK top 2 hit.