Westlife are an Irish pop vocal group, which formed in 1998 in Sligo, disbanded in 2012 and reunited in 2018. They were originally signed by Simon Cowell in the UK, Clive Davis in the US and managed by Louis Walsh and Sonny Takhar. The group currently consists of Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, and Nicky Byrne.
The group rose to fame with their debut international self-titled studio album, Westlife (1999). It was followed by Coast to Coast (2000), World of Our Own (2001), Unbreakable – The Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (2002), and Turnaround (2003), which continued the group's success worldwide. Before the start of their Turnaround Tour in 2004, one of the original members, Brian McFadden, departed from the band. The four remaining members continued as a group to release their cover albums Allow Us to Be Frank (2004) and The Love Album (2006) and the studio albums Face to Face (2005) and Back Home (2007). After an almost one-year hiatus of studio recording in 2008, they regrouped and released the studio albums Where We Are (2009), and Gravity (2010), and the compilation album Greatest Hits (2011). After eight years, the quartet group will release their eleventh studio album, Spectrum, in 2019. Its first single "Hello My Love" was released on 10 January 2019, its second single "Better Man" on 29 March 2019, the third single "Dynamite" on 5 July 2019, and the fourth single "My Blood" on 18 October 2019.
The band have sold over 45 million studio albums and 55 million records overall worldwide. 33 albums peaked at number-one globally from 1999 to 2011. They have the most consecutive number-one studio albums in a decade or for ten years of all time in Ireland, and in the UK for a band since The Beatles and for a pop band and act since ABBA. They are the biggest selling album group of the 2000s decade in the UK as well. The band has received over a billion views on their official YouTube channel alone with more than 2.3 million page subscribers as well, were streamed more than 300 million times, and more than 550 million streams on Spotify as of 2018 and more than a million followers on the said streaming media platform as of May 2019. More than one million followers are also recorded in the largest music streaming site in China, QQ Music, for the band. They generated hit singles including "Swear It Again", "If I Let You Go", "Flying Without Wings", "I Have a Dream", "Seasons in the Sun", "Fool Again", "My Love", "What Makes a Man", "Uptown Girl", "Unbreakable", "When You're Looking Like That", "Queen of My Heart", "Mandy", "Tonight", "Hey Whatever", "You Raise Me Up", "Bop Bop Baby", "The Rose", and "World of Our Own". 19 out of 29 singles as lead artist and as featured artist only released in the United Kingdom have certifications from 1999 to 2019, 17 out of 29 singles in the top 2 from 1999 to 2009 in the UK Singles Chart, and 24 out of 29 peaked inside the top 2 from at least one of all of the Official Singles Charts in the United Kingdom. They have the most certifications for a boy band in the UK Singles Chart after Take That. Also, they have the most singles certifications for a pop band and a male band in the UK number one singles artists chart since The Beatles.
They are holders of the following Guinness World Records: first to achieve seven consecutive number-one singles in the UK, most public appearances in 36 hours by a pop group, most singles to debut at number one on the UK chart and top selling album group in the United Kingdom in the 21st century.
According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), Westlife has been certified for 12 million albums and 8.4 million singles in the UK. They are also currently ranked twenty-fourth with the most number-one albums of all time. The group have accumulated 14 number-one singles as a lead artist alone in the United Kingdom. 16 top two, 19 top three, 22 top five, 25 top ten, 26 top twenty, 27 top thirty, 28 top forty, and 29 top seventy-five hit songs, as well as having 7 number one and a total of 11 top four albums, making them as Ireland's most prolific chart-toppers, and one of the biggest Irish pop success. In 2012, the Official Charts Company listed Westlife 34th amongst the biggest-selling singles artists, 16th amongst the biggest selling groups, and 14th with most top ten hits all the highest for a boy band and a pop group in British music history.
It makes Westlife as one of the most successful musical groups of all time, among the highest profile acts in 2000s popular culture in most of the territories worldwide, and one of the few boy bands to have continued success long after their peak. On the best-selling boy bands of all time list, they are eighth currently worldwide, the biggest selling boy band from Ireland in history globally, and the largest selling boy band not from the United Kingdom, and the United States since Bay City Rollers from the 1970s and the highest and the only one on the list that haven't had a major break in the United States.
Westlife have not managed to break into the US market so far, achieving only one hit single in 2000, "Swear It Again". Despite this, the United States ranked in the top five for the number of views of the band with an annual total of more than 30 million on their official YouTube channel alone with multiple videos uploaded as of June 2018.
The band has received numerous accolades including one World Music Award, two Brit Awards, four MTV Awards, four Record of the Year Awards and overall with a total of 97 awards and 20 nominations (individual members' awards not included) so far. As a live act, Westlife have sold 5.5 million concert tickets worldwide from their thirteen concert tours so far. They still hold the record for the most shows played at The SSE Arena, Belfast and SSE Arena, Wembley. They sold out Croke Park Stadium in a record breaking 5 minutes. Also hailed as the biggest arena act of all-time in the United Kingdom. Their thirteenth, latest, and fastest selling concert tour to-date is called "The Twenty Tour".