Louis Walsh is to be honoured for his Outstanding Contribution to the Entertainment Industry at the prestigious Irish Post Awards in London this month.
The undisputed king of the Irish pop scene, will pick up the special gong when he attends the black tie event in the capital in two weeks’ time.
As the man behind some of the most successful bands in pop history, he has masterminded the careers of Boyzone, Westlife, Samantha Mumba, Girls Aloud, Shayne Ward, Wonderland and of course Jedward.
The fact that he has achieved over a staggering 28 No.1 hits is a testament to his success and is one of the reasons why Louis Walsh is one of the most respected names in the music industry today.
From Kiltimagh in Co. Mayo, Louis’ first taste of success came when he spotted an artist called Johnny Logan.
Convinced that Logan could be a big hit if he was given the right break and persuaded him to sing at The Eurovision Song Contest and his gamble paid off when in 1980 Johnny Logan won the 25th Eurovision Song Contest in front of 500 million viewers.
Logan’s first album sold half a million copies within three days of its release, catapulting Logan to No. 1 in 11 European countries.
With a No.1 artist already under his belt, Louis was ready for his next challenge. Relying on his instincts, Louis knew that his next hit would be with a band to rival the success of Take That.
A series of auditions followed and five unknown artists were plucked from obscurity. Ronan Keating, the late and great Stephen Gately, Keith Duffy, Shane Lynch and Mikey Graham made up the band and Boyzone was born.
They achieved 16 top three singles, six of which were No.1s and four No.1 albums, selling over 12million copies worldwide.
When Ronan Keating announced he wanted to take a break from Boyzone, Louis continued to manage his career, helping him to score a No.1 hit with Life is a Rollercoaster in 2000.
Ronan’s solo album shot to No.1 and a further two hit singles were released from the album, which went on to sell over 4.4million copies.
Just before Stephen Gately’s untimely death in 2009 Louis and Boyzone were working together on their comeback tour and album. Following Stephen’s death Boyzone released Boyzone Brother in memory of Stephen.
Louis next discovery, Westlife, proved a hit from the start. Record companies were falling over themselves to sign the band and in 1998 Simon Cowell, then at RCA signed them up in a multi-million pound deal.
Their first single Swear It Again reached No.1 and since 1998 they have achieved 14 No.1 hits and six No.1 albums in Britain, the third highest in British history tying with Cliff Richard and just trailing behind the Beatles and Elvis.
In 2001, Louis made his first foray into television on the Irish version of Popstars, which made Louis a household name in both Ireland and Britain.
The following year, Louis appeared as a judge on Popstars: The Rivals, along with Pete Waterman and Geri Halliwell.
Louis went head to head with Pete Waterman on the show, with his all girl band Girls Aloud battling it out with Pete’s boy band, One True Voice.
Girls Aloud won hands down and their debut single achieved the coveted British Christmas No. 1. Louis went on to manage the girls till they parted company in 2005.
In 2004 Louis first appeared as a judge on The X Factor, a run that would continue for 11 series.
Over the years Louis has mentored and seen chart success with series 1 runner’s up G4 and 2005 winner Shayne Ward. In 2008 Louis mentored runners up JLS who went on to have huge chart success.
In 2009 Louis signed the controversial act of that year, Irish twins Jedward who despite finishing sixth in the competition went on to become one of the most successful acts to appear on the hit ITV show, releasing 2 albums, performing for Barack Obama and going on to represent Ireland twice at Eurovision.
Louis went back to his roots in 2014 when he held auditions in Ireland for a new boy band, one year later and his new act HomeTown are signed to Sony and have already had 2 No1 selling singles in Ireland.
The Irish man’s incredible career will be honoured at this month’s The Irish Post Awards – an annual gala dinner and awards evening hosted by The Irish Post, the biggest selling newspaper and daily news site for the Irish in Britain.
The annual event will be held at The London Hilton on Park Lane on Friday, October 23, with broadcaster Eamonn Holmes acting as the Master of Ceremonies.
Brian and Luke Comer of The Comer Group will receive the Outstanding Contribution to Business in Britain Award on the evening.
Calum Best will attend to accept a posthumous award for his late father George Best for his Outstanding Contribution to Sport.
Award-winning actress Fionnula Flanagan will attend to collect and Award for her Outstanding Contribution to the Film & Television Industry.
Last year, the Outstanding Contribution to Business in Britain Award was given to Sean Mulryan of Ballymore Group, the Dublin-based international property development company, while acclaimed actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers received the Legend Award.