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Ronan Keating
Hereís a popstar who got thrown out of his old school choir for not being able to sing! Yet, post-Boyzone phase, Ronan has proved that he can, not only sing, but also has his own identity.

Born Ronan Patrick John Keating in Dublin on 3rd March, 1977, the young Keating didnít plan on becoming a pop star. As a young lad, he did the usual string of humdrum jobs from working in a shoe shop to sweeping up hair at his mumís hairdressers, but he still didnít have a clue as to his true calling.

While he was going straight to the top careerwise with Boyzone, his private life was going through its share of ups and downs. He lost his mother at one point and then later married Irish supermodel Yvonne with whom he has two children, Jack and Marie. Fatherhood not only brought the man full circle, but the then 23-year old decided to get together and manage his own bunch of newcomers Ė Westlife. Quite successfully too, we might add.

In September 1999, Ronan released his self-titled debut. The album shot straight to #1 on the UK charts and sold an impressive 4.4 million copies. It also contained the two #1 singles - the first a cover of country singer and three-time Grammy winner Alison Kraussís soft country hit When You Say Nothing At All. The follow-up single Life Is A Rollercoaster came out in early July 2000 and since then it has been a real rollercoaster ride for the man. From dueting with Elton John at Madison Square Garden to interviewing David Bowie on the web and hosting everything from Miss World to the MTV Awards, heís never been more in the spotlight.

2002 saw Ronanís latest offering Destination that had its place in the top ten charts, all thanks to its first single If Tomorrow Never Comes a superb ballad that actually was a huge hit for country superstar Garth Brooks a few years ago.

His next destination was Turn it on, his third new album released December 2003. The Record got an exclusive chat with Ronan Keating, speaking at length about his new album and other things. Excerpts:

The Record (TR): Tell us about the making of your third album?
Ronan Keating (RK): Turn it on is the single and also the title of the album. I feel now more confident to put my songs forward from my own album, which is quite strange as Iíve been writing a lot of songs. I was a little nervous and just not strong enough to come out with this as a brand new album. It was entirely my decision. But then when I wrote the songs and performed them once or twice live in front of my fans, it made me feel more comfortable. At the end of last year (2002), I was probably a bit stuck in the water and did not know what step to take. Because I was singing other peopleís songs, I was doing what other people wanted to do and not what I wanted to do. So, I told all the people that mattered to me, that I wanted to make this album just the way I want it to be. And itís just been a breath of fresh air, I mean Iíve loved every minute of it. Iíve taken time to focus as a songwriter and write the songs. And I think it has worked.

TR: Tell us something about your current band?
RK: Callum MacColl was my music director. Heís also in the band and my guitar player. Coll has been with me since many years and I have also been associated with his dad and entire family. So itís really heritage and it really goes a long way back, you see. And the one thing for me is to learn how to change as a songwriter and what to look for in songs.

You can read the rest of our feature on Ronan Keating in the January 2004 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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