Belfast Telegraph

Westlife release first single in eight years and insist reunion is 'not about the money'

Shane Filan high fives a fan as he walks with band member, Kian Egan and Markus Feehily of Westlife at the SSE Arena, Belfast, ahead of the press conference for tickets going on sale for their reunion tour
Shane Filan high fives a fan as he walks with band member, Kian Egan and Markus Feehily of Westlife at the SSE Arena, Belfast, ahead of the press conference for tickets going on sale for their reunion tour
The boys greet their fans

Westlife have insisted their comeback is about the fans, not the money, after releasing their first new music in eight years.

The Irish group – comprised of Kian Egan, Nicky Byrne, Mark Feehily and Shane Filan - spoke to the MailOnline about their new single, ex-band mate Brian McFadden and the highly anticipated reunion tour.

Despite filing for bankruptcy in 2012 after the collapse of his property business, Shane insisted that the band's reunion was about the fans - not the money.

"It was never about money, there's no amount of money because it's about being a band and bringing a great tour for our fans," he said.

In October, the band revealed they have a soft spot for Belfast fans who have always been "a little bit more spectacular", and they predict that scheduled gigs in the SSE Arena arena in May will be "louder than a 20,000-seater arena anywhere else."

On Thursday, fans finally got a taste of what's to come on the long-awaited tour when the Irish foursome released their first single in eight years.

Hello My Love was penned by hitmaker Ed Sheeran and produced by long-time Westlife collaborator Steve Mac.

"It's very exciting. The big reveal. People are saying genuinely it's really fresh," Shane said of the song's release.

“Steve Mac was writing with Ed Sheeran who turned around to him one day in a songwriting session and said, ‘I'd love to write a Westlife style song’, and they went off and wrote a Westlife style song,” Kian previously teased at the reunion announcement.

Speaking about former band mate Brian McFadden, who left Westlife in 2004, Kian said that although he didn't join them for the reunion, "there's no feud with him, full stop".

"It's a very simple case of Brian was a part of the band for the first five years and the band existed for eight years without him and when we got back together Westlife was a four," said Kian.

"He's part of a band that doesn't exist. There's no negativity, no bad blood. There's only positivity and it's a case that the Westlife we're members of, is a four. That's it."

Shane also revealed that his daughter Nicole saw Brian on one of the band's old album covers and didn't know who he was.

"Our kids, might have seen a picture on a disc and my daughter saw him and was like, 'Who's that guy?' Because she never knew him. It was 15 years ago. My daughter wasn't born and she's 13 now," he said.

"We wonder when we'll stop being asked about it because it was 15 years ago. There was never a question of Brian being involved," said Mark.

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McFadden (left) in his Westlife days (Myung Jung Kim/PA)

The first TV performance of the band's latest single will air tomorrow night on the Graham Norton show.

The Twenty Tour will be the first time the band has performed together in seven years. It is due to start at the SSE Arena in Belfast next May, where they will play a whopping 5 nights.

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