On 3rd March, City Connect celebrates the birthday of Ronan Keating, the Irish singer/songwriter who came to prominence in 1994 as the lead singer of Boyzone. His solo career started in 1999, and so far has resulted in 9 albums. Keating gained worldwide attention when his single “When You Say Nothing at All” was featured in the film Notting Hill and peaked at number one in several countries. As a solo artist, Keating has sold over 22 million records worldwide. Also a philanthropist, Keating has worked as a charity campaigner most notably for the Marie Keating Foundation, a foundation that raises awareness for breast cancer. It is named after his mother, who died of the disease in 1998. The biography below details the life and work of this international music celebrity who in 2010 was said to have a fortune of around £25 million.
Ronan Keating was born on 3 March 1977 and grew up in Dublin. He joined the band Boyzone in 1993 alongside Keith Duffy, Shane Lynch, Stephen Gately and Mikey Graham. The group performed in various clubs and pubs before being signed by PolyGram in 1994 and released a cover version of “Love Me for a Reason” which peaked on several charts. In 1998, his mother died at the age of 54 from breast cancer, resulting in the establishment of the Marie Keating Foundation. Keating married Yvonne Connolly in April 1998 and together, the couple have three children: Jack, Marie and Ali.
From 1994-1999, Boyzone released 3 studio albums and 1 compilation album before disbanding in 2000.
In 1999, while still a member of Boyzone, Keating recorded a version of “When You Say Nothing At All” for the motion picture Notting Hill. The single peaked at number one in the UK charts, leading to a successful solo career. Keating released his debut solo album entitled Ronan in 2000, peaking at number one in the UK Albums Chart. The album produced four UK and Irish top-ten singles: “When You Say Nothing at All” (originally recorded for the soundtrack of the 1999 film Notting Hill), “Life Is a Rollercoaster“, “The Way You Make Me Feel“, and “Lovin’ Each Day“. Ronan was given several negative reviews, however, it sold over 750,000 copies and became one of the top selling albums of the year in the United Kingdom.
After the successful debut album Ronan, Keating continued on with his solo career and since has released four more studio albums: Destination (2002), Turn It On (2003), 10 Years of Hits (2004) and Bring You Home (2006). Keating collaborated with several major stars, including Elton John, Lulu, LeAnn Rimes and the Bee Gees, for these albums.
In 2003, Keating was named Rear of the Year – an award given to celebrities with a notable posterior. In October 2007, Keating was listed in the Guinness Book of Records for being the only artist ever to have 30 consecutive top 10 singles in the UK chart, beating the likes of Elvis Presley. Keating also embarked on two world tours, won the Ivor Novello and BMI songwriting awards, released an autobiography, had a role as ambassador for Christian Aid and earnt sales in excess of 22 million albums worldwide. In 2007 he released 2 fragrances,the range consists of a female fragrance, Hope By Ronan, which is based upon musk and amber scents and a male EDT, Believe by Ronan, based on Sicilian Lemon, Lavender and Clary Sage scents. All proceeds go to the Marie Keating Foundation.
Keating performed at the 2006 FIFA World Cup opening party at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, in front of an audience of nearly 250,000 people, and posed nude for Cosmopolitan magazine’s 10 Years of Naked Centrefolds.
Boyzone reunited in 2007 for a special appearance on the BBC’s Children in Need and soon went on a 29-date tour. On 10 October 2009, Stephen Gately – close friend and bandmate of Keating – died at his home in Spain of a pulmonary oedema which left Keating devastated. However, the band continued on and released the album “”Brother” in March 2010 which went to number one in UK and Ireland. Ronan Keating also continues with his solo career and a new studio album and tour have been scheduled in 2012. Ronan has also hinted that he will be reuniting with his Boyzone bandmates Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch in 2013 to celebrate their 20th anniversary as a group.
In terms of charity work, Keating ran in the London Marathon on 13 April 2008 to raise money for Cancer Research, with a personal best time of 3hr 59min. He has also walked the length of Ireland twice, each time raising money for the Marie Keating Foundation, now linked to Cancer Research UK. In 2009, Keating was part of a group of celebrities who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for Comic Relief. In June 2009, Keating received a Special Achievement Award from Cancer Research UK – he was singled out for his work with them since 2006. He, along with the Marie Keating Foundation, has helped to raise over £1.7 million for the UK charity. In September 2011, he swam the Irish sea 90 km stretch from Dublin to Holyhead with a team of celebrities to raise money for cancer charities and set a new Guinness World Record for open water swimming with a 11-member celebrity team. They raised £1 million for Cancer Research Britain and the Marie Keating Foundation.
Ronan Keating has been quoted as saying he’d like to break into acting but does not intend to stop working as a recording artist. He unsuccessfully auditioned for a role in the The Hobbit. In 2013, Ronan Keating will make his screen debut in the Australian romantic musical comedy Goddess starring alongside Australian comedy actress Magda Szubanski and British actress Laura MIchelle Kelly. The multi-million dollar film will be directed by Mark Lamprell (Babe: Pig In The City) and is due for release in March 2013.
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