Childhood & Early Life
Keith Duffy was born Keith Peter Thomas Francis Julian John Duffy, on October 1, 1974, in Dublin, the capital of Ireland, to Sean and Pat Duffy. He was the second of the three brothers in the family and was raised in the Donaghmede suburb in Dublin.
Keith was a weak child who kept getting sick. His parents took extra care of him, as he had developed pneumonia, measles, and whooping cough before he was even 3 years old. However, Keith later grew up to be an active child and did exceedingly well in extracurricular activities.
Keith loved singing, dancing and acting even as a child. At the age of 8, he was a member of his school’s marching band. He was not too interested in academics and concentrated more on sports and practical subjects.
Keith began focusing on activities such as hurling and Gaelic football in his childhood and continued playing until his high-school years. He also represented Dublin in the under-16 hurling tournament. His other interest was music, which he took up as a future career option.
At the age of 16, he got his first drum kit and learned to play the instrument all by himself. Sometime later, he began playing for two local bands, ‘This Burning Effigy’ and ‘Toledo Moon.’
Following his high-school graduation, he joined college to study architecture. Early in the second year of his college, he realized that it was not his cup of tea and thus decided to drop out of college to pursue music instead. He dropped out and began doing small jobs, until he came across an advertisement for the audition for a new band.
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In 1993, Keith saw a newspaper advertisement regarding the audition for a band. Initially, he could not secure an audition. However, the band’s manager, Louis Walsh, saw Keith dancing at a nightclub a few days later and invited him to audition for the band. The audition was successful, and Keith was hired as a singer/drummer of the band ‘Boyzone,’
Although two other members of the band handled the lead vocals, Keith was hired as a backup vocalist. He was also one of the original members of the band. Soon, the band began recording their debut album.
The band initially performed at local venues across the U.K. Their debut album, ‘Said and Done,’ was released in 1995, and it ended up acing the charts in Ireland and the U.K. The singles ‘Father and Son,’ ‘Key to My Life,’ and ‘So Good’ became extremely popular with the youth.
Despite the success of their debut album, the band was still struggling to make their presence felt across the nation. They achieved their purpose to a great extent with their second album. Titled ‘A Different Beat,’ the album was released in 1996 and was immensely successful across the world.
Songs such as ‘Picture of You’ and ‘Coming Home Now’ became particularly successful. The album ended up selling more than 2 million copies worldwide, and ‘Boyzone’ also made their entry into the U.S. music market.
Their third album, ‘Where We Belong,’ was released in 1998, and it turned out to be more successful than their previous album. It sold more than 3 million copies worldwide. The band’s 1998 tour of Ireland emerged as a record-breaking success, with 35,000 tickets being booked within 4 hours.
In 1999, the band released yet another album, ‘By Request,’ and it broke all previous records of the band’s success. The album sold more than 4 million copies worldwide. However, it was also the last album the original band members produced together.
The band members were facing internal tensions for a while, and this led them to part ways to concentrate on their solo projects.
However, by then, Keith had become a known face in the TV industry. This happened mainly after his appearance on ‘Celebrity Big Brother,’ a highly popular reality TV show, in 2001. He ended up as one of the top three contestants by the end of the season, and his popularity soared.
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Later that year, he made yet another TV appearance, with the game show ‘Fort Boyard,’ which featured him as a celebrity guest.
However, his first major acting break was as ‘Ciaran McCarthy’ in the popular British soap opera ‘Coronation Street.’ His debut appearance in the soap was in 2002, and he remained part of it until 2005. He also appeared in a few episodes of the show in 2010 and 2011. His performance on the show received critical and commercial acclaim.
In 2004, he made a guest appearance in the series ‘Mrs. Brown’s Boys.’ He appeared as ‘Mick O’Leary’ in one of its episodes, titled ‘Believe it or Not.’
Later that year, he appeared in the recurring role of ‘Paul Dunne’ in the series titled ‘The Clinic.’
He made his film debut in 2007, with an independent film titled ‘Be More Ethnic.’ He later appeared in feature films such as ‘Death in Paradise’ and ‘Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie.’
More recently, he began playing the regular role of ‘Jimmy Jones’ in the series titled ‘Little Roy.’ He has been part of the series since 2016.
Family & Personal Life
Keith Duffy began dating Lisa Smith in the late 1990s and proposed marriage to her in 1998. They got married on June 24, 1998. They have two children together, Jordan and Mia Duffy.
His daughter was later diagnosed with moderate autism. Since then, Keith has been working toward spreading awareness about the disease.
In 2012, Keith attended the launch of a special school for autistic children, named ‘Stepping Stones.’