Sunlight (Nicky Byrne song)

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Sunlight - Nicky Byrne.jpg
Single by Nicky Byrne
from the album Sunlight
Released12 February 2016
Republic of Ireland "Sunlight"
Eurovision Song Contest 2016 entry
Nicky Byrne, Wayne Hector, Ronan Hardiman
Finals performance
Semi-final result
Semi-final points
Entry chronology
◄ "Playing with Numbers" (2015)   
"Dying to Try" (2017) ►
Professional ratings
Review scores
eurovisionunion5/10 stars[2]

"Sunlight" is a song performed by Irish singer Nicky Byrne. Written by Byrne along with Wayne Hector and Ronan Hardiman, the song represented Ireland in the second semi-final of Eurovision Song Contest 2016.[3] It was released as a digital download on 12 February 2016 through Studz Limited and Universal Music Ireland as the lead single from his debut studio album Sunlight (2016).[4]

Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

Songwriter Greg French has given a call out on Facebook looking for a male backing vocalist for Irish performance at the Eurovision. Greg was the songwriter of last year's Irish entry, and has been working this year with Byrne as well. Byrne was first rumoured to be the Irish Eurovision entrant on 7 January 2016, A source told the Irish Mirror "Most people will be shocked as he was never the strongest singer in the band but he's a great performer, he has good stage presence and he's very likeable so who knows? It's just crossing the t's and dotting the i's at this stage but Nicky looks set to following in Jedward's footsteps and singing at the Eurovision. Shane and Mark have their record deals and their albums so maybe the Eurovision could relaunch Nicky's pop career." It will be the first time that Byrne has publicly performed as a solo artist since Westlife split up in 2013. Back in 2014 it was claimed Nicky was preparing to release a solo album and had at least eight songs written and ready to go. Newspaper reports that the singer, who has been working recently with renowned producer Ronan Hardiman and former Westlife writer Wayne Hector, has a back catalogue of his own new music from which to pick an entry. He is also working with former Steps manager Tim Byrne on the Eurovision bid.

On his radio show singer has refused to confirm or deny reports he will become Irish Eurovision hope. "I don't comment on rumours, I never have done and anything you've read are unconfirmed reports", he said. His co-presenter Jenny Greene added: "The winning song from the Eurovision may or may not be performed live at my wedding but that's where I'm leaving it". Speaking later Byrne has said he would grab the opportunity to perform at Eurovision 2016 "with both hands", but again refused to confirm if he would be taking to the stage in Stockholm this year. "If that opportunity arose for me, I would love it because I am very patriotic," he said. "If I didn't feel I had a song that would be decent, you wouldn't consider it. I'd represent my country in tiddliwinks if I got the opportunity", he said.

On 13 January RTÉ has confirmed the announcement that Nicky Byrne will represent Ireland in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden with the song Sunlight. Nicky, who has performed in arenas around the world and has sold 45 million records as part of Westlife, will perform the song Sunlight co-written by himself, renowned songwriter Wayne Hector and award-winning composer Ronan Hardiman, which was recorded before Byrne has joined 2FM. Voted one of the top 25 songwriters in the world, over the last two decades Wayne Hector has written hits for leading international artists such as One Direction, Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj and Jason Derulo. His songwriting credits also include seven of Westlife's number 1 singles including Flying Without Wings, Swear It Again and World Of Our Own. Sunlight co-writer Wayne Hector said, "Nicky is a real talent and after having shared so much success previously, I was looking forward to working together with him again and with my good friend and super producer/composer Hardiman. We've written a song that we all love and believe in, which is a great showcase for Nicky's voice, so I'm looking forward to the night". Hardiman has worked as a musician, composer and producer since 1990 and his credits include the soundtrack of Michael Flatley's Lord Of The Dance and Feet Of Flames, as well as more recently scoring the TV series Neverland.

RTÉ selected Nicky and the song Sunlight this year in a departure from the Eurosong format and the mentor format which it has engaged over the last eight years. Last time RTÉ has picked the entrant internally was in 2007, when band Dervish finished last in Helsinki. John McHugh, Head of Entertainment RTÉ Television, said, "We have a long and proud history with Eurovision, but we've had mixed results over the last few years. Myself and Head of Delegation Michael Kealy took a serious look at our approach, reviewing the entire process and the Eurovision Song Contest itself. The competition is constantly evolving and RTÉ has to be flexible in how we approach it in order to put our best foot forward. Direct selection has proven to be a successful method for other countries and we felt that this year it would give us the best chance at success". Speaking about Sunlight to be performed by Nicky Byrne, John said, "First and foremost, it's a great song, written by an internationally renowned team, and with Nicky's massive breadth of performance experience, along with his huge fan-base and profile throughout Europe, it's a really impactful package". It is understood that the whole Eurovision costs RTÉ €200,000, which includes paying broadcasting rights for the competition.[5][6][7] A lyric video for the song was posted on YouTube the same day. Byrne performed the song live for the first time on 13 February on The Ray D'Arcy Show.[8] He performed it also on Eurovision Ukraine Finals in February 2016 and in an Israel Eurovision fans party. On 12 May 2016 Byrne performed in the first half of the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016,[9] but failed to qualify to the finals on 14 May.

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[4]
1."Sunlight" (Radio Edit)2:59
3."Sunlight" (Instrumental)3:38
7th Heaven Remix Single
1."Sunlight" (7th Heaven Radio Edit)3:57
2."Sunlight" (7th Heaven Club Mix)6:12


Chart (2016) Peak
Ireland (IRMA)[10] 68
Ireland Download (GfK Chart-Track)[11] 13

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Worldwide 12 February 2016[4] Digital download


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Nicky Byrne with the song 'Sunlight' for Ireland". Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  4. ^ a b c Sunlight - Single by Nicky Byrne on iTunes
  5. ^ Fearon, Alana (13 January 2016). "Former Westlife star Nicky Byrne 'to represent Ireland at Eurovision this year'". Irish Mirror. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (13 January 2016). "Nicky Byrne with the song 'Sunlight' for Ireland". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  8. ^ "RTÉ Announces Nicky Byrne as Ireland's Eurovision 2016 Entry". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  9. ^ Jordan, Paul (25 January 2016). "Allocation Draw: The results!". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Chart Track: Week 7, 2016". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  11. ^ "TOP 20 DOWNLOADS, WEEK ENDING 18 February 2016". GfK. Archived from the original on 7 February 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2019.