Mary Byrne (singer)

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Mary Byrne
Birth name Mary Byrne
Born (1959-11-03) 3 November 1959 (age 55)
Ballyfermot, Dublin, Ireland
Genres Pop, rock
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2010–present
Labels Sony Music (2010-11)
Universal Music (2011-12)
Decca Records (2011—)
Associated acts The X Factor finalists 2010, Phil Coulter

Mary Byrne (born 3 November 1959) is an Irish singer-songwriter from Ballyfermot, Dublin.[1] She rose to fame in 2010 after becoming a finalist on the seventh series of The X Factor in 2010. Following her elimination in the live semi-final, she signed a record deal with Sony Music Ireland.[2] Byrne and her fellow The X Factor finalists gained a number-one single on the UK Singles Chart and the Irish Singles Chart with a cover of David Bowie's "'Heroes'" in aid of Help for Heroes.[3]

Byrne's debut single "I Just Call You Mine" was released on 4 March 2011. Mine & Yours, Byrne's debut album was released 28 March 2011 in the UK. The album was produced by hit-maker Nigel Wright. In June 2011, Byrne was asked to perform at a special gala performance in Dublin to mark Queen Elizabeth II's visit to the Republic of Ireland.[4] She was also Neil Diamond's special guest at the Aviva Stadium, where she performed in front of 55,000 people.[5] August 2011 saw Byrne appear in GREASE: The Musical at the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin.[6] She began work on an autobiography, This Is My Life, and was released on 21 October 2011 in the UK and Ireland.[7] Mary decided to leave Sony Music as she accepted a new record deal offer with Decca Music and Universal Music, who are confident they can 'get her music career up and off the ground'. She has produced her second album, called ...with Love.[8] In 2012, Byrne appeared on Celebrity Bainisteoir.[9]

Early and personal life[edit]

Byrne lives in Ballyfermot, Dublin with her 23-year-old daughter Debbie, whom she raised alone with help from her parents.[10] She suffers from arthritis in her knees which proved difficult for Mary during the initial stages of the X Factor, but has led to comical improvisations during her tour with Grease.[11] Before The X Factor, she worked for supermarket chain Tesco, leading to her referral as "Tesco Mary".[citation needed] She quit singing at 28 because of low self-esteem after a failed relationship. After her appearance on The X Factor she admitted on RTÉ's The Late Late Show that she had suffered from clinical depression for a number of years.[12][13][14][15] However, she later returned to perform pub gigs in 2005 to give her musical career a try[16] where she also performed with her brother, Tommy, under the name The Tommy Lee Experience.[17] In 2008 she won the Irish television singing contest Nollaig No. 1 using the name Mary Lee and released the single "Siúil Leat".[1][18]

Music career[edit]

2010: The X Factor[edit]

Byrne entered reality television show The X Factor in 2010. In her audition, she said that she wanted to be a singer all her life but had very low self-esteem holding her back but 'got the confidence to go out and do it in the last 5 or 6 years'. She impressed the judges with her performance of "I (Who Have Nothing)" and was put through to the next round. At the judges' houses she performed "Fix You", and was put through to the live finals, even though she forgot a few words to the song.[19] Her employer, Tesco Ireland, started a campaign to persuade all staff to support her.[20] On the first live show, Byrne gained the most public votes by singing "It's a Man's Man's Man's World".[21] The audience gave Byrne a standing ovation after the performance and the longest round-of-applause of the series.[22] Mary was in the 'Final Showdown' twice. The first time she was in the Bottom 3 with fellow contestants Wagner, and Katie Waissel. As Waissel received the fewest votes she was automatically eliminated leaving Mary to battle against Wagner in the Final Showdown. The following week she was in the bottom two with Cher Lloyd. This was when Mary was eliminated from the show by the judges. This later became controversial, as the show stated that the contestant with the fewer public votes would be eliminated, but it turned out that Byrne in fact received more votes than Cher.[23] Mary performed a total of 15 different songs, on 13 occasions in front of the judges:

Mary Byrne's performances on the seventh series of The X Factor UK
When Performed Song Result
Audition "I Who Have Nothing" Through to Bootcamp
Judges Houses "Fix You" Through to live shows
Week 1 "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" Safe
Week 2 "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" Safe
Week 3 "I Who Have Nothing" Safe
Week 4 "Could It Be Magic" Safe
Week 5 "There You'll Be" Safe
Week 6 "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" Safe
Week 7 "Something" Safe
Week 8 "All I Want Is You" & "Brass in Pocket" Bottom three
Final Showdown (Week 8) "This Is My Life" Saved by judges' vote
Week 9 "Never Can Say Goodbye" & "The Way We Were" Bottom two
Final Showdown (Semi-final) "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" Eliminated by judges' vote

2011: Mine & Yours[edit]

