Westlifes Shane Filan recalls heartbreaking words of late dad after losing his wife Mae

Shane Filan has recalled the heartbreaking words his late father told him that influenced the "saddest ballad" on the new Westlife album Wild Dreams.

The 42 year old lost his mum Mae in December 2019 and just 10 months later, his dad and "best friend" Peter passed away.

Plunged into grief during the coronavirus pandemic, the Irish singer channeled it all into his music and together with his bandmates Nicky Byrne, 43, Markus Feehily, 41, and Kian Egan, 41, they created their album – which is set to come out on 26 November.

"It was all done via the internet, Zoom call and going into each other's houses. It's been a great process. We're very excited for the fans to hear, because it is a different sound," Shane explained during an exclusive chat with OK! Online.

Speaking about how his experiences influenced the songs, he continued: "For me, it was a very difficult year. Obviously, for everybody, but for me I lost my mum and dad in the last year and a half as well. So it's been a very difficult year from that sense."

Shane, whose new song with Westlife titled Starlight comes out today 14 October, went on: "I say some stuff about my parents throughout the album, but there's one song in particular, which is called 'Always With Me', which is the last song on the album and it's a sadder ballad.

"It's a really true story about something my dad said to me.

"My mum died first so my dad was heartbroken for nine months without my mum and they were together for 55 years so it was a heartbreaking time for him.

"One time he said to me, 'They say that time heals a broken heart,' you know it's a famous saying, but he goes, 'I don't think so, I don't know about that, Shane.'

"And I was like, 'Oh my God,' so this was his way of saying, 'My heart is broken,' but he didn't say it. My dad didn't talk like that but it was his way of telling me."

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Shane explained that most of the album is happy and positive as he wanted it to be something that could uplift the public after the "wild" time they've all been through during the pandemic.

The hitmaker than shared how he learned how to play the guitar during his time in lockdown with his family after his wife Gillian offered to arrange a Zoom session for him.

He said: "It was a crazy idea over a glass of wine in the house over one of our many date nights at home and she was going, 'Why don't you? Worse case scenario, you don't like it or you're not good at it – at least you tried.'

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"So thankfully I did try it and within two or three months I was playing guitar, I was playing chords here and there."

Shane added: "Then I went well maybe I can write some songs here, what I've always wanted to do and we started doing it."

Wild Dreams, release on 26 November, is available for pre-order now at www.westlife.com

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