Louis Walsh Biography
Sun Sign: Leo
Also Known As: Michael Louis Walsh, Michael Louis Vincent Walsh
Born in: Kiltimagh
Famous as: Entertainment Manager & TV Personality
siblings: Eamonn Walsh, Evelyn Walsh, Frank Walsh, Noel Walsh, Peter Walsh, Sarah Walsh
This entertainment manager has the credit of shaping the careers of some of Ireland’s big pop performers, like Boyzone and Westlife, who grew to fame in the 1990s. Besides, he is also the guiding force behind other singing sensations, such as Samantha Mumba, Girls Aloud, Johnny Logan and Shayne Ward. This showbiz maestro has earned himself respect and recognition by giving the music industry an impressive 28 number one hits through his singing discoveries. The cheeky Irishman has experienced his share of ups and downs before proving his instinct for great pop. A career which he started off as a teenager paid off after years of consistent hard work and perseverance. By managing shows as well as judging various talent shows, he has successfully portrayed the role of both a part professional and part celebrity. He is one of the three adjudicators on one of the biggest and most popular television talent shows in Europe – The X Factor. He is said to be synonymous with this ever-increasingly well-known show. Among other reality shows where he has enjoyed media exposure by judging and mentoring contestants include ‘Popstars: The Rivals’ and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.
- Michael Louis Vincent Walsh was born on August 5, 1952 in Kiltimagh, County Mayo, Ireland, as the second of nine children, to working-class couple Frank Walsh, a taxi driver and milk supplier, and Maureen.
- He spent his early life in rural Ireland, where he managed his first band – Time Machine, a local heavy rock group, at the age of 15.
- He traveled to Dublin when he was 19 and joined Tommy Hayden Enterprises management firm, which was promoting four bands – The Nevada, The Ventures, Lyttle People and Buckshot, at that time.
- After struggling for a couple years, he found success when he brought Irish singer Johnny Logan to Tommy Hayden, in 1979.
- Upon his request, Logan participated in Eurovision Song Contest in 1980 and won. Soon, he released his first solo album which reached number one within three days across 11 European nations, paving way for a successful career for Walsh.
- With more successes and less failures falling into his kitty, he left Hayden and joined Carol Hanna at Carol & Associates, in 1989. Soon, he was managing diaries for Linda Martin and Who’s Eddie.
- His history-creating break came with the audition of five new artists – Ronan Keating, Stephen Gately, Shane Lynch, Keith Duffy and Mikey Graham, in 1993 which gave birth to Boyzone, as a tough competition to UK rival Take That.
- In 1998, he formed another five-member band, comprising Nicky Byrne, Mark Feehily, Brian McFadden, Kian Egan and Shane Filan, as Westlife which gave biggest-selling singles to British music world.
- In 1999, Ronan Keating separated from Boyzone to concentrate on his solo career, which was whole-heartedly accepted by Walsh. Rather, he continued to supervise his career, enabling him to deliver a number one album.
- Keating assisted Walsh in managing Westlife’s first few singles and albums, but decided to part ways with him in 2000. During the same time, he spotted R&B singer Samantha Mumba and shaped her career with a handful of top singles.
- He debuted on television with the Irish edition of music show ‘Popstars’ in 2001.
- In 2002, he appeared on ‘Popstars: The Rivals’ as one of the judges, along with Geri Halliwell and Pete Waterman. His all-girl band, Girls Aloud defeated Pete’s boy band, One True Voice, thereby giving a string of UK hit singles.
- He began judging the talent show ‘The X Factor’ in 2004, which gave him British troupe G4 and Shayne Ward as the winners of series one and two respectively. Both these discoveries gave hit singles and albums on the UK charts.
- In 2005, he quit ‘The X Factor’ mid-series on the pretext of ill-treatment, but returned after a brief break and continues to judge it till date. In 2006, he judged its special edition ‘The X Factor: Battle of the Stars’ and won with Lucy Benjamin.
- He has appeared on several television shows, some being ‘Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway’ (2004), ‘Anonymous’ (2009), ‘Through the Keyhole’ (2013), and ‘Who’s Doing the Dishes?’ (2014).
- He has been a guest panelist on the special episode of ‘8 Out of 10 Cats’ (2013) and on various occasions on ‘Celebrity Juice’.
- He has judged series 2 of ‘You’re a Star’, series 5 of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and season 2 of ‘The X Factor USA’.
- His creation, Boyzone, went to taste exceptionally huge commercial success topping the Irish and UK charts and becoming a prominent international boy band in the 1990s.
- In 1998, he discovered Westlife, another Irish boy band, which saw success right from its first album and went on to give 14 UK number ones and six number one albums, achieving a record for the most consecutive number one singles.
- He is responsible for giving Lulu her most successful album till date, which brought together singing legends, like Elton John, Sting and Paul McCartney. The album reached its peak position at number four.
- His appearance on ITV ‘The X Factor’ – a music talent contest for budding singers, as a judge, alongside Sharon Osbourne and Simon Cowell, made him a household name.
- This Irish music mogul has delivered an incredible 28 number one hits, making him a successful and respectable name in the music industry.
- In 2009, he was honored with the Mayo Person of the Year award, from Mayo Dublin Association.
- He got married to English TV show host Caroline Flack in September 2012.
- Besides his admiration for creating boybands, he enjoys listening to a varied collection of numbers by Elton John, Celine Dion, Bette Midler and Oasis.
- Despite his harmless and amiable nature, he is known to have had a huge falling with Ronan Keating, where the two could not see eye-to-eye. However, the two patched up on ITV2’s program, Ghosthunting.
How To Cite
People Also Viewed