Main article: Mine & Yours

After the elimination from The X Factor, Byrne signed a record deal with Sony Music Ireland and began work on her debut album.[2] The album, Mine & Yours, was released in the UK on 28 March 2011, and 25 March in Ireland.[24] Byrne released her debut single, a cover of Martina McBride's "I Just Call You Mine", due to phenomenal demand when the track was debuted from her album Mine & Yours on Irish radio. The fan reaction was so positive that Sony Music Ireland were 'inundated' with requests to make the song available to the public and 'eager fans' prior to the album's release.[25] After little to no promotion, the song peaked at number 12 on the Irish Singles Chart.[26] Byrne revealed her album would be sold on QVC like Susan Boyle did to help sell a few more copies.[27] In an interview with Digital Spy Byrne stated;

The album was produced by hit-maker, Nigel Wright[29] and contains tracks which Mary performed on The X Factor. However, the songs on the album are not her performances from the show.[29] Byrne was on the 2011 The X Factor Live Tour, and Sony Music began planning Byrne's first solo concert tour before she decided to move onto Universal music.[30] Mine & Yours debuted at number-one on the Irish Album Charts on 31 March 2011.[31]

2011: ...with Love[edit]

Main article: ...with Love

On 13 September 2011, it was announced that Mary Byrne had asked to end her record deal with Sony, and asked to switch to Universal.[32] It was later announced that she had started working on a second album, produced by Phil Coulter, to be released in Ireland by Universal Music Ireland, and in the UK by Decca UK.[33][34] On 2 November, Mary Byrne stated on her Facebook page that her latest album, which is called ...with Love, would be released in Ireland on 25 November. Her management team later announced that the album would be released the following year in March for the UK. She appeared on The Late Late Show the day of Ireland release, and talked to Ryan Tubridy after performing a song on the album called "Thank God That This Was My Life", written for her by Phil Coulter.

2012: "An Evening With Mary Byrne & Phil Coulter"[edit]

Mary began a concert featuring her latest songs from the album with Phil Coulter at the INEC, Killarney and in the Royal Theatre, Castlebar in April 2012. Initially, one night was planned for the acts to perform in the Olympia Theatre, Dublin on 8 May 2012. However, the public demand for tickets was so overwhelming, 5 extra nights were added, eventually resulting in a total of a 6 night residency leading up to 13 May 2012.[35][36] Both Mary Byrne and Phil Coulter performed individually throughout the shows, but they also sang numerous duets. The shows were met with a number of standing ovations from the audience and an encore on each of the six nights. Despite the fact the concert was initially intended to showcase songs from "...with Love", Mary sang several songs from her début album "Mine and Yours" and other songs which did not appear on either album.

Autobiography[edit]

MaryByrneThisIsMyLife.jpg

In November, 2011, Byrne released an autobiography co-written by Eddie Rowley entitled "This Is My Life", based upon the Shirley Bassey hit of the same name. The book was released by O'Brien press in Ireland and was on the best seller list for four weeks. During the same time, the book was also released in the United Kingdom. "This Is My Life" was received by good reviews, not only catering to fans of The X Factor but regaling stories of a Dublin youth and an exhilarating list of experiences, appealing to a wider audience.[37] Amongst the stories which Byrne narrates throughout the book, she writes of a year which she spent on kibbutz Geva in Israel, travelling Europe whilst working for a Dublin factory, moving homes and even winning a car. The book contains several accounts of failed relationships, and Byrne admits to having a two year lesbian relationship with a colleague.[38] A darker side to the book looks at the deaths of Byrne's parents, and in particular, the heartache which Byrne experienced after the death of her mother, who suffered from suspected Alzheimer's Disease A first hand account is given of life on The X Factor both on stage and backstage through the eyes of a contestant, describing the difficulties which Mary experienced, her true opinions of other contestants and her stance on the judges.[39] The book achieves in combining fifty years of a 'salt of the earth' existence with a new-found life of fame, both sides experienced by the same person.

2013–14: Magic of the Musicals[edit]

Mary recently revealed in an interview she met Don Mescall at a charity event, and said he enjoyed her performance so much that he asked to co-write a song with her. They eventually persuaded the record label to give permission for Mary to create a country and western album with Don.[40] Mary revealed in a more recent interview that she was going to go to Nashville to start work on the album in January, but revealed she has been too busy making preparations for a tour around Ireland. However, she revealed she is still in talks about the album, and will be travelling later in the year to Nashville to record, and that she would also hopefully feature a few duets on the album.[41]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
IRL
[26]
UK
[42]
Mine & Yours 1 6
...with Love 10 28
Magic of the Musicals 10
"—" denotes an album that did not chart or was not released.

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
IRL
[26]
2011 "I Just Call You Mine" 12 Mine & Yours

