Mary of Teck
Mary of Teck was Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Empress of India as the wife of King George V. Although technically a princess of Teck, in the Kingdom of Württemberg, she was born and raised in England, her parents were Francis, Duke of Teck, of German extraction, Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, a granddaughter of King George III. She was informally known after her birth month. At the age of 24, she was betrothed to her second cousin once removed Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, but six weeks after the announcement of the engagement, he died unexpectedly during an influenza pandemic; the following year, she became engaged to Albert Victor's next surviving brother, who subsequently became king. Before her husband's accession, she was successively Duchess of York, Duchess of Cornwall, Princess of Wales; as queen consort from 1910, she supported her husband through the First World War, his ill health, major political changes arising from the aftermath of the war.
After George's death in 1936, she became queen mother when her eldest son, Edward VIII, ascended the throne, but to her dismay, he abdicated the same year in order to marry twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson. She supported her second son, George VI, until his death in 1952, she died the following year, during the reign of her granddaughter Elizabeth II, who had not yet been crowned. Princess Victoria Mary of Teck was born on 26 May 1867 at Kensington Palace, London, in the same room where Queen Victoria, her first cousin once removed, was born 48 years and two days earlier. Queen Victoria came to visit the baby, writing that she was "a fine one, with pretty little features and a quantity of hair". May would become the first queen consort born in England since Catherine Parr, her father was Prince Francis, Duke of Teck, the son of Duke Alexander of Württemberg by his morganatic wife, Countess Claudine Rhédey von Kis-Rhéde. Her mother was Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, a granddaughter of King George III and the third child and younger daughter of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel.
She was baptised in the Chapel Royal of Kensington Palace on 27 July 1867 by Charles Thomas Longley, Archbishop of Canterbury. From an early age, she was known to her family and the public by the diminutive name of "May", after her birth month. May's upbringing was "merry but strict", she was the eldest of four children, the only daughter, "learned to exercise her native discretion and tact" by resolving her three younger brothers' petty boyhood squabbles. They played with the children of the Prince of Wales, who were similar in age, she grew up at Kensington Palace and White Lodge, in Richmond Park, granted by Queen Victoria on permanent loan, was educated at home by her mother and governess. The Duchess of Teck spent an unusually long time with her children for a lady of her time and class, enlisted May in various charitable endeavours, which included visiting the tenements of the poor. Although May was a great-grandchild of George III, she was only a minor member of the British royal family.
Her father, the Duke of Teck, had no inheritance or wealth and carried the lower royal style of Serene Highness because his parents' marriage was morganatic. The Duchess of Teck was granted a parliamentary annuity of £5,000 and received about £4,000 a year from her mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, but she donated lavishly to dozens of charities. Prince Francis was in debt and moved his family abroad with a small staff in 1883, in order to economise, they travelled throughout Europe. They stayed in Florence, for a time, where May enjoyed visiting the art galleries and museums, she was fluent in English and French. In 1885, the family lived for some time in Chester Square. May was close to her mother, acted as an unofficial secretary, helping to organise parties and social events, she was close to her aunt, the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wrote to her every week. During the First World War, the Crown Princess of Sweden helped pass letters from May to her aunt, who lived in enemy territory in Germany until her death in 1916.
In 1886, Princess May was introduced at court. Her status as the only unmarried British princess, not descended from Queen Victoria made her a suitable candidate for the royal family's most eligible bachelor, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, her second cousin once removed and the eldest son of the Prince of Wales. In December 1891, May and Albert Victor were engaged; the choice of May as bride for the Duke owed much to Queen Victoria's fondness for her, as well as to her strong character and sense of duty. However, Albert Victor died six weeks in a recurrence of the worldwide 1889–90 influenza pandemic, before the date was fixed for their wedding. Albert Victor's brother, Prince George, Duke of York, now second in line to the throne, evidently became close to May during their shared period of mourning, Queen Victoria still favoured May as a suitable candidate to marry a future king; the public was anxious that the Duke of York should marry and settle the succession. In May 1893, George proposed, May accepted.
