Belfast Telegraph

Westlife play their last gig in Belfast

There were a few tears flowing at the Odyssey Arena when Westlife took to the stage for very last time in Belfast last night

Twelve years, ten albums and 44million sales into their career, Westlife came to a crossroads earlier this year.

The group's original line-up was Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, and Nicky Byrne. Brian McFadden was part of the group until 2004. Westlife have sold over 45 million records worldwide which includes studio albums, singles, video release, and compilation albums. Despite the group's worldwide success, they only have one hit single in the United States, "Swear It Again", which peaked in 2000 on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 20.

The band were originally signed by Simon Cowell and are managed by Louis Walsh. The group have accumulated 14 number-one singles in the United Kingdom, the third-highest in UK history, tying with Cliff Richard. The group had also broken a few records, including "Music artist with most consecutive number 1's in the UK", which consists of their first seven singles and only behind The Beatles and Elvis Presley. The band have 14 UK number ones and 25 top ten singles, consisting of 20.2 million records and videos in the UK across their 14-year career - 6.8 million singles, 11.9 million albums and 1.5 million videos.

On 1 June 2008, Westlife marked their tenth anniversary with a concert in Croke Park, Dublin which had more than 83,000 fans attending the special occasion. Music Week revealed on their website that Westlife are the official third top touring act within the years 2005–2008, while they were seventh top touring act of 2008.

Also in 2008, they were declared Ireland's ninth-richest celebrities under 30 years old and thirteenth in general with 36 million euros as a group. In 2009, they dropped as sixteenth richest Irish with estimated 8 million euros each. They were named as the fourth most hard-working music artist in UK by PRS in 2010.[5] In August 2011, it was reported in the Irish Examiner that the profits of the band's firm grew five-fold in 2010.

On 19 October 2011, Westlife announced they were to split after their Greatest Hits was released on 21 November 2011 it debuted in Ireland at number1 for 1 week and debuted and peaked at number 4 in the UK and a farewell tour in Spring 2012.

The band recently won the coveted poll of MTV.com Battle of the Boybands. After five rounds and competing with 32 boybands, Westlife won over 74% at the final round.

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