As featured artist[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions
UK
[42]
IRE
[26]
2010 "Heroes"
(as part of The X Factor finalists)
1 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Cara Lee (30 Aug 2010). "Simon is really attractive, who wouldn't want to be his girlfriend". The Sun (London). 
  2. ^ a b "'X Factor' Mary signs record deal". Irish Times. 8 December 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2011.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  3. ^ "Newsbeat - X Factor: Finalists cover David Bowie for charity". BBC. 15 October 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Holmwood, Leigh. "Queen Elizabeth tells former X Factor contestant Mary Byrne she never misses an episode – The Sun –Showbiz–TV–X Factor". The Sun (London). 
  5. ^ "X Factor star Mary Byrne confirmed as support act for Neil Diamond at The Aviva Stadium!". Music Scene. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  6. ^ Music Interviews, Pop & Rock Gossip, Videos, Irish Single & Album Charts, with Eddie Rowley
  7. ^ This Is My Life: Amazon.co.uk: Mary Byrne: Books
  8. ^ "Music Review | Ed Case - Ed's Guest List". entertainment.ie. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  9. ^ "Rozanna Purcell takes charge of Tipp team for Celebrity Bainisteoir". Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). 24 July 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012. Rozanna joins model Pippa O'Connor who will coach Naomh Brid from Ballintra, Co. Donegal while her husband, presenter Brian Ormand, will manage St. Mary's from Rochfortbridge in Co. Westmeath. X Factor star Mary Byrne is coaching a team from Tullow, Co Carlow and reality TV stars Calum Best and Paddy Doherty are also set to join the programme. 
  10. ^ Niamh Walsh (7 November 2010). "X Factor 2010: Mary Byrne's daughter Debbie speaks out about her father | Mail Online". London: Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  11. ^ "Arthritis pain stops Mary Byrne dancing on The X Factor". Unreality TV. 24 October 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  12. ^ Lisa Sewards (25 March 2011). "X Factor Tour: Why Tesco Mary Byrne's over her heartache | Mail Online". London: Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  13. ^ "Byrne reveals lesbian relationship". RTÉ Ten (Raidió Teilifís Éireann). 31 March 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  14. ^ Jefferies, Mark (30 March 2011). "X Factor star Mary Byrne admits she once had a lesbian fling". Mirror. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  15. ^ Darvill, Josh (30 March 2011). "Good morning! Here is a story about Mary Byrne's lesbian fling to start your day". Telly Mix. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  16. ^ Jenny Friel (5 September 2010). "Mary Byrne: I don't mind being likened to SuBo but please call me MaBy | Mail Online". London: Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  17. ^ McBride, Caitlin; Feehan, Conor (28 August 2010). "'We always knew Mary would be X Factor success'". Evening Herald. 
  18. ^ "Mary Lee, TG4’s Nollaig No.1 winner, releases her Christmas single Siúil Leat". TG4. 
  19. ^ Connolly, Lucy (9 October 2010). "X Fagtor". The Sun (London: News Group Newspapers). Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  20. ^ Ken Sweeney (5 October 2010). "Tesco text factor mobilises for Mary". Irish Independent. 
  21. ^ "Revealed: The X Factor 2010 voting percentages and detailed results - X Factor 2011 | The X Factor 2011 by TellyMix". Xfactor.tellymix.co.uk. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  22. ^ Simon Cable (11 October 2010). "X Factor 2010: Cher Lloyd and Mary Byrne have a battle of the divas | Mail Online". London: Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  23. ^ Sara Nathan (15 December 2010). "X Factor 2010: Mary Byrne had higher vote share than Cher Lloyd at semi-finals | Mail Online". London: Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  24. ^ "Louis Walsh backing Mary Byrne's career". The List. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  25. ^ "Sony Music Ireland Latest News". Sonymusic.ie. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  26. ^ a b c d Peak positions in Ireland
  27. ^ "X Factor: Mary Byrne to sell 'Mine & Yours' on QVC". Unreality TV. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  28. ^ Thursday, 17 February 2011, 09:58 GMT (17 February 2011). "Music - News - Mary Byrne announces debut LP details". Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  29. ^ a b "Mine & Yours The Debut Album From Mary Byrne". Outside Organisation (London: Outside Organisation). 18 February 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  30. ^ "X Factor: Mary Byrne is planning her own tour". Unreality TV. 18 March 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  31. ^ >> IRMA << Irish Charts - Singles, Albums & Compilations >>
  32. ^ X Factor's Mary Byrne moves from Simon Cowell's Sony Music to Cheryl Cole's Universal label | Unreality TV
  33. ^ Showbiz, Entertainment, Gossip & News: Irish and International Celebrities
  34. ^ Wild ride for Celtic Thunder’s ‘Storm’ and composer Phil Coulter - VIDEO | Off The Record | IrishCentral
  35. ^ [1][dead link]
  36. ^ "Extra concert dates added for Mary Byrne & Phil Coulter live at The Olympia Theatre in Dublin May 2012! | Music Scene". Musicscene.ie. 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  37. ^ "Review: Autobiography: This Is My Life - The Oficial Autobigraphy by Mary Byrne". Irish Independent. 12 November 2011. 
  38. ^ Byrne, Mary, "This Is My Life", (Dublin, 2011), 62.
  39. ^ Byrne, Mary, "This Is My Life", (Dublin, 2011), 172.
  40. ^ "Interview with Mary Byrne". YouTube. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  41. ^ "Mary Byrne - Sunday World Irish Country Awards 2013". YouTube. 2013-02-02. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  42. ^ a b Peak positions in the United Kingdom:
  43. ^ "The Irish Charts". Irishcharts.ie. 1962-10-01. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  44. ^ "The Irish Charts". bpi.com. 2013-09-22. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  45. ^ "The Irish Charts". Irishcharts.ie. 1962-10-01. Retrieved 2013-08-09.