Markus Feehily

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Markus Feehily
Markus Feehily 2015.tiff
Feehily in 2015
Background information
Birth name Markus Michael Patrick Verdon Feehily
Also known as Mark Feehily
Born (1980-05-28) 28 May 1980 (age 38)
Sligo, Ireland
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Instruments
Years active
  • 1997–2012
  • 2015–present
Labels
Associated acts Westlife, Mariah Carey, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Delta Goodrem, Boyzone, Ronan Keating, Wet Wet Wet

Markus Michael Patrick Verdon Feehily (or Mark Feehily, born 28 May 1980) is an Irish singer and songwriter. He was one of the lead singers of the boy band Westlife from 1998 to 2012. He is the highest charting LGBT performer with most number one appearances in the UK Singles Chart (15).

Career[edit]

1998–2012: Six as One, IOYou, Westlife[edit]

He rose to fame as one of the two lead singers of the boy band Westlife. He shared lead vocals with Shane Filan. Before Westlife, Feehily, Filan and Kian Egan were members of the band Six as One and later on renamed as IOYOU, which released the single "Together Girl Forever" and songs "Everlasting Love" and "Good Thing".[1] Louis Walsh, the manager of Boyzone, was contacted by Filan's mother and came to know about the group. The group was established on 3 July 1998 with the addition of two more members, Nicky Byrne and Bryan McFadden. Boyzone singer Ronan Keating was brought in to co-manage the group with Walsh. Feehily has also co-written songs, some with the other band members.

Feehily has sung completely solo on songs for the band in some instances:

During live performances, he also sang completely solo for the songs "Oh Holy Night", "Imaginary Diva", "Talk Me Down", "Before It's Too Late", and Boy George's "Il Adore". He has also co-written songs, some with the other band members.

Feehily has spoken to The Boston Globe of his embarrassment about Westlife's Rat Pack-tribute album, ...Allow Us to Be Frank; he blamed Westlife's label for forcing them to record it after Robbie Williams had success with this type of music. He dismissed the instance as a "weird time" in Westlife's career.[2] Despite this, he called Westlife as "the best job in the world".[3]

2015–present: Solo career[edit]

In February 2015 Markus launched his solo career with a radio premiere of his debut single "Love Is a Drug" on RTÉ 2fm in Ireland.[4] The next day the track premiered online, via Wonderland Magazine.[5] Moments after the premiere of the song, it was made available for pre-order on iTunes,[6] with the official video for the track launching on his Vevo channel two weeks later. The song was released on 19 April 2015.[7] He released his debut solo studio album Fire on 16 October 2015. It includes the singles "Love Is a Drug" and "Butterfly". He was a support act for Wet Wet Wet and Mariah Carey. He was also invited by Russell Crowe on Olympia Theatre, Dublin, October 1, 2017 for his "Dublin Indoor Garden Party gig" to sing "Love Was My Alibi", written by Crowe and Carl Falk for the film "The Water Diviner," which Crowe both directed and starred in. Accompanied by Alan Doyle and Falk.[8] Pre-orders was announced for his second album Christmas album began on 17 November 2017. The album was released on the 1 December 2017 afterwards.

Songwriting[edit]

Feehily has co-written some of Westlife songs, all fifteen tracks off his debut solo album, and numerous unreleased songs.[9][10]

Personal life[edit]

Markus Feehily was born in Sligo, Co Sligo in Ireland. His parents are Marie (née Verdon) and Oliver Feehily. He spent his childhood in a picturesque environment with two younger brothers and many cousins. As a child, singing and playing the tin whistle were important elements in his life. His favourite singer has always been the American super diva, Mariah Carey, with whom Westlife collaborated on Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now). In his teenage years, he also enjoyed playing tennis and football.

