As a lead singer of Westlife, one of the most successful pop acts of all time, Shane Filan was on top of the world. Together with the band, he achieved an incredible 14 No.1 singles (a record beaten only by the Beatles) sold 44 million records and was adored by fans the world over.
Everything he touched turned to gold, or so it seemed. Like many others, he had piled his fortunes into the Irish property boom and when the bubble burst, Shane struggled with mounting debt. Just ten days after Westlife’s final farewell concert, in front of a sold-out crowd of 80,000 fans, Shane was declared bankrupt with debts of £18 million – losing everything.
But this wasn’t the end for Shane Filan – a devoted singer and family man, Shane circled back to his roots and a year later he launched his solo career. In My Side of Life Shane shares his story for the first time – his early years growing up as part of a large Irish family in Co. Sligo, the phenomenal success of Westlife and the ups and downs of their time together, the breakup of the band, his financial devastation, and finally going it alone as a solo artist.
This is Shane’s side of the story.
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About the Author
SHANE FILAN was born and grew up in Co. Sligo, Ireland, the youngest of seven children. His big break came in 1998 when he formed the band Westlife with Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, Nicky Byrne and Brian McFadden. Managed by Louis Walsh and signed by Simon Cowell, Westlife sold over 44 million records worldwide, and accumulated 14 No.1 singles. In 2012, the band went their separate ways and in 2013 Shane launched his solo career to critical acclaim.
He lives in Surrey with his wife Gillian and their three children, Nicole, Patrick and Shane.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Snookered in the Red ix
1 Living Over the Café 1
2 The Boys in the Band 21
3 Louis, Louis 36
4 'Everybody's Looking for That Something…' 53
5 'Shane, I Love You!' 68
6 No Sleep Till Dublin 90
7 'Mum, This Is the Pope…' 105
8 The Strife of Brian 121
9 It's a Rat Pack - and We've Been Caught! 140
10 We're Going Out and We May Be Some Time 171
11 I Don't Like This Holiday 192
12 Things Fall Apart 209
13 Losing the Meaning of 'Life 226
14 'I'm Sorry, Shane, They Said No' 240
15 A City of Twinkling Lights 265
16 My Life After 'Life 282
17 Did All That Really Happen? 299