Who’s the richest member of Westlife?

It hasn’t been smooth sailing for every member of Westlife since their early 2000s fame – so who has fared best? Photo: @westlifemoments/Instagram

Westlife lays their love on fans again! The members of the beloved Irish group are currently performing in the UK before embarking on the Asian leg of their world tour in February 2023, which includes a stop at Hong Kong’s AsiaWorld Arena on – rather appropriately – Valentine’s Day.

Westlife released their first single in 1999 and went on to have 14 No. 1 hits in the UK. Photo: @westlifemoments/Instagram

Fans were disappointed that singer Mark Feehily had to pull out of recent gigs due to a bout of pneumonia, but his bandmates attempted to cheer them up by bringing a life-size cut out of the star on the stage, British media reported.

Members of Westlife with a cardboard cut-out of Mark Feehily at a recent performance. Photo: @shanefilanofficial/Instagram

Founded in 1998 with five members – Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, Nicky Byrne and Brian McFadden – Westlife made waves from the get-go with their debut single, 1999’s, “Swear It Again”.

In the years that followed, the Irish boy band continued to top charts and drive fans crazy. Hits including “Uptown Girl”, “Fool Again”, “I Have a Dream”, “Flying Without Wings”, “My Love” and others scored them a total of 14 No. 1 singles in the UK – a number only surpassed by The Beatles and Elvis Presley, according to Official Charts.

Pop band Westlife reunited in 2018. Photo: Universal Music

After McFadden left the band in 2004 to focus on his family, Westlife gradually disbanded in 2012. But in 2018, they reunited again – this time without McFadden – and released two albums: Spectrum in 2019 and Wild Dreams in 2021.

The group has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide according to Celebrity Net Worth, helping all but one of them cement multimillion dollar fortunes as they enter their 40s.

So what else have they been up to since finding fame with the group – and who is the richest of them all?

5. Nicky Byrne, 44 – US$1-5 million

Nicky Byrne used to be a football goalkeeper for Leeds United. Photo: @nickybymeinsta/Instagram

The former Leeds United’s player left the team in 1997 and switched his career to music. Joining Westlife in 1998 alongside his fellow band members, Byrne enjoyed “great money” from its success, he told the Irish Independent.

Nicky Byrne admits he and his band mates were not prudent with money in the early days. Photo: SCMP Archive

However it didn’t take him or his bandmates long to lose the money, he admitted: “We did very well out of Westlife, but everybody lives and spends. We have all lost money. We were all very foolish with money in the early days, we all bought cars and watches – the silly things.”

But the multitalented singer managed to recovered his fortune with another career pivot after the band’s initial split – as a TV presenter. He became a star of RTÉ, the national broadcaster of Ireland, hosting various shows including Dancing With The Stars. He joined RTÉ’s top 10 earner’s list in 2017 with a salary of over US$200,000, per the Irish Independent. His net worth is now estimated at around US$1-5 million, according to the Express.

4. Shane Filan, 43 – US$3 million

Westlife’s frontman Shane Filan. Photo: @shanefilanofficial/Instagram

Westlife’s frontman, and one of the two lead singers, also amassed a lot of money with the band, but lost it all as a result of his investments in the Irish property boom a decade ago. Filan’s company, Shafin Developments, went bankrupt in 2012 with a debt of over US$24 million, per British media.

Westlife’s Shane Filan, pictured here in 2003, lost everything after leaving the band, but has since bounced back. Photo: David Wong

But he moved on, trying harder than ever in his music career. He has since released three solo albums including You and Me (2013), Right Here (2015) and Love Always (2017). He has also written songs for other artists including John Ostberg, Jerry Given and II Divo. He has now returned to millionaire status, according to Celebrity Net Worth, with a current fortune of US$3 million.

3. Mark Feehily, 42 – US$16 million

Thanks to Westlife’s immense success in the UK singles chart in the early 2000s, Mark Feehily ranks as the highest charting LGBT performer in the country. Photo: @markusmoments/Instagram

The group’s other lead vocalist, Mark Feehily, came out to fans in 2005 and, thanks to the aforementioned 14 number one hits, became the highest-charting LGBT performer on the UK Singles Chart, per Radio Box. Besides his income from the band, Feehily banked US$630,000 from the dissolution of Westlife’s main entertainment firm Bluenet Ltd, after the members decided to go their own way, the Irish Mirror reported.

Westlife’s Mark Feehily at the height of their fame in 2003. Photo: David Wong

Between 2015 and 2018, Feehily pursued a solo career and performed with Mariah Carey on one of her Christmas tours in 2017, and with 1980s Scottish group Wet Wet Wet before reuniting with the band. His fortune is now around US$16 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

2. Brian McFadden, 42 – US$18 million

Brian McFadden left Westlife in 2004 to focus on his family. Photo: @brianmcfadden123/Instagram

McFadden stayed with the band for only a few years – but it was still enough for him to rake in millions. He went on to release five solo albums and launch his own label, BMF Records.

Brian McFadden and wife Kerry McFadden, formerly of band Atomic Kitten, celebrate after she was crowned winner of the British show I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! in Australia in 2004. Photo: AP

In 2016, he teamed up with Boyzone’s Keith Duffy to form a mini supergroup, Boyzlife. The pair have released two albums so far, and are preparing for their next live performances in the UK next January and August, according to live entertainment website Ents24.

Like his former bandmate Nicky Byrne, he is also very active on TV, working as a judge on Australia’s Got Talent and Australian Idol, among others. Celebrity Net Worth puts his current fortune at about US$18 million.

1. Kian Egan, 42 – US$20 million

Multi-instrumentalist Kian Egan was in rock band Skrod before joining Westlife. Photo: @kianegan/Instagram

Kian Egan had already begun a professional music career before making it big with Westlife according to British media. Playing various instruments including the guitar, piano and drums, he was also a member of the rock band, Skrod.

Kian Egan is sitting pretty at the top of this list as the richest member of Westlife. Photo: Sony Music

After Westlife, he also released one solo album, Home, in 2014. He boosted his popularity further when he became a judge on The Voice of Ireland and a presenter on This Morning’s Hub and Surprise Surprise. He also won the 13th season of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here.

All this has added to his already impressive net worth to help him take the number one spot in this list with a fortune of US$20 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

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