Westlife star leaves band after 'turbulent' health woes as he admits: ‘I wish things could be different’

Westlife star leaves band after 'turbulent' health woes as he admits: ‘I wish things could be different’

Mark Feehily discusses life with Westlife and their latest tour

Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 29/02/2024

- 10:45

Westlife launched their Wild Dreams Tour in Summer 2022 and are set to head to the US for another leg

Westlife singer Mark Feehily has announced he has had to step away from the Irish boyband just days before they were set to embark on their US tour – after struggling with ongoing health issues.

Feehily and his bandmates Shane Filan, Kian Egan, and Nicky Byrne first found fame back in 1988 and were taking their pop-hits to the US.

However, Feehily recently announced he would no longer be joining his bandmates and temporarily leaving the band after being diagnosed with sepsis.

In a lengthy Instagram post, he explained to his fans and those who were attending the tour: “Most of you are aware that I have had some health challenges over the past while.

“It actually all started 3.5 years ago in August 2020 when I had surgery. Within a few days of this surgery I was in severe pain and was rushed into A&E.

“I eventually ended that awful day in ICU (Intensive Care Unit) where I was informed that due to a complication with the surgery, I had developed severe 'Sepsis', a life-threatening infection that would require immediate emergency surgery to rectify the problem and basically save my life.”

Feehily went on to add that he spent a few “traumatic” months in hospital and ended up being back in A&E with pneumonia in 2021.

After being referred to a consultant, he was told he needed more surgery which happened in May 2022, with the star attempting to “soldier on” for his fans and to made it back on tour.

The pressure quickly proved too much for the Uptown Girl singer who developed an "incisional hernia", forcing him to endure his fourth major surgery since the start of it all.

Confirming his exit from the band for now, he added: “It is with the utmost level of regret that I must now temporarily stand down from all Westlife touring until a time that I have had the chance to fully recover from the turbulent journey I have been through as an individual.


Westlife are taking their Wild Dreams Tour to the US


“Believe me, I wish things could be different! I would like to thank you so very much for your support and understanding of me and my health over the past few years.”

Ending his statement, he thanked his family, band members, medical staff and his fans for being there to support him and understand he needs to focus on his health.

He signed off: “Sending the most positive vibes in your direction! I will see you very soon beautiful people! WESTLIFE FOREVER.” (sic)

Fans were devastated to hear the news but equally supported Feehily in his choice by commenting under his post: “I'm so sorry for all of this Mark! We are devastated with this news!


Westlife's Mark Feehily (second from left) has stepped down from the tour


“But first of all your health comes first of all the things! Please take care of yourself and we love you so much! Take your time that you need to heal!”

“Take good care Marky, we will wait for you!!” another penned before a third added: “You have to do what’s right for you and your family and if that means you not performing again then that’s what is best.

“We love you so much and this is why, thank you for sharing with us your pain, look after yourself for as long as you need, that is all we ask.”

A fourth expressed: “We will miss you dearly but you need to look after yourself.” (sic)

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