Westlife made history when their first seven singles all went to number one, going on to achieve 14 UK number one singles – a figure only beaten by Elvis Presley and The Beatles – selling more than 43 million records. Formed in Sligo, Ireland in 1998, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, and Shane Filan were childhood friends, initially singing in a six-piece vocal harmony group called IOYOU releasing the single "Together Girl Forever," which came to the attention of Boyzone's manager Louis Walsh. He decided to rebrand Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, and Shane Filan and held auditions in Dublin for two new members. Nicky Byrne and Brian McFadden were chosen and Westlife – initially called Westside – were born. Co-managed by Ronan Keating, their close harmony ballads instantly found an avid teen following. Their first single "Swear It Again" topped the charts in 1999 and their triumphant reign was underway. Brian McFadden left in 2004 but, despite semi-retirement in the mid-2000s, they returned to the limelight in 2009. Their ninth studio album released that year, Where We Are, charted well, hitting number two in the UK Albums Chart and in their native Ireland. It was followed by Gravity in 2010, which would mark their last studio album release before their split was announced in 2011. It hit number one in Ireland and number three in the UK. The band were to return, however, with their first single since 2011 being released in 2019, titled "Hello My Love." It was taken from the band's eleventh studio album, Spectrum (2019), which also includes the singles "Better Man," "Dynamite" and "My Blood." Westlife unleashed their twelfth studio album, Wild Dreams, in 2021, which was written during the COVID-19 pandemic and featured a guest contribution from Ed Sheeran on "My Hero" and Amy Wadge on "Lifeline" and "Rewind."