Irish boyband Boyzone has confirmed they’re releasing one final album before splitting for good – and it’ll be dedicated to the late Stephen Gately.
Rumours had circulated that the boys – now very much men – were to disband the group after forming 25 years ago in 1993, and now the bandmates themselves have confirmed the news on Twitter.
Hashtagging the tweet ‘#bz25’ to celebrate their quarter-of-a-century birthday, the accompanying message read:
‘The new is out and yes it’s true. Our new album will be the last for Boyzone. We’ve had 25 amazing years and we promise you that this will be our biggest and best year yet.’
The Sun claim to know what will appear on the new collection of songs, saying that the final album – that was recorded at the tailend of last year – will feature songs recorded by Stephen Gately prior to his death in 2009.
They also claim that there is the potential inclusion of some Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith collaborations, too.
The paper states the decision to quit was ‘agonising’ but the right time to do it.
Over the years, Boyzone – now made up of Ronan Keating, 41, Keith Duffy, 43, Shane Lynch, 41, and Mikey Graham, 45 – have had a string of musical hits, resulting in 21 Top 40 singles, with six UK Number 1 songs that include A Different Beat, No Matter What, and When The Going Gets Tough.
As of the band’s 20th anniversary, in 2013, they’d shifted over 25 million records worldwide.
The band and its fanbase were left heartbroken when Stephen Gately passed away in 2009 at his home in Majorca, Spain. He died through health complications as a result of an undiagnosed heart condition, to which his bandmates released a statement saying: ‘We are completely devastated by the loss of our friend and brother, Stephen. We have shared such wonderful times together over the years and were all looking forward to sharing many more.’
So it seems fitting that their last album would be in tribute to Stephen.