While the Backstreet Boys were busy asking, “Am I sexual?” (And the answer is always “yeah”, according to their 1997 hit ‘Everybody’), fellow ’90s boyband Westlife were releasing music that made people fall in love without a single pelvic thrust.

The five pleasant Irish lads from Westlife — which originally comprised of Shane Filan, Nicky Byrne, Mark Feehily, Brian McFadden and Kian Egan — don’t push suggestive lyrics. What they do, though, is croon romantic ballads so heartfelt, it affirms our faith in true love even after the Song-Song divorce.

Which is why we found ourselves at the National Stadium last night (Aug 10), splurging a few precious long weekend hours on attending Westlife’s one-night-only The Twenty Tour concert. We feel old saying this, but yes, it has been 20 years since the lads released their eponymous album in 1999. (Spotify be damned, we’re hanging onto our precious vintage Westlife CDs).

A lot has happened in the past two decades, starting with band member Brian’s 2004 departure from Westlife to pursue his solo career at the height of the band’s popularity. The high-profile split was said to have caused bad blood between him and the rest of his former bandmates. These boys later became men, got married, had kids.

Then, in 2012, Shane was forced to file for bankruptcy when the property development company he founded with his brother went bust during a recession. The same year, Westlife also disbanded briefly before reuniting in 2018 (whew!). Shane has since bounced back, releasing three solo albums and playing a solo concert at the Hard Rock Hotel Singapore’s Coliseum last year.

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