Nicky Byrne

Nicky Byrne

Byrne in 2016
Background information
Birth name Nicholas Bernard James Adam Byrne, Jr.
Born (1978-10-09) 9 October 1978
Dublin, Ireland
Genres Pop
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • radio presenter
  • dancer
  • TV presenter
  • footballer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1995–present
Associated acts Westlife

Nicholas Bernard James Adam Byrne, Jr. (born 9 October 1978) is an Irish singer-songwriter, radio and TV presenter, dancer, and former semi-professional 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 and radio 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. He was the ninth contestant to be eliminated. He was ranked number two on Ireland's Sexiest Man of 2014.[1] After RTÉ internally chose him to represent Ireland, he released the song "Sunlight" and performed it in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 competition in Stockholm on May 12, 2016, but failed to advance to the May 14 final.



Byrne was a footballer and played for Home Farm and St. Kevins Boys in North Dublin.[2] 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.[3] 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 15 games,[4] then St. Francis F.C., all in Ireland's League of Ireland.

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. Byrne participated in and won Soccer Aid 2014. He scored in the match, played at Old Trafford. He was the only non-professional player to score in the match. The Rest of the World team won the game 4-2.


Main article: Westlife
Nicky Byrne representing Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016.

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. With 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.

In early January 2016, it was rumored that RTÉ had internally chosen Byrne to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. Byrne had not yet confirmed or denied such information but announced that he would grab the opportunity with both hands if given. On January 13, Byrne was confirmed to be the Irish singer for the 2016 contest in Stockholm with the song, "Sunlight".[5][6]


In 2002, Byrne guest-hosted an edition of CD:UK with Cat Deeley.

Byrne hosted the closing ceremony of the Special Olympics live from Dublin's Croke Park in front of 80,000 spectators.

Throughout the years, Byrne 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.

Byrne has narrated stage shows such as The Snowman Christmas Special and the Picture of You documentary dedicated to former Boyzone member Stephen Gately who died on 10 October 2009.

Byrne has also hosted the Cheerios ChildLine Concert, a record, seven times, which was broadcast on RTÉ2, and in more recent years TV3.

In addition, Byrne presented several editions of the Celebrity Sunday radio programme on RTÉ 2fm in 2010.[7] 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.[8] FM104 publicly offered him a job the day Westlife announced their split.[9]

In October 2012, Byrne hosted the RTÉ reality TV show Football's Next Star. The series followed ten young hopefuls competing for a chance to win a place with Celtic Football Club's youth squad.[10]

In 2013, 2014 and 2015, Byrne presented the Irish votes at the Eurovision Song Contest.[11] He also co-hosted the short-lived TV talent show The Hit on RTÉ One along with Aidan Power.

On 4 February 2014, Byrne signed a contract with RTÉ 2fm to host a new weekday show from 11am to 2pm.[12][13]

In January 2015, Byrne started hosting the new weekly National Lottery game show, The Million Euro Challenge on RTÉ 1,[14] although the show was axed that July.[15]



Title Details Irish Albums Chart
Sunlight 8


As lead artist

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Sunlight" 2016 68 Sunlights

Personal life

Byrne 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. The two were married on 5 August 2003 at the Wicklow Register Office, Wicklow, County Wicklow.[17] The civil ceremony was followed by a church blessing on 9 August 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.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] Daughter Gia was born on 23 October 2013.[21]

Godparents for the children are Byrne's sister Gillian Byrne and her husband Mark Gallagher and Georgina's sister Cecelia Ahern and Byrne's brother Adam McGarry Byrne.[22] Byrne's father, Nikki Byrne Sr., died on 3 November 2009, from a heart attack. Westlife's promotional tour of the UK was cancelled as Byrne flew to Dublin to be with his family.[23] 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.[24]


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'.[25] Byrne, and his wife Georgina, are keen supporters of the Irish Premature Babies charity. Byrne 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.


  1. JANEH (20 July 2014). "POLL: WHO IS IRELAND'S SEXIEST MAN?". RSVP Magazine.
  2. "Home Farm F.C".
  3. "Nicky Byrne — Biography".
  4. Cobh Rampblers (ed.). "Club History". Archived from the original on 28 February 2008.
  5. "RTÉ bets on Nicky Byrne to return Ireland to Eurovision glory". Irish Independent. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  6. "Nicky Byrne will represent Ireland at this year's Eurovision". The Journal. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  7. "Nicky Byrne hosts 2fm's Celebrity Sunday". RTÉ Entertainment. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  8. "Nicky Byrne signs for extra 2fm shows". RTÉ Entertainment. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
  9. "Job offer for Westlife's Nicky Byrne". RTÉ Entertainment. 21 October 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  10. Final Whistle For 'Football’s Next Star', Series Posts at ScreenScene | The Irish Film & Television Network
  11. "Former Westlife star Nicky Byrne named as new 2FM presenter". Irish Independent. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  12. "He's riding high and Nicky Byrne dismisses critics as his 2FM show celebrates one year on air". 4 March 2015.
  13. "A NEW TV GAMESHOW PRESENTED BY NICKY BYRNE". RTÉ. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  15. Hung, Steffen. "Discography Nicky Byrne". Irish Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung).
  16. BBC News (9 August 2003). "Westlife star's French wedding" (Website). BBC News. Retrieved 22 December 2007.
  17. "Taoiseach becomes grandad to twin boys". The Irish Times. 4 April 2007. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012.
  18. "Westlifer Nicky Byrne's twin babies are christened". London: Daily Mail. 16 July 2007.
  19. "Baby on the way for Nicky and Georgina". Irish Independent. 30 April 2013.
  20. Hello magazine online
  21. Heffernan, Breda (16 July 2007). "Bertie's a double winner". Irish Independent. Breda Heffernan, Monday 16 July 2007.
  22. 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.
  23. "Nicky Byrne mourns death of father". RTÉ Entertainment. 4 November 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
  24. "Heart Attack Awareness Campaign". The Irish Heart Foundation. 16 August 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Molly Sterling
with "Playing with Numbers"
Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
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