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Westlife picture It all began with IOU, the band which comprised Shane, Mark and Kian. Boyzone's manager, Louis Walsh, was overwhelmed by their performances on the local TV channels and was keen on getting in touch with them but didn't know how.

Coincidentally Shane's mum was looking for a manager for the band and phoned him. Louis Walsh then asked them to perform in the first part of the Backstreet Boys show in Dublin. Ronan Keating happened to be there. He was immediately impressed by their talents so he decided to become the co-manager.

Kian, Shane and Mark wanted to find other voices for the band so an audition was held on July '98. That was how Bryan and Nicky got involved in the band. From that moment on they had loads of offers. Ronan asked them to sign with RCA and to change the name of the band because he thought IOU wasn't a good name at all! They chose Westside but they had to further amend it because there was already another US band called Westside, so they eventually chose the name Westlife!

November '98 saw them performing for the first part of the Boyzone's tour (13 dates) and they soon won the Smash hits Best New Act award which Spice Girls and Boyzone had won previously. On April '98 they released their first single "Swear It Again" which went straight to number 1 in the UK singles chart. They continued to rewrite the record books by being the first band ever to have their first seven singles all go to the No.1 spots on the UK charts. These singles were "Sweat It Again","If I Let You Go", "Flying Without Wings", "I Had A Dream / Seasons In The Sun', 'Fool Again', 'Against All Odds' and 'My Love'. Their next single was 'What Makes A Man' which went to No.2 in the UK charts. Their most recent single is called 'Uptown Girl' (a cover of the Billy Joel hit) and gave Westlife their eighth No.1! Westlife won 'Best Pop Act' at the 2000 Brit Awards.

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