|Birth name||Nicholas Bernard James Adam Byrne, Jr.|
9 October 1978 |
|Occupations||Singer, songwriter, radio presenter, dancer, TV presenter, footballer|
|Years active||1998 – present|
|Labels||Syco - RCA - Sony|
Nicholas Bernard James Adam Byrne, Jr. (born 9 October 1978) is an Irish singer-songwriter, radio and TV presenter, dancer and former footballer, best known for being a member of Irish music band Westlife; he was the band's oldest member. Before his music career, he played professional football, representing Republic of Ireland at several junior levels. Since then he has had a successful TV presenting career. His wife Georgina is the daughter of former Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, and they have twin sons called Rocco Bertie Byrne and Jay Nicky Byrne and a daughter called Gia. On 7 September 2012, it was announced that Byrne would be a contestant for the tenth series of Strictly Come Dancing.
Byrne was a footballer and played for Home Farm and St. Kevins Boys in North Dublin. He became a professional player, and joined Leeds United as a goalkeeper in 1995, and was a squad member of the FA Youth Cup winning team of 1997. He played for Leeds for two years, leaving when his contract expired in June 1997. He played in a reserve game for Scarborough F.C. and in a trial game with Cambridge United before returning to join Dublin club Shelbourne. He then signed for Cobh Ramblers playing 11 games, then St. Francis F.C., all in Ireland's League of Ireland.[dead link]
On 14 May 2009 Byrne was a substitute for a Liverpool F.C. Legends XI that played against an All Star XI in a Hillsborough Memorial match to mark the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. All the proceeds from the match went to the Marina Dalglish appeal. He represented the Republic of Ireland at U15, U16 and U18 levels. He is a fan of Celtic FC, and on 9 August 2011 played in a Celtic Legends XI at Celtic Park in front of a 54,000 crowd against a Manchester Utd Legends team. In 2010, Byrne participated and won Soccer Aid, a British charity football match, alongside bandmate Shane Filan and the Rest of the World Team.
In June 1998, Byrne attended an audition for new Irish boyband, where Boyzone manager Louis Walsh approached him to join his new venture, Westlife. Byrne joined Westlife along with Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, Shane Filan and Brian McFadden. Byrne revealed in Westlife: Our Story that he had wanted to change the name of the band to West High; but the others preferred Westlife. Westlife, Byrne has had 25 top ten UK singles, 14 of which, were number one, 7 number one albums and has sold in excess of over 45 million records worldwide. It is certified that Westlife have sold 20.2 million records and videos in the UK across their 14-year career – 6.8 million singles, 11.9 million albums and 1.5 million videos. Byrne also had a number one single in Ireland in 2002, alongside the Republic of Ireland national football team and Dustin the Turkey with the Irish 2002 FIFA World Cup anthem, "Here Come The Good Times (Ireland)". He also co-wrote many of Westlife's songs.
Byrne hosted the closing ceremony of the Special Olympics live from Dublin's Croke Park in front of 80,000 spectators.
Throughout the years, Nicky has appeared on Children in Need and Comic Relief several times. In 2001, he co-hosted Children in Need live from Belfast and in 2011 and co-hosted a BBC Radio 2 radio special with Patrick Kielty for the cause.
In addition, Byrne presented several editions of the Celebrity Sunday radio programme on RTÉ 2fm in 2010. Listeners tuned in from as far and wide as Mexico, Chile, the United Kingdom, Philippines and Indonesia. The fourth and final edition of the programme, broadcast on 14 February 2010, trended worldwide on Twitter. FM104 publicly offered him a job the day Westlife announced their split.
Nicky was born to parents Yvonne and Nicholas. He has an older sister, Gillian, and a younger brother, Adam. Byrne married his teenage sweetheart Georgina Ahern, whom he met when they were about 12 years old, on 5 August 2003 at the Wicklow Register Office, Wicklow, County Wicklow. The civil ceremony was followed on 9 August by a church blessing at the Roman Catholic Church of St Pierre et St Paul in Gallardon, Eure-et-Loir, France and a reception at the nearby 16th century Château d'Esclimont. Georgina gave birth to fraternal twin sons, Jay and Rocco, on 20 April 2007, born eight weeks prematurely. The children were baptised on 15 July 2007 in the Saint Sylvester Roman Catholic Church in Malahide, County Dublin. On 29 April 2013 Byrne announced on his Twitter page that he and his wife Georgina were expecting their third child, and on Irish television it was announced that the baby was due around Halloween time . A daughter Gia was born on October 23, 2013.
Godparents for the children are Nicky's sister Gillian Byrne and her husband Mark Gallagher and Georgina's sister Cecelia Ahern and Nicky's brother Adam McGarry Byrne. Nicky's father, Nikki Byrne Sr., died on 3 November 2009, from a heart attack. Westlife's promotional tour of the UK was cancelled as Nicky flew to Dublin to be with his family. Byrne Sr. sang part-time on Dublin's cabaret and karaoke scene and was presented with a Harley-Davidson motorbike by his son on his sixtieth birthday party the year before his death.
In 2010, Byrne and his family organised the 'Nikki Byrne Twilight Ball', a fundraising event, in memory of their father who died in November 2009. The event raised over €200,000 and completely funded a television and radio heart attack awareness campaign in connection with 'The Irish Heart Foundation'. Nicky, and his wife Georgina, are keen supporters of the Irish Premature Babies charity. Nicky also supports UNICEF and has taken part in several UNICEF Campaigns, such as the UNICEF 'Euro for Zero' campaign where the goal was to raise as much money as possible in November 2010 for Child Survival Programmes.
- "Home Farm F.C.".
- "Nicky Byrne — Biography".
- "Club History".
- "Nicky Byrne hosts 2fm's Celebrity Sunday". RTÉ Entertainment. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
- "Nicky Byrne signs for extra 2fm shows". RTÉ Entertainment. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Job offer for Westlife's Nicky Byrne". RTÉ Entertainment. 21 October 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
- Final Whistle For 'Football’s Next Star', Series Posts at ScreenScene | The Irish Film & Television Network
- BBC News (9 August 2003). "Westlife star's French wedding" (Website). BBC News. Retrieved 22 December 2007.
- "Taoiseach becomes grandad to twin boys". The Irish Times. 4 April 2007.
- "Westlifer Nicky Byrne's twin babies are christened". London: Daily Mail. 16 July 2007.
- Hello magazine online
- Heffernan, Breda (16 July 2007). "Bertie's a double winner". Irish Independent. Breda Heffernan, Monday 16 July 2007.
- Ben Todd and Eva Marie Gibney. Westlife star Nicky Byrne puts on a brave face as he comforts his mother after father's death. Daily Mail. 4 November 2009.
- "Nicky Byrne mourns death of father". RTÉ Entertainment. 4 November 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
- "Heart Attack Awareness Campaign". The Irish Heart Foundation. 16 August 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.