They were soon in love, their marriage was a success. George wrote to May every day. May married P
Timothy Sydney Robert Hardy was an English actor who had a long career in theatre and television. He began his career as a classical actor and earned widespread recognition for roles such as Siegfried Farnon in the BBC television series All Creatures Great and Small, Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter film series and Winston Churchill in several productions, beginning with the Southern Television series Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years, he was nominated for the BAFTA for Best Actor for All Creatures Great and Small in 1980 and Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years in 1982. Aside from acting, Hardy was an acknowledged expert on the medieval English longbow and wrote two books on the subject. Hardy was born in Cheltenham in 1925 to Jocelyn and Henry Harrison Hardy, the headmaster of Cheltenham College and of Shrewsbury School, he was educated at Rugby School and Magdalen College, where his studies were interrupted by service in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He trained as a pilot, receiving part of his instruction in Terrell, Texas, in the British Flying Training School Program.
While he visited Los Angeles when on leave from flight training at Terrell, his acting career never gained a foothold in Hollywood. After service in the RAF, he returned to gain a BA in English. On BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs he described the degree he obtained as "shabby", although he treasured the time spent studying under C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. Hardy began his career as a classical actor. In 1959 he appeared as Sicinius opposite Laurence Olivier in Coriolanus at Stratford-upon-Avon, directed by Peter Hall, he appeared in Shakespeare's Henry V on stage and in television's An Age of Kings, subsequently played Coriolanus in The Spread of the Eagle and Sir Toby Belch for the BBC Television Shakespeare production of Twelfth Night in 1980. Over the years, Hardy played a range of parts on film, his first continuing role in a TV series was as businessman Alec Stewart in the award-winning oil company drama The Troubleshooters for the BBC, which he played from 1966 to 1970. He won further acclaim for his portrayal of the mentally-unhinged Abwehr Sgt.
Gratz in LWT's 1969 war drama Manhunt. In 1975, Hardy portrayed Albert, Prince Consort in the award-winning 13-hour serial Edward the Seventh, which he regarded as one of his best performances. "I thought. There are always people who don't like what one does."He was seen as the irascible senior veterinarian Siegfried Farnon in the long-running All Creatures Great and Small, an adaptation of James Herriot's semi-autobiographical books. Hardy made an appearance in the 1986–88 ITV comedy series Hot Metal, in which he played the dual roles of newspaper proprietor Twiggy Rathbone and his editor, Russell Spam. In 1993 Hardy appeared in an episode of Inspector Morse, playing Andrew Baydon in "Twilight of the Gods". In 1994, he played Arthur Brooke in the BBC production of Middlemarch. In 2002, he played the role of pompous and eccentric Professor Neddy Welch in a WTTV/WGBH Boston co-production of Lucky Jim, adapted from the novel by Kingsley Amis, it aired as part of the Masterpiece series on PBS in the U.
S. and starred Stephen Tompkinson in the title role of Jim Dixon, a luckless lecturer at a provincial British university. Hardy played both Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, each on more than one occasion, he played Churchill most notably in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years, for which he was nominated for a BAFTA award, but in The Sittaford Mystery, Bomber Harris and War and Remembrance. On 20 August 2010, he read Churchill's famous wartime address "Never was so much owed by so many to so few" at a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the speech, he played Roosevelt in the BBC serial and Elizabeth, in the French TV mini-series, Le Grand Charles, about the life of Charles de Gaulle. He played Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, in Elizabeth R, took the role of Sir John Middleton in the 1995 film version of Sense and Sensibility, his big screen roles included Professor Krempe in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter films. His voice performance as Robin Hood in Tale Spinners For Children, an LP from the 1960s, is considered one of the best Robin Hood renditions.
His voice was the voice of D'Artagnan in The Three Musketeers, of Frédéric Chopin, in The Story of Chopin. Hardy was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1981 Birthday Honours, his first marriage, in 1952, was to the daughter of Sir Lionel Fox. This marriage ended in 1956. In 1961 he married Sally Pearson, the daughter of the baronet Sir Neville Pearson and Dame Gladys Cooper as well as a sister-in-law of Robert Morley. From this marriage, which ended in 1986, Hardy had two other children, one of whom is Justine Hardy, a journalist and psychotherapist who founded Healing Kashmir, his daughter, Emma, is a mother of a photographer. He was a close friend of actor Richard Burton, he shared some memories of their wartime friendship and read extracts from Burton's newly-published diaries at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2012. While playing Henry V, Hardy developed an interest in medieval warfare, in 1963 he wrote and presented an acclaimed television documentary on the subject of the Battle of Agincourt.
