Nurtured by fellow star Ronan Keating, Shane, Nicky, Mark and Kian make up the Irish boy band with the squeakiest of clean images and the mightiest string of number ones. In 2011, after 14 years, 26 top ten hits (including 14 number one singles), 11 top five albums - 7 of which hit the top spot and collectively sold over 44 million copies around the world - 10 sell out tours and countless memories, the boys announced that they would be separating following their 2012 farewell tour. However, in 2018 the foursome announced they were reuniting with new music and a tour planned.
As of 2018 Westlife had sold over 55 million records worldwide, and are the only band to have their first 7 singles enter the UK chart at No.1. They also have the most singles of any artist to debut at No.1 in the UK. Overall the band have had an incredible 14 No.1 singles, behind only Elvis Presley and The Beatles. They have had 33 No.1 albums worldwide.
As a live act Westlife have sold 5 million concert tickets worldwide. They still hold the record for the most shows played at The SSE Arena, Wembley - 28. They sold out Croke Park Stadium in a record breaking 5 minutes. They also hold the record for the most shows played at The SSE Arena, Belfast by any band - 50.
When James Morrison broke onto the scene as a soulful singer-songwriter in 2006 even he couldn’t have predicted that he would become the template that allowed a wave of likeminded musicians to enter the field. Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, George Ezra and James Bay followed the same format; one guy with a great, soulful voice and a guitar whilst all citing him as an influence.
Despite his self-deprecation and humble nature, he really was the first to take that format and not only make it work but also became an overnight success story. Pop gems like ‘You Give Me Something’ from his first record ‘Undiscovered’, made him anything but and he won the 2007 BRIT Award for Best Male when he was still just 21 years old. He was also told by the veteran soul producer Jerry Wexler that his raspy, gravelly voice, the product of a childhood illness, had its "own thumbprint" and was so distinctive that “once heard, never forgotten”.
As of early 2019 James had sold 4.5 million copies of his three albums, performed four world tours including sold-out shows to thousands at London’s Hyde Park, supporting both Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder and appeared on Herbie Hancock’s Grammy-winning album ‘The Imagination Project’.
But in spite of his phenomenal success, the singer-songwriter from Rugby, Warwickshire has never really been able to appreciate how well he’s done. The songs on the new album (due to be released later this year) create a subtle balance between revealing Morrison’s pain and difficulties in his personal life and that soundtrack to those lazy Sunday mornings that, despite the tendency towards dark subject matter, will make you dance, smile and reflect.
One of the biggest girl bands of the 1990s, All Saints - Natalie and Nicole Appleton, Melanie Blatt and Shaznay Lewis- became one of the most symbolic British pop groups of the 1990s with 12 million record sales, five number one singles, two multi-platinum albums and two Brit awards.
Their debut album, ‘All Saints’ went 5x platinum and produced 3 number-one singles, including the double BRIT award-winning ‘Never Ever’ that ended up selling over 1.2 million copies. The album also spawned the No 1 singles ‘Under the Bridge / Lady Marmalade’ & ‘Bootie Call’.
Their second album, ‘Saints & Sinners ‘ (2000), also yielded two number 1’s, the Ivor Novello award winning ‘Pure Shores’, written by Shaznay Lewis and William Orbit (who also produced the song), for the soundtrack of the film The Beach (starring Leonardo DiCaprio) and ‘Black Coffee’.
In 2006 they reformed for a short time, scoring a No 3 hit with 'Rock Steady', then after a 10-year hiatus, the girls returned in 2016 with new material.