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This article was published in Teen Stuff Magazine. Issue: October 2001.


When you firstly hear "Ronan. Ronan" you will think, 'Oh what a strange name!', but after searching for its meaning I found out that 'Ronan' has two meanings: the first one is literary and it means 'Baby seal' or 'little seal' while the second one is figurative and it means 'ambition' which should automatically be connected to one of the greatest pop stars of all times 'Ronan Keating' whose ambition hasn't only made him successful at what he does, but has also made him reach the top of the music world

"I am ambition, yeah. Very much though. I love what I do and..I'd go for as long as I can, I'll do this for as long as I can, as long as I feel it's right to do - I love it, and I'm lucky enough to be successful at what I do." says Ronan.

Ronan Keating is fast evolving into a man for all seasons. He is a singer, a songwriter, front man of Boyzone, a father, a husband, co-manager of pop band Westlife and he started this when he was about 22 years old.

So let's talk about this young artist and how he achieved all this

Ronan Patrick John Keating -nicknamed as "Ro"- was born on the 3rd of March 1977 in Dublin, Ireland. He is the youngest of 3 brothers: Ciaran, Gerard and Gary and one sister: Linda. He's married to Irish model, Yvonne Connelly and has got a boy named Jack who's 2 years old and a girl named Marie (she was named after Ro's mother) who's about 4 months old.

When Ronan was young, he worked in many different jobs such as helping out his Mum's hairdresser's, working with his dad on the trucks,  or as a sales assistant in a local shoe store, but anyway, Ronan was no stranger to the music business. He'd been writing songs since his first year at secondary school, and had formed a band with his mates Ian, Stuey, Gordon, Adrian and John called 'Nameste'. He'd always fancied being as successful as 'Take That'.

Ronan joined a few bands after that, mainly a rock band who idolized Nirvana but that didn't last long.

Ronan beat 300 applicants to join 'Boyzone' and it was rather strange that he sang 'Father and Son' for his audition. Louis Walsh (Boyzone's manager) was so impressed that he knew that the song would be a future release for the boys.

When their first single came out "Working my way back to you", it was Stephen and Mikey who took the lead vocals. But Ronan's break came with "Love me for a reason" and that is all it took to establish him as the lead vocalist of Boyzone. This song hit no.2 in the charts and soon to follow were 'Key to My Life' and 'A different beat' which proved that the boys did not need cover songs to establish their creditability. Boyzone 1st no.1 of course was 'Words'.

Ronan was singled out by girls young and old as being the boy with the best haircut, best dressed and best male, but everyone knew that it was his singing. Then Ronan became the real leader of Boyzone. He started his songwriting career and venture with new singles that rose to the top of the charts. That is how he picked up an Ivor Novello award for co-writing 'Picture of you' for the Mr. Bean movie.

Ronan was becoming an icon but his mother was suffering from breast cancer and eventually passed away. Boyzone was at the top of the charts with 'All that I need' when the news broke. Ronan was heart broken and had many sad moments.

It was after that, that Ronan got married to Yvonne in the Caribbean, in 1998, after a short romance. The couple had met up before and was best of friends for about a year. But Ronan loved Yvonne and he had to decide, "I either had to tell her I loved her or walk away and never see her again". Well, actually she was lucky enough for that!

Yvonne stuck by Ronan through thick and thin. She was there for him when his world fell apart with the death of his mother who was so precious to him. Without Yvonne, we may not have Ronan with us today on the music scene. He has always said that she was a pillar of strength during that time and still is.

Ronan has a great personality; he's a very spiritual lad. He is very down to earth and does not take things for granted. He is modest and has a lot of morals. He knows how much home and family mean and he is a very caring person and has devoted himself to the other lads of Boyzone.

Moreover, Ronan is BOYZONE! Without him there would be no Boyzone or at least it would not be same. He has the most amazing voice you might ever hear! He truly knows how to sing, with all his heart and soul. In addition, Ronan is one of the best performers and BONUShe is extremely good looking; that's why he's beloved by so many people from all over the world.

"I try to be modest, no-one likes a cocky pop star." says Ronan.

Boyzone released four albums, every one debuting at number one in the U.K. They released 16 singles, each one also charting in the top three on the U.K. charts.

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.

Musically, however, Keating's intentions stayed in tune with his internal spirit.

Asked to record a track for Notting Hill, Ronan was only too happy to oblige, and managed to take some time out from his hectic Boyzone commitments, to record the romantic ballad. "The song is beautiful and I wanted to add a bit of a Celtic feel to it. I was thrilled to be asked to record a song for the film." says Ronan.

July 26th 1999 saw the long awaited release of Ronan Keating's debut single 'When You Say Nothing At All', taken from the soundtrack of the British famous film Notting Hill, this track played as important role in the movie as leading man Hugh Grant.

The song was written by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz (a partnership which enjoyed more than 20 number one singles in the Billboard country charts), and it was originally a hit for country star Keith Whitley in 1988 and later was to win a Grammy award in 1995 for Alison Krauss (with her band Union Station). The song was very well received when Ronan previewed it during Boyzone's 'By Request' tour. It has not only become a favourite with the fans but has attracted attention from some high profile names including Notting Hill star Julia Roberts. The Hollywood star could not wait to congratulate Ronan on the song when the pair met for the London premiere of the film.

The song also appears on Boyzone's greatest hits album 'By Request', which became one of the biggest selling albums of 1999 just one week after release, selling more in it's first week than the rest of the Top 20 added together. The album also enabled the boys to become the only band since 'The Beatles' to debut at No.1 with their first 4 albums!