He wrote two books on the subject of the longbow, Longbow: A Social and Military History, The Great W
In Welsh culture, an eisteddfod is a Welsh festival of literature and performance. The tradition of such a meeting of Welsh artists dates back to at least the 12th century, when a festival of poetry and music was held by Rhys ap Gruffydd of Deheubarth at his court in Cardigan in 1176, but the decline of the bardic tradition made it fall into abeyance; the current format owes much to an 18th-century revival arising out of a number of informal eisteddfodau. The closest English equivalent to eisteddfod is "session". In some countries, the term eisteddfod is used for certain types of performing arts competitions that have nothing to do with Welsh culture; the date of the first eisteddfod is a matter of much debate among scholars, but boards for the judging of poetry existed in Wales from at least the early 12th century. These judging boards had derived from ancient Celtic bardic traditions; the first recorded eisteddfod was held under the auspices of The Lord Rhys at Cardigan Castle in 1176. There he held a gathering to which were invited musicians from all parts of Wales.
A chair at the Lord's table was awarded to the best poet and musician, a tradition that prevails in the modern day National Eisteddfod. The earliest large-scale eisteddfod, known is the Carmarthen Eisteddfod in 1451 under Thomas ap Gruffydd of Llandeilo; the next recorded large-scale eisteddfod was held in Caerwys in 1568. The prizes awarded were a miniature silver chair to the successful poet, a little silver crwth to the winning fiddler, a silver tongue to the best singer, a tiny silver harp to the best harpist; the contests were limited to professional Welsh bards who were paid by the nobility. In the 16th century, Elizabeth I of England commanded that the bards be examined and licensed to ensure performance standards, but interest in the Welsh arts declined during the 17th and 18th centuries, leading to the standard of the main eisteddfod deteriorating. Gatherings became more informal; these meetings kept traditions alive. A chair was a prized award because of its perceived social status. Throughout the medieval period, high-backed chairs with arm rests were reserved for royalty and high-status leaders in military and civic affairs.
As most ordinary people sat on stools until the 1700s, an armchair conveyed status to a winning bard. In 1789, Thomas Jones organised an eisteddfod in Corwen, where for the first time the public were admitted; the success of this event led to a revival of interest in Welsh music. The earliest known surviving Bardic chair made for an Eisteddfod was built in Carmarthen in 1819. Iolo Morganwg founded "Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain" in 1792 to restore and replace the ancient eisteddfod; the first eisteddfod of the revival was held on London. The Gentleman's Magazine of October 1792 reported on the revival of the eisteddfod tradition; this being the day on which the autumnal equinox occurred, some Welsh bards resident in London assembled in congress on Primrose Hill, according to ancient usage. Present at the meeting was Edward Jones who had published his "The Musical and Poetical Reelicks of the Welsh Bards" in 1784 in a belated effort to try to preserve the native Welsh traditions being so ruthlessly stamped out by the new breed of Methodists.
The Blue Books' notorious attack on the character of the Welsh as a nation in 1846 led to public anger and the belief that it was important for the Welsh to create a new national image. By the 1850s people began to talk of a national eisteddfod to showcase Wales's culture. In 1858 John Williams ab Ithel held a "National" Eisteddfod complete with Gorsedd in Llangollen. "The great Llangollen Eisteddfod of 1858" was a significant event. Thomas Stephens won a prize with an essay demolishing the claim of John Williams that Madoc discovered America; as Williams had expected Stephens's essay to reinforce the myth, he was not willing to award the prize to Stephens and, it is recorded, "matters became turbulent". This eisteddfod saw the first public appearance of John Ceiriog Hughes who won a prize for a love poem, Myfanwy Fychan of Dinas Brân, which became an instant hit. There is speculation that this was a result of its depiction of a "deserving, moral, well-mannered Welshwoman", in stark contrast to The Blue Books' depiction of Welsh women as having questionable morals.
