Westlife announce Mark Feehily is stepping away due to health issues

29 February 2024, 09:50

Westlife interview: Shane and Nicky discuss new album Wild Dreams

By Mayer Nissim

Mark Feehily has had several health struggles in recent years.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Westlife have announced that Mark Feehily is temporarily stepping away from the group ahead of their upcoming tour dates.

The singer wrote an open letter shared on the band's socials that explained why he needed to take some time out.

In the post, Mark spoke about being rushed to A&E days after undergoing surgery in August 2020 after he developed severe sepsis, which left him needing immediate emergency surgery to save his life.

He was hospitalised for several months over lockdown, and despite being discharged from hospital in December he has continued to suffer from medical problems.

Mark was re-hospitalised with pneumonia a year later ahead of a planned concert in Newcastle and was soon told he needed further surgery, which meant he missed several dates on Westlife's The Wild Dreams tour.

"Three months after that surgery, I tried my best to soldier on for you guys and to go back on tour but unfortunately the physical demands of the concerts and extensive travel were proving too much for me," Mark said.

He had developed an incisional hernia and now required further surgery – his fourth major operation. While that surgery was successful, Mark now needs to focus on his physical recovery.

"It is with the upmost level of regret that I must now temporarily stand down from all Westlife touring until a time that I have had the chance to fully recover from the turbulent journey I have been through as an individual," he said.

Westlife: Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan and Nicky Bryne
Westlife: Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan and Nicky Bryne. Picture: Getty Images

Mark added: "Believe me, I wish things could be different... I'm so devastated that I won't be there to celebrate the upcoming concerts with you and the 3 lads.

"I hope you know and understand that I should have been there (I was so excited to be there!) and that I look forward to seeing you all again to make some more magic in the future.

"But for now, I have to make the right decision for my health and wellbeing, for my family, and for myself as a person. Please don't worry. Sending the most positive vibes in your direction, I will see you very soon beautiful people!"