Boyzone Biography

Boyzone were formed in November 1993 following an audition in Dublin. The six boys originally selected were Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch, Stephen Gately, Keith Duffy, Mark Walton and Richie Rock. The day after forming they performed a hastily arranged dance routine to Burn Baby Burn on the Irish Late Late Show presented by Gaye Byrne. The performance was not well received and they were virtually written off by many critics. Within six months Mark Walton left after being unable to cope with the pressure and Richie Rock was sacked after skipping rehearsals and some early gigs. Michael Graham was bought in to replace them and the lineup was then complete.

In the summer of 1994 their first single Working My Way Back To You was released only in Ireland and reached number three in the charts. The song later became something of an embarrassment to Boyzone - it was soon deleted and has never been included on an album.

Their first UK single Love Me For A Reason was released in December 1994. Boyzone performed on the Smash Hits Roadshow and won Best New Tour Act at the Smash Hits Poll Winner Party. Love Me For A Reason entered the charts at number 10 and then climbed to be number two at Christmas, only being kept off the number one position by East 17s Stay Another Day.

Boyzone's first release of 1995 was the band-written Key To My Life which reached number three, followed by So Good which also reached number three. In the summer of 1995 Mikey Graham fell off a horse and hurt his neck and spine and Shane Lynch broke his ankle in a freak accident jumping over a stream to retrieve a basketball. The accident meant that Boyzone's first UK tour had to be drastically altered and although Shane missed several appearances he was able to attend Boyzone's launch party for their first album Said And Done which was held at Chessington World Of Adventures. The album went straight in at number one in the UK and Ireland. They ended the year with the release of Father And Son - the song that Ronan had sung at the auditions for the band. One of their biggest selling singles to date, it reached number two in the UK charts. They ended the year by winning Best New Act at the Smash Hits Poll Winner Party.

Boyzone began 1996 with an unexpected nomination in the Best International Newcomer Category at the Brit Awards. The first single of 1996 was Coming Home Now which reached number four - their lowest chart position to date. For a large part of the summer Boyzone toured the UK, first in concert hall venues and then the large arenas. Early in 1996 it was revealed that both Mikey and Keith's girlfriends were p regnant. Mikey's daughter Hannah and Keith's son Jordan were born shortly before the start of Boyzone's UK tour and (false) rumours flew that the band would split. However, Boyzone soon proved the critics wrong. Words was released in October 1996 and gave Boyzone their first UK number one, followed only 8 weeks later by the Boyzone anthem A Different Beat which also reached number one. The album, also called A Different Beat, was released in November 1996 and gave Boyzone another number one. They ended the year by winning 6 awards at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party.

1997 was a relatively quiet year for Boyzone. In March Isn't It A Wonder was released. In July Picture Of You, from the soundtrack was released and reached number two in the charts. Ronan Keating later won an Ivor Novello Award for the song. In December, Baby Can I Hold You became their third single that year to reach number two.

In February 1998 Ronan Keating's world fell apart when his mother Marie died of breast cancer, to be followed two weeks later by his grandmother and in April by his 16-year-old cousin. In March Shane Lynch married Esther from the group Eternal, after refusing to admit they had been seeing each other. All That I Need hit number one in April, and was shortly followed by Ronan marrying his girlfriend Yvonne on the Caribbean Island of Nevis. At the launch party for their third album Where We Belong in May Mikey Graham announced his engagement to his girlfriend Sharon, although sadly they later split up. Mikey now has a new girlfriend - dancer from their tour Karen Corradi. Where We Belong went straight to number one in the UK album charts and later went to number one again when it was re-released containing the tracks No Matter What and I Love The Way You Love Me. In June Keith Duffy married his long-term girlfriend Lisa Smith, mother of his son Jordan in Las Vegas. In August No Matter What was released following a performance at Andrew Lloyd Webber's fiftieth birthday party. It stayed at number one for three weeks and became Boyzone's biggest selling single to date. The final single of the year was I Love The Way You Love Me, which reached number two and narrowly missed out on the number one position behind Cher. Boyzone finished the year by winning Record Of The Year for No Matter What and again winning six awards at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party.

In February When The Going Gets Tough was released in support of Comic Relief. It stayed at number one for two weeks and became the biggest selling Comic Relief single ever. In March Ronan and Yvonne celebrated the safe arrival of their son Jack. In May they gained their sixth number one single with You Needed Me, and celebrated during their sell- out UK tour. The Boyzone interview CD, By Request CD, book and video were all released on the 31st May and tickets for their December tour also went on sale during the May tour so May was an expensive month for Boyzone fans! On June 15th Stephen Gately bravely made the announcement that he was gay and in love with boyfriend Eloy De Jong, from the now disbanded boy band Caught In The Act. A few disloyal fans did abandon the band but the support from true fans was overwhelming, and when Steve appeared at Party In The Park he received the biggest cheer of the day. Ronan Keating's first solo single When You Say Nothing At All was released in July and remained at number one for 2 weeks. Steve plans to release his first solo record Bright Eyes, a December 1999 tour is already almost sold out, Boyzone's concert at the RDS in Dublin will be released on video at Christmas and the Boyzone film is currently being filmed

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