The National Eisteddfod Council was created after Llangollen, the Gorsedd subsequently merged with it. The Gorsedd holds the right of governance while the Council organises the event; the first true National Eisteddfod organised by the Council was held in Denbigh in 1860 on a pattern that continues to the present day. One of the most important eisteddfods is the National Eisteddfod of Wales, the largest festival of competitive music and poetry in Europe, its eight days of competitions and performances in the Welsh language, are staged annually in the first week of August alternating between north and south Wales. Competitors number 6,000 or more, overall attendances exceed 150,000 visitors. Another important eisteddfod in the calendar is ` the Youth Eisteddfod. Organised by Urdd Gobaith Cymru, it involves Welsh children from nursery age to 25 in a week of competition in singing, dancing and musicianship during the summer half-term school holiday; the even
Thomas Assheton Smith (1752–1828)
Thomas Assheton Smith was an English landowner and all-round sportsman who played a major part in the development of the Welsh slate industry. Smith was the eldest son of Thomas Assheton of Mobberley in Cheshire, he added "Smith" to his surname when he inherited the Vaynol and Tidworth estates from his uncle, William Smith. He was High Sheriff of Caernarfonshire for 1774–75 and 1783–84 and High Sheriff of Anglesey for 1784–85, he was Member of Parliament for Caernarvonshire from 1774 to 1780 and MP for the English borough of Andover between 1797 and 1821. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Caernarvonshire from 1822 until his death. In 1806 he was able to get Parliament to pass an act enclosing the common land of Llanddeiniolen parish adding to his land holdings. In 1809 he took over control of slate quarrying on his estate, forming a company of four under his presidency; the company was dissolved and he took over sole control of the enterprise. By 1826 the Dinorwic Quarry was producing 20,000 tons of slate per year.
Assheton Smith developed Port Dinorwic as a port for the export of the slates. Thomas Assheton Smith was a keen sportsman and was noted for his involvement in cricket, he was a close friend of George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea and became one of cricket's main patrons following the establishment of Marylebone Cricket Club in 1787. Smith was not a good player, unlike his son, but is known to have taken part in 45 major matches between the 1787 and 1796 seasons. In the contemporary scorecards, he is shown as "A Smith, Esq." whereas his son was recorded as "T A Smith, Esq.". Assheton Smith married daughter of Watkin Wynn of Foelas, he died at Tidworth in 1828, the Vaynol estate was inherited by his namesake second son, Thomas Assheton Smith, a noted amateur cricketer and all-round sportsman. Dictionary of Welsh Biography Scores & Biographies by Arthur Haygarth CricketArchive
Slate industry in Wales
The existence of a slate industry in Wales is attested since the Roman period, when slate was used to roof the fort at Segontium, now Caernarfon. The slate industry grew until the early 18th century expanded until the late 19th century, at which time the most important slate producing areas were in northwest Wales, including the Penrhyn Quarry near Bethesda, the Dinorwic Quarry near Llanberis, the Nantlle Valley quarries, Blaenau Ffestiniog, where the slate was mined rather than quarried. Penrhyn and Dinorwig were the two largest slate quarries in the world, the Oakeley mine at Blaenau Ffestiniog was the largest slate mine in the world. Slate is used for roofing, but is produced as thicker slab for a variety of uses including flooring and headstones. Up to the end of the 18th century, slate was extracted on a small scale by groups of quarrymen who paid a royalty to the landlord, carted slate to the ports, shipped it to England and sometimes France. Towards the close of the century, the landowners began to operate the quarries themselves, on a larger scale.
After the government abolished slate duty in 1831, rapid expansion was propelled by the building of narrow gauge railways to transport the slates to the ports. The slate industry dominated the economy of north-west Wales during the second half of the 19th century, but was on a much smaller scale elsewhere. In 1898, a work force of 17,000 men produced half a million tons of slate. A bitter industrial dispute at the Penrhyn Quarry between 1900 and 1903 marked the beginning of its decline, the First World War saw a great reduction in the number of men employed in the industry; the Great Depression and Second World War led to the closure of many smaller quarries, competition from other roofing materials tiles, resulted in the closure of most of the larger quarries in the 1960s and 1970s. Slate production continues on a much reduced scale; the slate industry in North Wales is on the tentative World Heritage Site list whilst Welsh slate has been designated by the International Union of Geological Sciences as a Global Heritage Stone Resource.
