My whole world changed when Michael Jackson brought out the Bad album when I was about eight or nine. He took over my whole life and from then on I wanted to be Michael Jackson. I watched his videos for hours and learned how to dance like him. I would push back the chairs in the room and learn his dance moves. I even taught myself to moonwalk.
Why me? Why did this happen? How could I be in Westlife and then have nothing to show for it financially at the end of it? But it's like, why not me? That's just life. It's tough. There's a lot more problems in the world. There are a lot of people who would wish to God they had my problem instead of having a sick child.
My mum and dad ran a family cafe in Sligo for 35 years and worked long hours. We grew up in a very hard-working family and had a lovely atmosphere, as we lived above the restaurant. It definitely made me want to work hard, whatever I chose to do. As the baby of seven kids, I was definitely a bit spoilt.
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The couple of years before I was declared bankrupt were the roughest. The bank letters, the pressure, the stress was awful. You're in this twilight zone of not knowing where your life is going, and yet you're in Westlife. Everything was great with the band. I was earning money, and it looked good.
Every year, we couldn't believe it, and even when I look back on it now, to sell 14 million singles, 50 million albums and sell out arenas and stadiums, what Westlife achieved was crazy. It's like One Direction probably don't realise how big they are. They'll look back one day and think, 'Holy God, that was pretty amazing.'
You shouldn't end a band like Westlife and not be financially secure to some extent, but I wasn't at all - it was the complete opposite. But you look at stuff then, 'Well, what do I have? I don't have money but I have a great marriage, three healthy kids, and I have my voice. I'll just start again.'
If I'm honest, I thought Westlife would keep going for longer than it did - we all did - but it sort of came to a natural end. When we decided we were going to split, I thought, 'If I'm going to sing, I'm going to have to do it solo.' Also, financially I was broke, so the decision was ultimately made for me.
Capitol Records were very keen for me to write and see how I got on; I think that is what defined my sound. The first session I had was with two young up-and-coming writers, Nick Atkinson and Tom Wilding, and I went into a session a bit nervous because I hadn't written that many songs before.
'Everything To Me' is about everything that's important. It's about my wife, my kids, it's about life, about being happy. It's about life in general, you know, about not knowing what's going to be around the corner, but you've got to enjoy it and enjoy the things you have. My wife, my kids, my health, and stuff like that.