Full Name: Various
Birth Date: Various
Birth Place: Dublin, Ireland
Boyzone are an Irish boy band. The group was most successful in Ireland, the UK, Asia, Australia and New Zealand; they also had differing levels of success in parts of Europe. The group has released six #1 UK hit singles and five #1 albums, with approximately 20 million records sold by 2009.
They made a comeback in 2007, originally with the intention of just touring but Ronan Keating confirmed in an interview that they wanted to "outdo Take That" in terms of a successful reunion.
Boyzone was put together in 1993 by Louis Walsh who is also known for managing Johnny Logan and Westlife. Before even recording any material they made a now infamous appearance on RTÉ's The Late Late Show. Their first album Said and Done was released in 1995 and the following three studio albums in 1996, 1998 and 2010. Seven compilation albums have been released so far. Co-lead singer Stephen Gately died on 10 October 2009 at the age of 33 of natural causes in Majorca, Spain.
In 1993 an advertisement appeared in many Irish newspapers calling for auditions to form a new Irish "boy band" group. The advertisements were sent out by theatrical manager Walsh who was looking to make an "Irish Take That" following on from their success. The auditions were held in The Ormond Center, in Dublin, in November 1993. More than 300 people replied to the advertisement. At the auditions the applicants were asked to sing the song "Careless Whisper" by George Michael. Each audition would be taped and watched again to judge the applicant's performance. Out of the 300, 50 were selected for a second audition. Richard Rock (son of Dickie Rock) was invited for a second audition. For the second audition the applicants where asked to sing two songs, including one of their own choice with a backing tape. Mikey Graham sang "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" by Meat Loaf. Keith Duffy sang "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred. Ronan Keating sang "Father and Son" by Cat Stevens (a cover version of which the band would later release). Stephen Gately's choice is currently unknown. Out of this 50, 10 were selected for a third audition. In the end, Ronan Keating, Stephen Gately, Keith Duffy, Rock, Shane Lynch and Mark Walton were chosen. Graham originally was rejected but would later join after the departure of Richard Rock. Ronan Keating initially faced a lot of opposition from his parents and teachers. He was planning to move to New York to study in college on a sports scholarship and pursue his dream to win an Olympic medal for athletics. In the end Ronan decided to give up his education and go along with Boyzone. Duffy's parents were against their son throwing away a solid and promising career and joining the band. Louis Walsh set about trying to get a deal with a good record company but it would take many rejection letters before the boys would be signed. In 1994 Lynch and Duffy were involved in a nearly fatal car crash; both survived without serious injuries. Walsh was reportedly furious, and drew up contracts for all the boys to sign, leading to their activities being restricted.
With some of the original lineup fading away and others being brought into the group, it took some time before Boyzone settled down into its most recognisable five-member line-up of Shane Lynch, Ronan Keating, Stephen Gately, Mikey Graham, Keith Duffy. Richard Rock, one of the original members, left citing musical differences with Ronan Keating. They played through 1993 and in the early parts of 1994 all over Northern Ireland, mainly in pubs and clubs, before Polygram signed them up in 1994 and released the cover version of the Four Seasons' hit "Working My Way Back to You", featuring Graham and Gately on lead vocals. It reached No. 3 in the Irish Charts.
The release of their cover version of the classic Osmonds' hit, "Love Me for a Reason", broke the British charts. The song hit No. 2 in the UK and was included in their 1995 hit debut album Said and Done. The album reached the No. 1 spot in Ireland and the UK.
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