With those dazzling poster-boy looks, Ronan Keating became one of Europe's most endearing stars as the leader of the Irish boy band Boyzone.
The five Irish lads in Boyzone, who made their debut in 1993, built their charismatic style into one of the biggest European pop/rock acts of the '90s. But before he was winning over the world, Keating was a middle-class kid living in Dublin. Born Ronan Patrick John Keating on March 3, 1977, he was the last of four children in the Keating household. His father, Gerry, was a pub owner and his mother, Marie, was a hairdresser, so financially the Keating family was trying to make ends meet.
The working trudge instilled the desire to work in the youngest Keating. While selling shoes in a local store, he noticed a search advertisement for an Irish Take That. The 14-year-old beat out 300 hopefuls with his own rendition of the Cat Stevens song "Father and Son" and was headed toward becoming a celebrity. Boyzone released four albums, every one debuting at number one in the U.K. They released 16 singles, each one charting in the Top Three on the U.K. charts. Most notably, Americans will recognize this five-piece as the dashing young men singing behind U2's Bono in "The Sweetest Thing" video.
Six years into being part of one of the U.K.'s brightest and biggest-selling pop bands, Keating searched for an alternate creative outlet. He began managing another male pop group called Westlife. He married Irish model Yvonne Connelly in April 1998, and the following year they had a son, Jack. Musically, however, Keating's intentions remained in tune with his internal spirit. He couldn't possibly steer clear of the media spotlight for long and something positive was bound to come of it. He recorded his debut solo effort in early 2000 under the craftsmanship of artists such as Bryan Adams and Barry Gibb. His sensual and childlike persona was full-fledged. He is a working songsmith with the utmost class, and counterparts like Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow might be considered a bit shy of such inborn grace. Ronan was issued overseas in mid-2000, and a U.S. version followed in October.
For 2002's Destination, Keating collaborated with songwriter and ex-New Radicals frontman Gregg Alexander. This album was another smash overseas, with hit singles such as "I Love It When We Do" and "I've Got My Heart on You," yet it failed to see a release in the States. Two years later, Keating issued Turn It On. His rendition of Terence Trent D'Arby's "Let Her Down Easy" and songs co-written with Deacon Blue's Ricky Ross were featured in another mature set from the former boy band singer. 10 Years of Hits followed in 2005, and a year later, Keating released the studio album Bring You Home. In 2009 he released the heartfelt tribute album Songs for My Mother, which was dedicated to his late mother Marie, who had passed away from breast cancer in 1998. Keating released a collection of duets, appropriately titled Duet, in 2010.
In 2011 came Keating's eighth studio album, When Ronan Met Burt. Produced by Burt Bacharach, the album saw Keating take on a selection of Bacharach standards. Fires, Keating's ninth studio album, was released in 2012. In 2016, Keating returned with Time of My Life, featuring the single "Let Me Love You." His 11th set, Twenty Twenty, arrived in May of the titular year, bringing with it collaborations with Robbie Williams, Nina Nesbitt, and Emeli Sandé. ~ MacKenzie Wilson, Rovi