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'Sad time' Shane Filan says he 'still finds it tough' following loss of his mother and father

Personally, for me it was a difficult time, as I’d lost both my parents and in that whole time it was a very sad time for me.”

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Shane Filan

Shane Filan

Shane Filan

Singer Shane Filan says he “still finds it tough" after both his parents died within nine months of each other.

Shane revealed that some of the songs on the new Westlife album, Wild Dreams, that will be out on November 26, were written about his loss.

Shane, along with bandmates Mark Feehily, Kian Egan and Nicky Byrne, had created the record that will be accompanied by the lead single, Starlight, separately from their homes.

For Shane, it was a particularly challenging time that he is still coming to terms with.

“Personally, for me it was a difficult time, as I’d lost both my parents and in that whole time it was a very sad time for me.”

He said that writing the album had helped him through some of that time.

"It was very difficult,” he admitted. “My mum was sick for four years with cancer unfortunately [but she] got to see Westlife come back, she got to see us perform the big shows in London and in Croke Park in Dublin, which were the most spectacular shows.

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Shane’s late mum Mae

Shane’s late mum Mae

Shane’s late mum Mae

"At the end of the tour we did two shows at Croke Park with 85,000 people a night and my mum and dad got to see that and I’m so glad."

However, Shane’s father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two days after the last Croke Park show.

“Speaking of highs and lows… my mum was already sick so it was just like, “Oh my God”. Literally the biggest high of being back with the boys and then one of the worst things that can happen in your life has happened,” he told Metro.co.uk.

“It was tough. My dad was sick throughout a bit of the pandemic and he unfortunately had cancer as well.

"I still find it tough and losing both of them together was even more difficult but one thing I took from it was… I started to learn guitar and lots of these songs were inspired by trying to be happier.”

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Shane Filan pictured speaking with Ryan Tubridy about losing his parents to cancer on The Late Late Show Daffodil Day Special in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. Picture Andres Poveda

Shane Filan pictured speaking with Ryan Tubridy about losing his parents to cancer on The Late Late Show Daffodil Day Special in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. Picture Andres Poveda

Shane Filan pictured speaking with Ryan Tubridy about losing his parents to cancer on The Late Late Show Daffodil Day Special in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. Picture Andres Poveda

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The album finishes with the song, Always With Me, which is based on how his dad must have felt for those “nine months when he was without her”.

“It’s a beautiful story and I’m so proud of it. It took me four months to finish it because we kept going over it trying to make it better,” he revealed.

The four-piece group that reunited in 2019 after a seven-year hiatus topped the charts with their comeback album, Spectrum.

“That success maybe gave us the confidence for this album to start again and give them more music,” Shane said.

“It definitely made us realise our fanbase are still there and maybe even more, we sold more tickets at the last gig than we ever did on tour. Our album was number one, it was a big confidence boost for us after seven years of being away.

“Bands come and go and you do wonder if you’re relevant anymore. Having Ed Sheeran involved on the first album back… it made us realise well if he’s a fan and he likes our music, then there’s no reason why we can’t be encouraged and sit in the charts beside him and he was the most successful current artist in the world at the time, so even that gave us a boost.”

Sheeran who wrote their comeback single, Hello My Love, along with Steve Mac, had “brought us back to life again musically and we found our sound again”, Shane said.

“We’ve got lots to thank Ed Sheeran for that reason. It’s opened up lots of doors now on this album.

“It’s going to be so exhilarating to be back on-stage again and just to be with the fans and I’m sure they’re excited too,” he added.

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