In August 2005, he publicly revealed he was gay during an interview with the British tabloid The Sun.[11] Feehily had recognised his sexual orientation when he was 14 or 15 years old.[12] His family, bandmates and close friends knew his sexual orientation.[13][11] Westlife's manager Louis Walsh, however, was unaware of Feehily's sexual orientation when he began managing the group.[14] As the only gay member in Westlife, Feehily had kept his sexual orientation private and never had a boyfriend.[1] Unlike his bandmates, Feehily did not discuss his private life in interviews, although he had dated women prior to his coming out.[1][15] In yet another interview, he told The Sydney Morning Herald that despite the fact that the majority of Westlife's fans are female, there had really been no negative reaction.[16]

During the interview with The Sun, Feehily also announced his romantic relationship with British fashion photographer Kevin McDaid, a member of the now-defunct British boy band V.[11] The pair, who lived together,[1] had been dating since January 2005 after having met at a Cheerios Childline Concert in Ireland. Feehily said that while he did not intend on getting married right away, he was happy to know he could form a civil partnership in Britain with the recent passing of the Civil Partnership Act.[16] In December 2007, Feehily and Kevin appeared on the cover of Attitude. The couple became engaged in February 2010.[17] On 31 December 2011, Feehily announced via his Twitter account that the couple had split up.[18]

Feehily is interested in charity works and supports the charity group Aware. He was shortlisted in 2011 as one of the top 50 most influential gays in United Kingdom.[19] He congratulated his local football club Sligo Rovers on its victory in the 2011 FAI Cup Final.[20]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
IRE
[21]
UK
[22]
Fire
  • Released: 16 October 2015
  • Label: Harmoney Entertainment
  • Format: Digital download, CD
2 25
Christmas
  • Released: 1 December 2017[23]
  • Label: Harmoney Entertainment
  • Format: Digital download, CD

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Album
IRE
[21]
UK
[22]
2015 "Love Is a Drug" 65 56 Fire
"Butterfly"
2016 "Sanctuary"

Honours and awards[edit]

Year Ceremony Category Result
2013 The Galas Artist/Entertainer of the Year Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Hinton, Laura (28 November 2009). "Mark Feehily Opens Up on Westlife". Female First. First Active Media Ltd. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  2. ^ "Mark Feehily embarrassed by LP". The Boston Globe. NY Times Co. 28 November 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  3. ^ "WESTLIFE'S MARK FEEHILY ON TRAVELLING AS A GAY MAN". outofoffice. outofoffice. 28 November 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Mark Feehily debut single announcement".
  5. ^ "AUDIO PREMIERE: Markus Feehily – 'Love Is A Drug'". Wonderland Magazine. 19 February 2015. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  6. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/love-is-a-drug-single/id967961514
  7. ^ "Markus Feehily premieres 'Love Is A Drug' music video". Digital Spy. 4 March 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  8. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2exCuhZIKY
  9. ^ https://www.ascap.com/repertory#ace/writer/268464726/FEEHILY%20MARK
  10. ^ "BMI – Repertoire Search". repertoire.bmi.com.
  11. ^ a b c "Westlife singer reveals 'I'm gay'". BBC. 19 August 2005. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  12. ^ "Music News Westlife star wants to be a father". RTÉ. 26 March 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  13. ^ Newton, Victoria (9 November 2007). "Mark: I'm so glad I came out" (Email Adds). The Sun. London: News Group Newspapers. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  14. ^ "Louis 'mightn't have picked' gay Gately". Irish Independent. 23 November 2008. Retrieved 25 November 2008.
  15. ^ "Mark Feehily's Jolie desires". Female First. First Active Media Ltd. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  16. ^ a b "Feehily happy to be a gay role". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2 March 2006. pp. 2006-03–02. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  17. ^ "Mark Feehily: 'I want to have children'". New!. Northern and Shell Media Publications. 11 March 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  18. ^ "Mark Feehily split: Westlife singer and boyfriend Kevin McDaid break up after 7 years". 1 January 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  19. ^ Marrs, John (12 August 2011). "The DS 50 – The Most Influential Gays 2011". Different Scene. Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  20. ^ Feehily, Markus (6 November 2011). "Congratulations Sligo Rovers". Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  21. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Discography Markus Feehily". Irish Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung).
  22. ^ a b "Markus Feehily". Officialcharts.com/. Official Charts Company.
  23. ^ "Westlife's Mark Feehily returns with Christmas album". The News Letter. Johnston Publishing (NI). 22 November 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.

External links[edit]