The slate deposits of Wales belong to three geological series: Cambrian and Silurian. The Cambrian deposits run south-west from Conwy to near Criccieth. There are smaller outcrops elsewhere, for example on Anglesey; the Ordovician deposits run south-west from Betws-y-Coed to Porthmadog. There is another band of Ordovician slate further south, running from Llangynnog to Aberdyfi, quarried in the Corris area, with a few outcrops in south-west Wales, notably Pembrokeshire; the Silurian deposits are further east in the Dee valley and around Machynlleth. The virtues of slate as a building and roofing material have been recognized since the Roman period; the Roman fort at Segontium, was roofed with tiles, but the levels contain numerous slates, used for both roofing and flooring. The nearest deposits are about five miles away in the Cilgwyn area, indicating that the slates were not used because they were available on-site. During the mediaeval period, there was small-scale quarrying of slate in several areas.
The Cilgwyn quarry in the Nantlle Valley dates from the 12th century, is thought to be the oldest in Wales. The first record of slate quarrying in the neighbourhood of the Penrhyn Quarry was in 1413, when a rent-roll of Gwilym ap Griffith records that several of his tenants were paid 10 pence each for working 5,000 slates. Aberllefenni Slate Quarry may have started operating as a slate mine as early as the 14th century; the earliest confirmed date of operating dates from the early 16th century when the local house Plas Aberllefenni was roofed in slates from this quarry. Transport problems meant that the slate was used close to the quarries. There was some transport by sea. A poem by the 15th century poet Guto'r Glyn asks the Dean of Bangor to send him a shipload of slates from Aberogwen, near Bangor, to Rhuddlan to roof a house at Henllan, near Denbigh; the wreck of a wooden ship carrying finished slates was discovered in the Menai Strait and is thought to date from the 16th century. By the second half of the 16th century, there was a small export trade of slates to Ireland from ports such as Beaumaris and Caernarfon.
Slate exports from the Penrhyn estate are recorded from 1713 when 14 shipments totalling 415,000 slates were sent to Dublin. The slates were carried to the ports by pack-horses, by carts; this was sometimes done by women, the only female involvement in what was otherwise an male industry. Until the late 18th century, slate was extracted from many small pits by small partnerships of local men, who did not own the capital to expand further; the quarrymen had to pay a rent or royalty to the landlord, though the quarrymen at Cilgwyn did not. A letter from the agent of the Penrhyn estate, John Paynter, in 1738 complains that competition from Cilgwyn was affecting the sales of Penrhyn slates; the Cilgwyn slates could be sold at a higher price. Penrhyn introduced larger sizes of slate between 1730 and 1740, gave these sizes the names which became standard; these ranged from "Duchesses", the largest at 24 inches by 12 inches, through "Countesses", "Ladies" and "Doubles" to the smallest "Singles". Methusalem Jones a quarryman at Cilgwyn, began to work the Diffwys quarry at Blaenau Ffestiniog in the 1760s, which became the first large quarry in the area.
The large landowners were content to issue "take notes", allowing individuals to quarry slates on their lands for a yearly rent
Westlife is an Irish pop vocal group, which formed in 1998 in Dublin, disbanded in 2012 and reunited in 2018. They were signed by Simon Cowell in the UK, Clive Davis in the US and managed by Louis Walsh and Sonny Takhar; the group consists of Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, Shane Filan. The group rose to fame with Westlife. Followed by Coast to Coast, World of Our Own, Unbreakable – The Greatest Hits Vol. 1 and Turnaround which continued the group's success worldwide. Before the start of their Turnaround Tour in 2004, one of the original line-up member Brian McFadden departed from the band; the four remaining members continued as a group to release their cover albums Allow Us to Be Frank and The Love Album and the studio albums Face to Face and Back Home. After of a one-year hiatus of studio recording in 2008, they regrouped and released the studio albums Where We Are, Gravity and the compilation album Greatest Hits. After eight years, the quartet group will release their eleventh studio album, Spectrum, in 2019, its first single "Hello My Love" was released on 10 January 2019 and its second single "Better Man" on 29 March 2019.
