On Air Now
Smooth Breakfast with Jenni Falconer 6am - 10am
26 November 2021, 12:25 | Updated: 19 January 2022, 16:54
Nicky Byrne is one of the most successful pop singers of all time thanks to his many hits with Westlife.
Nicky is an Irish singer, radio presenter, dancer, TV presenter and even a former professional footballer! He is best known for being a member of Westlife.
Before his music career, he played football, representing Republic of Ireland at several junior levels. He also played for Leeds United as a goalkeeper in the mid-1990s.
In 2012, he was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, being eliminated ninth. He also represented Ireland at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Sunlight', but failed to reach the final.
All three sang in a school production of Grease, alongside Derrick Lacey, Graham Keighron, and Michael Garrett. They later said that they consider this as the start of Westlife.
All six members formed a group called Six as One in 1997. They later changed their band name to IOYOU.
Louis Walsh, who was also the manager of Boyzone, discovered the group after he was contacted by Filan's mother Mae, but the group didn't land a BMG record deal with Simon Cowell.
Cowell told Walsh: "You are going to have to fire at least three of them. They have great voices, but they are the ugliest band I have ever seen in my life."
Three members (Lacey, Keighron and Garrett) were told to leave, and auditions were held in Dublin where Nicky and Brian McFadden were recruited.
Nicky married his teenage sweetheart Georgina Ahern in 2003, after having met when they were just 12.
Twin sons Rocco and Jay were born in 2007, and they had daughter Gia in 2013.
Nicky Byrne is the oldest Westlife member, having been born on October 9, 1978.
He celebrated his 43rd birthday in 2021.
In 2020, Nicky revealed his career could have taken a very different turn, being known for football rather than his success with Westlife.
Posting on his social media accounts, Nicky wrote: "To any Leeds fans out there, this is one of my best ever memories.
"It’s the team sheet for the squad for the Premier League game versus Southampton at The Dell in 1995.
(1)— Nicky Byrne (@NickyByrne) April 27, 2020
Leeds Utd fans out there, this is one great memory.
Here is the Teamsheet for the Premier league game V Southampton at The Dell 1995. I was named in squad & travelled. I was 16, just two months out of school😳
I took this off the wall in Elland Rd 😂🤷🏼♂️👉🏻 pic.twitter.com/DLTJSbneTt
"I was named in this Premiership Squad and travelled. I was 16 and a half, barley two months out of school, I took this off the corridor wall in Elland road and stuffed it into my bag.
"Look at those names!! Ps - Big thanks to my mam for Finding all this stuff!!
"Sadly I never did get to keep that jersey at the end of the season, I think the number on the back was BYRNE 36 so if anyone has it in their attic you know where I am!!!"