A great musical legacy
An island that pops
The Cranberries
Cult status with 'Linger' and other songs
The Cranberries: Outstanding Irish band
Bestsellers
The Boomtown Rats
A questionable publicity stunt
Bob Geldof and Live Aid
The Corrs
In Blue
Best Pop Act
The Script
Writing for Britney and TLC
The Man Who Can't be Moved
What happened to The Script?
The Thrills - an American sound
Short-lived success
BeWitched
International recognition
New Zealand still loves them!
Westlife
Right behind ABBA and The Beatles
Westlife: global stars
Boyzone
The most iconic Irish pop group
Boyzone: especially big in Europe
Niall Horan and One Direction
Siva Kaneswaran and The Wanted
Pop music for the future
Irish pop bands with the most success in the world
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A great musical legacy

Ireland may be more famous for its writers, but it is also an island with a fine set of lungs. In the genres of rock and folk, there have been greats such as Ronnie Drew, Glen Hansard, Phil Lynott and U2.

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An island that pops

And there have been notable names in pop music as well. In this list, we will celebrate the pop kings and queens that have become famous all over the world.

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The Cranberries

They're a band that have experienced so much - breakout success, breakup, reunion, the tragic death of lead singer Dolores O'Riordan, and finally, disbandment.

 

 

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Cult status with 'Linger' and other songs

Their hits are endless, and fans are still enjoying 'Zombie', 'Linger', 'Dreams' and so many more iconic songs.

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The Cranberries: Outstanding Irish band

In 1998, the band played at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, and in the same year, they were ranked as one of the most outstanding bands to come from Ireland.

 

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Bestsellers

Over the course of 1999 and 2000, they travelled the globe on a world tour that took in over a hundred venues and one million fans. To date, the band have sold 50 million albums.

 

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The Boomtown Rats

This Irish band infused their hits with rock, new wave and pop. Their story is one of leaving unemployment and desperation behind in the search for musical glory. Bob Geldof was the charismatic ringleader.

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A questionable publicity stunt

Known for songs such as 'I Don't Like Mondays' and 'Rat Trap', the band enjoyed success in Ireland, the UK and Europe. They had some success in the USA, but a stunt where they sent dead rodents to DJs backfired spectacularly.

 

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Bob Geldof and Live Aid

Geldof was responsible for Live Aid, though, and that was a global sensation.

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The Corrs

Jim Corr might have gone off the deep-end in the last few years, but there was a time when he was more famous for playing tunes with his sisters.

 

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In Blue

They no longer play as a group, but they have sold 40 million singles worldwide and have gone platinum on more than one occasion. Their album 'In Blue' was number 1 in 17 different countries.

 

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Best Pop Act

On the awards front, they were frequently nominated but rarely won. Their luck was in, however, at the Hot Press Irish Music Awards in 2002 as they won Best Pop Act.

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The Script

The Script straddle the rock-pop divide, and their success has carried their songs as far as TV soundtracks, high-profile collaborations, award wins, and impressive record sales.

Their songs are melodic kitchen sink dramas, with earnest lyrics and catchy melodies.

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Writing for Britney and TLC

Danny and Mark were originally part of a boyband, and they knocked around LA for a number of years writing songs for the likes of Britney Spears and TLC.

 

 

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The Man Who Can't be Moved

After these successful collaborations, they returned to Dublin, recruited a drummer and the rest, as they say, is history. Some of their hits are 'The Man Who Can't Be Moved' and 'Hall of Fame'.

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What happened to The Script?

They are still together! In fact, in 2022 they will go on an epic world tour.

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The Thrills - an American sound

It's not often that an Irish band sound like something out of California, but The Thrills wore their American roots on their sleeve. Their first two albums were recorded in LA, and their sun-soaked hits included 'Not For All The Love In The World' and 'Whatever Happened To Corey Haim?'.

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Short-lived success

Truth be told, they did not last beyond a disappointing third album. It seems they grew self-conscious of their California-infused vibe and this loss of identity resulted in their label dropping them. Nevertheless, they did win the European Borders Breaker Award in 2004 for achieving international success with their debut album. Today, they are a cult-favourite in many corners of the world.

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BeWitched

BeWitched (with an * in place of the first 'e') was an Irish girlband who achieved real success and remarkable inroads in the American market, but the intense slog of maintaining a pop career and in-fighting eventually derailed them.

 

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International recognition

In their heyday, they had a guest spot on American TV's 'General Hospital', performed the theme tune for 'Sabrina: The Animated Series', and opened for NSYNC on their world tour.

 

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New Zealand still loves them!

BeWitched have really not gotten the credit they deserve, and they are too easily forgotten when it comes to remembering Irish pop legends. Even today, they are capable of playing to enthusiastic fans in places like New Zealand.

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Westlife

Westlife deserves enormous credit for their longevity, with a career spanning from 1998 to the present day, with a brief hiatus in between.

 

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Right behind ABBA and The Beatles

They have the record for the most consecutive chart-topping albums since the Beatles and ABBA.

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Westlife: global stars

At their height, they conquered the world, and their World Music Award wins in 2004 and nominations in 2012 and 2014 for World's Best Group and World's Best Live Act are a testament to this fact. As recently as 2019, they toured Asia and Sweden, bringing their powerful ballads to loving audiences.

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Boyzone

Take That's breakup left a vacuum that Boyzone was more than happy to fill. Powered by songs they often wrote themselves, they regularly topped the charts.

Their hits include 'Picture of You' and 'A Different Beat'.

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The most iconic Irish pop group

When the band was founded in 1993, 300 people originally auditioned to be in the band, including a then-unknown Colin Farrell. Ronan Keating sang 'Father and Son' for his audition, while Kieth Duffy sang 'I'm Too Sexy'.

 

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Boyzone: especially big in Europe

They never really broke America, but they reigned supreme in Europe (as shown by numerous MTV Europe Music Award wins), Asia and the antipodean countries.

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Niall Horan and One Direction

Other singers have made the grade across the Irish sea. Niall Horan was a key part of One Direction, and now that the band have broken up, he is building an amazing solo career.

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Siva Kaneswaran and The Wanted

Siva Kaneswaran was the Irish singer in The Wanted, and he is also a model. The band were extremely successful in the UK and worldwide.

 

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Pop music for the future

The next generation of talent is already emerging, and it won't take long for us to see which Irish pop bands will go on to take over the world in the future.

(Image: The Wanted)

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