Ex-Voice of Ireland star Richie Hayes has learned to embrace his five-foot stature

The popular singer’s career is back on track after suffering two major losses

Richie Hayes and Brendan O'Carroll

Richie got a spot on Mrs Brown’s Boys in 2017

Eddie RowleySunday World

Singer and comic Richie Hayes has revealed how he’s bouncing back from the heartache of losing his dad and the breakdown of his marriage.

Richie — a well-known Gaiety panto star who was also a contestant on The Voice of Ireland and made an appearance in Mrs Brown’s Boys — tells how he is also rebuilding his career after it was wiped out in the pandemic.

The Waterford-born entertainer is set to pack out venues again with his nine-piece band and a variety show that will be a mixture of music and comedy.

Richie, who toured America with Tony Kenny before establishing his own career in the States and setting up home in Florida with his wife, Erica, and their son, Taylor, suffered his first personal shock at Christmas 2019.

“On Christmas night around 7pm I got a phone call that nobody wants to receive. It was my brother, David, telling me that Dad was after having a heart attack. Christmas will never be the same again for us,” he said.

Richie’s dad, Dick, was a popular entertainer in Waterford.

“Dad was a massive inspiration to me,” Richie says. “People often ask me where I get my voice from.

" I have no training, but my dad taught me how to look after my voice when I was a teenager. He saved me from doing damage to it singing at the top of my voice.”

Richie’s marriage also ended.

Richie got a spot on Mrs Brown’s Boys in 2017

“This business is hard and we grew apart, unfortunately,” Richie says of the split with Erica, a dancer he met in panto. “We tried our best, but it just wasn’t to be. But we have a beautiful son, Taylor, who is nearly 10, and he is my world.”

Now Richie is reinventing himself and is embracing his stature — he’s five-foot tall — as part of his new show. “That came from lots of different people over the years saying, ‘you should embrace who you are.’ I’m 46 this March and I’m happy to do it these days.”

  • Little Richie Hayes with his big band and guests will perform at Waterford’s Theatre Royal on Saturday, April 8.

Today's Headlines

More Celebrity

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos