WESTLIFE aren’t exactly flying any more, with or without wings. They’ve been let go by their record label.
The Irish group made a comeback in 2018 before reaching No1 with their first album in nine years, 2019’s Spectrum.
But I’m told a shake-up at their label EMI has cost Shane Filan, Markus Feehily, Kian Egan and Nicky Byrne their deal in what is a brutal time for the industry.
A music insider said: “Westlife are still a big name but their album came out months before the first lockdown, which has made things really difficult.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t quite sell as well as the team had hoped and because there have been a lot of changes at the label, they have decided to let Westlife go.
“They had a whole tour planned for 2020 which would have boosted sales of their music but the pandemic has really hampered things for everyone.”
The album featured five songs written by Ed Sheeran, plus one by James Bay, so I can understand why their label thought it might be bigger than it was — though it did sell 500,000 copies internationally.
But I have good news for fans: This isn’t the end.
The lads have vowed to come back stronger than ever, with new music and their own TV show later this year.
A spokesman for the band told me: “They’ve agreed a mutual parting of ways with EMI and details of a new and groundbreaking partnership are imminent.
“The next 18 months are shaping up to be the band’s busiest, including a new album, sold-out stadium shows — featuring a first show at Wembley Stadium — plus their biggest-ever global tour, which will include their first-ever American shows.
“The band are also considering opportunities for a spectacular end-of-year TV show and a documentary special.”
Westlife are still a big deal and I’m sure they will find a new home before long.
Given some of the rubbish I’ve heard by newly signed acts lately, perhaps it’s these record labels in need of a rethink, not the acts on their books.
Tim cuts it as scissorhands
IF this isn’t enough to make Hollywood bigwigs do an Edward Scissorhands sequel, I don’t know what is.
Timothee Chalamet dressed up as a convincing Edgar Scissorhands – the main character’s son – for a Cadillac advert in the US, opposite one of the film’s original stars, Winona Ryder.
That would be all well and good. But given it’s only been a year since the Oscar-nominee split up with Lily-Rose Depp, whose dad Johnny played the lead in the 1990 film, it’s a bit weird.
Every other classic flick seems to be getting a reboot, so I’m surprised this hasn’t.
Surely Timothee has the role in the bag if they do decide to go for it.
Mac reach end of road
IF you’ve yet to see Fleetwood Mac, you may have missed your chance.
Singer and keyboardist Christine McVie says the group are unlikely to ever tour again with their most famous line-up, as singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks does not want to perform live.
She also revealed bassist John McVie wants out as he feels “frail” following a battle with cancer and other health issues last year.
Fleetwood Mac started out with the first line-up in 1967.
Asked whether the group, which currently also includes Mick Fleetwood, Mike Campbell and Neil Finn, would tour again, Christine said: “That’s an impossible question to even answer.
“If we do, it will be without John and without Stevie.
“I think I’m getting a bit too old for it now, especially having had a year off.
“I don’t know if I can get myself back into it again.
“I know Mick would do it in a lightning strike. But I couldn’t possibly say. We’re certainly not touring this year either.”
Quizzed on her ex-husband John’s health on Radio 2, she added: “He is feeling a little bit frail.
“You know he was ill. He’s fine, but he just hasn’t got the heart for it any more.
“He wants to get on his boat. You reach a certain age where you go, ‘Hey, I’m not going to bust a gut doing this any more’.”
The band’s last performances in the UK were in June 2019, when they played two shows at Wembley Stadium.
NETFLIX has bagged a massive 46 nominations in the Critics’ Choice Awards.
Film Mank is up for 12 gongs while royal drama The Crown is in the running for six, including for stars Gillian Anderson and Olivia Colman.
Also nominated is newly single Daisy Edgar-Jones for her role in BBC’s Normal People.
Dua's in launch position
DUA Lipa is counting down the hours until her next single – just as I’m ticking off the days until pubs can reopen.
The Levitating singer posed in a blue top with tights and heeled boots in this promo shot ahead of the release of her new tune We’re Good.
Dua captioned the pictures on Instagram “Count down”, as she eagerly awaits the track coming out on Thursday, followed by the deluxe edition of her album Future Nostalgia on Friday.
On the record’s cover art, she is seen on one leg in front of the moon.
She really is out of this world.
Olly: I am a witch
OLLY Alexander has revealed he is a witch. The Years & Years singer describes himself as Wiccan – a follower of witchcraft – and knew he had an affinity to the pagan religion before even realising what his sexuality was.
Olly, who viewers have seen in Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin, said: “I’m into cemeteries – I like anything spooky. I’ve got so many decks of tarot cards.
“I identified as a Wiccan before I identified as gay.
“I loved the craft so much.
“My first ever job in the Forest of Dean was working at this shop called Moonstones.
“They sold spell books and gems and crystals and incense.So my flat is basically Moonstones.”
Collecting all that gear sounds like a lot of toil and trouble.
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Mix gigs on hold
LITTLE Mix’s Confetti tour has been delayed by a whole year after Covid restrictions meant it was unable to go ahead as planned this spring.
The trio were due to kick off in Dublin on April 28 but it will now start in Belfast on April 9, 2022.
That will mean it finally begins almost two years after their 21-date 2020 summer tour, which was axed because of the pandemic, was planned.
They told fans: “You know how much we love being on the road and performing every night for you all.
“However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we must prioritise the safety of our fans and crew and help to stop the spread.
“All tickets will be valid for the corresponding rescheduled dates and we’re taking this chance to add an additional show for our fans in Cardiff.”
Foos take fifth
FOO Fighters are on track to score their fifth No1 album following the release of excellent new record Medicine At Midnight.
Dave Grohl, who I assume is screaming in celebratory cheer and his band are currently outselling the rest of the Top Ten combined.
Following them are US folk band Fleet Foxes at No2 with Shore and Black Country, New Road’s For The First Time at No3.
Not Your Muse by Celeste is at No4 while The Weeknd’s The Highlights is at No5.
Longest-charting album by a female artist
ADELE’s second record, 21, has now spent a total of 500 weeks on the Billboard 200 album chart in the US.
The British singer’s achievement makes this the longest-charting album by a female artist in the chart’s history, while in the UK it has spent 294 weeks in the Top 100.
That all goes to prove just how eagerly anticipated her long-awaited fourth album is.
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