Westlife star in resort gig

Westlife star Shane Filan (far left) with the rest of the band.
Westlife star Shane Filan (far left) with the rest of the band.
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Westlife star Shane Filan has announced a night at Blackpool’s Opera House, for a gig which is expected to sell-out in double quick time.

The Irish superstar, who sold 50 million records with Westlife –which remain the UK’s biggest-selling group of the 21st century – releases debut album About You in November and is playing a 13-date headline tour on the back of it.

Westlife star Shane Filan

Westlife star Shane Filan

He comes to Blackpool on March 1 next year, and is also playing Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool and the London Hammermith Apollo.

Filan, 34, said: “I’m so excited to be heading out on my first ever solo tour. The album means so much to me and I cannot wait to play these songs live in front of an audience.

“There will, of course, be some old fan favourites from memory lane and a couple of surprises in there too. I hope to see all my fans there.”

It’s unlikely Filan’s success would have happened had it not been for a pushy mother.

Filan was singing with a local band in his hometown of Sligo and his mum spent six months phoning music 
manager Louis Walsh on a daily basis.

Eventually the X-Factor judge agreed to speak to her and ended up signing Filan and forming Westlife.

The band went on to rewrite the musical history books, having 14 number one UK singles and selling records by the bucketload.

They split last year and Walsh announced Filan would launch a solo career.

His debut album has been written in conjunction with writers like Steve Mac and Wayne Hector (who penned Westlife’s Flying Without Wings), Nick Atkinson (Gabrielle Aplin’s co-writer) and Nexus (Lana Del Rey).

Filan is probably pleased to be in the headlines for his music rather than his personal life – he was declared bankrupt last year after a company he ran with his brother was placed in receivership.

Filan said: “People don’t want to hear about your problems. Everyone has problems.

“Lots of people are struggling financially at the moment and it’s not something to harp on about. What I got out of my situation is that I’m so lucky to have three healthy kids, a healthy marriage and an amazing wife. That’s what the new album is about – trying to tell people not to worry.”

Tickets priced £31.50 are on sale next Friday, September 13, at 9am. They are available from www.livenation.co.uk and www.ticketmaster.co.uk.

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