Like a great novel, each chapter is a surprise in itself and so it is with Ronan Keating. When Boyzone announced that they were going to take a year out to work on solo projects, Ronan flew out to Los Angeles in January, to write and record his debut solo album. Ronan's reputation as an artist of the highest calibre has lead to him working with some of the world's best songwriters and producers, from Steve Lipson, Pat Leonard (Madonna) and Barry Gibb (The Bee Gees) to Bryan Adams and Gregg Alexander (The New Radicals). The first single from the album was the upbeat and summery 'Life Is A Rollercoaster', which was released to the world on the 10th of July 2000.

Ronan himself describes the album as ".  a real mix of pop, rock and traditional music. I'm proud of every single track. Each song sounds and feels very special. I was really nervous at first about going in to the studio on my own without the other lads, but it was exciting to create my own stuff and to write with new people. I'm really happy with the result".

With tracks such as the poppy 'Life Is A Rollercoaster', the rocky 'If You Love Me' and the Bryan Adams/ Phil Thornalley penned 'The Way You Make Me Feel' there is something for everyone. Add to that the Irish sounding 'Only For You' plus the beautiful and the romantic ballads 'Once Upon A Lifetime' and 'In This Life' - and you've covered the whole spectrum! Simply entitled 'RONAN' - the album was released on the 31st of July 2000. Ronan then scooped the Best Selling Irish Album by a Male artist award and his live video has been voted Best Music Video of 2000 in the Quality Street Video Entertainment Awards.

Later on and after achieving many other highest charts positions and awards as usual, Ronan released another lovely single titled 'Lovin' each day' on the 9th of April 2001.

Okay, so we wonder if Ronan is going to make an impact as a solo artist? Well, he is out there alone without the boys and they're all out there doing their solo thing. As we think back we can look at the facts 

It was other members of the group that pushed to do the solo thing, it was not just Ronan. Ronan just jumped at the opportunity since Stephen and Mikey wanted to pursue their careers. Stephen was getting tired of always being in Ronan's shadow and Mikey wanted a chance to do his own stuff and record his own songs.

Also rumours are spread that Ronan's solo career is the beginning of the end of 'Boyzone'
 "Well, it's understandable that people are saying that, but we don't want to break up, this is something we want to do as individuals," says Ronan "That 'whatever' is been said in the press I've had several wonderful years with Boyzone and it's got me here tonight."

But, well, in my opinion I guess that yes, it's the end of Boyzone after

Ronan has recently pulled out of Boyzone summer tour.The Irish singer is said to have cost the band the chance to share £3 million from the gigs.
It is not known why he has pulled out. "Ronan suddenly pulled out and we don't know why," says Mickey "Now none of us have any room in our diaries for at least two years. The fans are in for a long wait."

Added to that, Boyzone have not recorded together for two years. They met up just before Christmas and agreed to tour. At the time Ronan said: "It was wonderful to see the lads again.
I want to reassure everyone we still all get on and want to work together again." But the truth isNo one actually knows!

Ronan now is pursuing his solo career and Louis Walsh is standing behind him all the way. Louis says, "Ronan will be King". Let's just hope that it does not go to his head.

Now let's see what the other boys think of their mate Ronan

Steve: "Soul! A very good soul, not a bad bone in his body. He's a very, very dear friend and I feel so close to him. He understands me, I understand him and we've got a lot in common. He'll go all the way."

Shane: "Ro is a good mate of mine and we've been through a lot together. He is a complete star and will always be in the music business. A star, a genuine bloke, no bullshit about him. He is quite soft but he does try hard to be hard."

Mikey: "Ronan, a young man, very very talented. I don't know if cunning would be the right word to use he's sensible, his eyes are open, he knows what to do with himself. He knows that the best thing for himself is and he exploits himself in the best possible manner. But because he is such a young guy sometimes I would worry for him - he is so young to be so advanced for his age and I don't know if one day he may turn around and wonder where his youth has gone."

Keith: "I'd probably be closest to Ronan at the moment that I have been for the last while. Ronan is an absolute gentleman with a total respect for his elders that he's never lost. He cares about other people and not hurting them. If someone really pisses him off he has a great way about him, rising above the shit and still being polite. I have never seen anyone like him - people can put him down to his face in a really horrible way and he is still able to rise above and be polite. It's such an art to be able to do that. He never gets riled - you get upset before you get a rise out of him. A lot of times thought he wipes the dirt under the carpet just to be friends, when he should let rip. It doesn't clear the air when you wipe it under the carpet. Sometimes he tells people what they want to hear. He's a mad guy at times as well. a head-banger, just as bad as me! Still, I have the outmost respect for him and think we will always be mates for as long as we're alive."

Finally, I would like to give you some of my favourite quotes by Ronan:

    * "I don't believe in fortune tellers. I believe in God. ..I'm religious. not superstitious."

    * "The world's our oyster as long as we keep our feet on the ground, I think."

    * "I don't believe in regrets. God has set a path for me and that is the road I'm taking."

     * "I'd like to think a mate would call me generous, trustworthy and genuine."

     * "I'll always be in the business - I love it so much. It's everything I am, it's everything I ever wanted to be and where I belong"

And let's wind up with Ronan's motto "To work hard and enjoy myself!"

So I hope you've enjoyed reading about Ronan Keating as much as listening to his lovely music...