The band sold over 55 million records overall worldwide. They have had 33 number-one albums worldwide; the band has received over a billion views on YouTube counting only the ones uploaded from their official site alone, were streamed more than 300 million times, more than 550 million in Spotify as of 2018. They generated hit singles including "Swear It Again", "If I Let You Go", "Flying Without Wings", "I Have a Dream", "Seasons in the Sun", "Fool Again", "My Love", "What Makes a Man", "Uptown Girl", "Unbreakable", "When You're Looking Like That", "Queen of My Heart", "Mandy", "Tonight", "Hey Whatever", "You Raise Me Up", "Bop Bop Baby", "The Rose", "World of Our Own", they are holders of the following Guinness World Records: first to achieve seven consecutive number one singles in the UK, most public appearances in 36 hours by a pop group, most singles to debut at number one on the UK chart and top selling album group in the United Kingdom in the 21st century. According to the British Phonographic Industry, Westlife has been certified for 12 million albums and 7.4 million singles in the UK.
They are currently ranked twenty-fourth with most number ones albums of all time. The group accumulated 14 number one singles in the United Kingdom, a total of 22 top five, 25 top ten and 28 UK top forty singles, as well as having 7 number one and a total of 11 top 4 albums making them as Ireland's most prolific chart-toppers. In 2012, the Official Charts Company listed Westlife 34th amongst the biggest-selling singles artists and 16th amongst the biggest selling groups in British music history. Westlife never managed to break into the U. S. market so far, achieving only one hit single in 2000, "Swear It Again". Despite this, the United States ranked top fifth for the number of views of the band with total of more than 30 million for the past 12 months only on YouTube as of June 2018; the band has received numerous accolades including one World Music Award, two Brit Awards, four MTV Awards, four Record of the Year Awards and overall with a total of 92 awards and 20 nominations so far. As a live act, Westlife have sold 5 million concert tickets worldwide from their twelve concert tours.
They still hold the record for the most shows played at The SSE Arena, Belfast and SSE Arena, Wembley. They sold out Croke Park Stadium in a record breaking 5 minutes. Hailed as the biggest arena act of all-time in the United Kingdom, their thirteenth and latest concert tour is called "The 20 Tour". Kian Egan, Mark Feehily and Shane Filan are schoolmates in Summerhill College on Ireland. All three of them participated in a school production of Grease with fellow Sligo men Derrick Lacey, Graham Keighron, Michael Garrett, they considered it as the start of Westlife. The six mentioned individuals formed a pop vocal group called Six as One in 1997, they changed their band name to IOYOU later. The group, managed by choreographer Mary McDonagh and two other informal managers, released a single titled "Together Girl Forever", written by Feehily and Filan with "Everlasting Love" and an unreleased song "Good Thing". Louis Walsh, the manager of fellow Irish boy band Boyzone, came to know the group after he was contacted by Filan's mother, Mae Filan, but the group failed to secure a BMG record deal with Simon Cowell.
Cowell told Walsh: "You are going to have to fire at least three of them. They have great voices, but they are the ugliest band I have seen in my life." Three members of the band were told they would not be part of the new group, auditions were held in Dublin where Nicky Byrne and Brian McFadden were recruited. The new group, formed on 3 July 1998, was renamed Westside but that name was in use by another band, so it was changed to Westlife, it was revealed that Walsh was calling them Westlife before Westside name came along. In Westlife – Our Story, Byrne revealed that, unlike the others in the group, he was keen to change the name to West High. McFadden changed the spelling of his name to Bryan to make it easier to sign autographs. Boyzone singer Ronan Keating was brought in to co-manage the group with Walsh, they managed to secure a record deal the second time around under BMG with all other record labels competed. They have signed a four million pound record deal with RCA Records. Westlife's first big break came in 1998 when they opened for Boyzone and Backstreet Boys' concerts in Dublin.