Boyzone (formed 1993)
Boyzone is an Irish boy band who rose to fame in the 1990s.
The pop music manager Louis Walsh put Boyzone together after placing an advert in a number of Irish newspapers. His aim, at the time, was to make an Irish Take That. Walsh held auditions for over 300 people in the Ormond Centre, in Dublin. Each applicant had to sing 'Careless Whisper' by George Michael. Of the 300 applicants, 50 were asked to audition again.
The original choice of lineup consisted of Richard Rock, Stephen Gately, Keith Duffy, Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch and Mark. Mikey Graham was then added to the line-up following Rock's departure. The line-up eventually settled to five members: Shane, Ronan, Stephen, Mikey and Keith.
Boyzone: Music Career
In 1994, Shane Lynch and Keith Duffy were involved in a near-fatal car crash. Although neither was seriously hurt, Louis Walsh drew up a contract that restricted the band's extra-curricular activities. That same year, the group signed to Polygram Records. They released a cover of 'Working My Way Back To You' by Four Seasons. Their cover of the track featured Stephen Gately and Mikey Graham on lead vocals.
Boyzone's breakthrough track in the UK was 'Love Me For A Reason', a cover of an Osmonds song. The track reached number two in the UK and was included on their debut album, 1995's Said and Done, which reached number one in the UK and Ireland.
In 1996, Boyzone released their second studio album, A Different Beat. The album featured a cover of 'Words' by the Bee Gees. Ronan Keating, by this time, had emerged as the group's lead singer and he won an Ivor Novello for writing 'Picture of You'.
Where We Belong was Boyzone's third studio album, released in 1998. Although the band's own songwriting skills were more prominent at this stage, the album still featured a cover of 'Baby Can I Hold You', by Tracy Chapman. Additionally, 'No Matter What', the band's best selling single at this stage, was originally written by Andrew Lloyd Webber for the musical Whistle Down The Wind. Boyzone performed the song live with Meat Loaf, as he had also recorded a version of the track.
A greatest hits collection, By Request, was released in 1999. Around this time, Ronan Keating released his first solo single - a cover of 'When You Say Nothing At All' by Alison Krauss. Stephen Gately publicly announced that he was gay at this time, as well. As the band had been together for six years and felt the need for a break from each other, they took some time off to pursue solo projects.
Ronan Keating went on to have a successful solo career. Stephen Gately pursued a stage-acting career, and released a solo album. Keith Duffy appeared in Coronation Street. Mikey Graham works as a music producer. Shane Lynch has appeared on a number of reality TV shows, as well as releasing a version of Milli Vanilli's 'Girl You Know It's True' with Keith Duffy.
Following the success of Take That's reunion, Louis Walsh met with the band in 2007 to discuss getting back together. Walsh was also managing Westlife, and Shayne Ward at this point. Boyzone performed a medley of their hits for 2007's Children in Need. This was followed with a tour of the UK and Ireland. In August 2008, they performed at an event in Blackpool to celebrate switching on the Blackpool Illuminations. Sandi Thom and Scouting For Girls also performed at the event.
On 10th October 2009, it was announced that Stephen Gately had died whilst on holiday in Majorca, with his civil partner, Andrew Cowles.