Westlife’s turbulent time in the spotlight including bankruptcy and Brian’s shock exit

Shane Filan, Markus Feehily, Kian Egan, and Nicky Byrne, and Brian McFadden have become household names in the music industry over the last two decades. And while the group have dozens of awards, 36 number-one albums worldwide, and 12 world tours under their belts, things haven’t always been smooth running for the quintet.

Westlife formed in 1998 in Ireland and remained a band of five until Brian McFadden announced his departure from group in 2004.

Shane, Mark, Kian and Nicky remain the band, however, and stayed together up until 2012. The foursome then reunited six years later without Brian in tow.

There’s been much more happening in Westlife members’ lives over the last 21 years, but fear not because OK! has created a round up to fill you in ahead of their 2022 UK tour…

Brian McFadden

Soon after leaving the band in 2004, Brian’s marriage to fellow singer and ex-Atomic Kitten band member Kerry Katona broke down. One of the reason’s Brian left the band was to spend more time with Kerry and their two daughters, Molly and Lilly.

He then attempted to pursue a solo career, and moved to Australia after he began dating Delta Goodrem.

The duo then got engaged in 2007, before going their separate ways in 2011 before making it down the aisle.

During his time in Australia, Brain made a name for himself as a judge on Australia’s Got Talent.


Brain didn’t give up on love though, and went on to marry Irish model Vogue Williams after a whirlwind with her. Their marriage sadly came to an end after finalising their divorce in 2017.

As to why he didn’t join the group’s 2018 reunion – Brian claims Westlife’s remaining four members snubbed him despite being offered millions of pounds.

"I was offered a big multi-million pound deal. It was the other boys in Westlife who said 'no'. They didn't want me back," he told the Irish Sun at the time.

"How does that make me feel? It makes me pretty upset because I didn't realise they still had those feelings towards me."

Brian is now loved up with fiancée Danielle Parkinson and they welcomed their first child together, baby Ruby, in May 2021 .

Shane Filan

Before joining Westlife, Shane studied business and accounting, and he later decided to put his education to good use and build his own property empire.

Sadly his business ground to a halt in 2012, leaving him having to declare bankruptcy after being left with debts of £18million.

He’d owned the business, named Shafin Developments, with his brother Finbarr, and had taken out loans to build a 90-house estate in Dromahair, Co Leitrim, as well as a nursing home and a supermarket.

Only half of the properties were built, however, and those that are built sold for much less than what they cost to construct.

Speaking to the Mirror at the time, Shane said: “I have worked long and hard to try to reduce my debts, and I am devastated that it came to this conclusion.”

Shane's sadlylost both his parents in recent years.His mother Mae died in 2019, with his father following just 10 months later.

Mark Feehily

Mark welcomed his first child in 2019with his fiancé Cailean O'Neill – a baby girl named Layla.

With the start of the UK tour just round the corner, Markus spoke to theMirrorabout how he’scoping with fatherhood, alongside his music career.

He said: “I am doing my best to juggle parenting with all of our new music.

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"The best thing is that Layla loves music and singing, so she will definitely be coming to a gig or two to see daddy do his thing."

Markus came out as gay in 2005, and got engaged to Cailean in February 2019.

Nicky Byrne

Before Westlife,Nickywas a professional footballer and signed to Leeds United in 1995.

He played for the team for two years until his contract was up, and later went on to audition for Westlife – causing his career to spiral in a completely different direction.

Nicky’s life has been reasonably stable over the years after marrying his wife Georgina Aherne in 2003, but tragedy struck in 2009 after his dad suddenly passed away after suffering a heart attack.

While his father passed away over a decade ago, Nicky spoke to Brian Dowling on his Death Becomes Him podcast in 2020 where he said: “I think the emotion is always there. It never goes away, life changes forever.

"It gets slightly easier to deal with it."

In the years that followed his dad’s death, Nicky took park in BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.

Kian Egan

Similar to his bandmates, Kian also dabbled in television and proved himself the King of the Jungle in 2013 after winning I’m A Celebrity.

Kian and his Hollyoaks actress wife Jodi Albert melted the hearts of the nation after their extremely emotional reunion when Kian left the jungle.

Before heading to camp, Kian lost his father in 2010 to cancer. He’d been too ill to attend Kian and Jodi’s wedding in Barbados.

Five years later, Jodi also lost her mum to cancer while pregnant with the couple’s son, Zekey.

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