With those dazzling poster boy looks, Ronan Keating became one of Europe's most endearing stars as the leader of the Irish boy band Boyzone. The five Irish lads in Boyzone, who made their debut in 1993, built their charismatic style into one of the biggest European pop/rock acts of the '90s. But before he was winning over the world, Keating was a middle-class kid living in Dublin. Born Ronan Patrick John Keating on March 3, 1977, he was the last of four children in the Keating household. His father Gerry was a pub owner and his mother Marie was a hairdresser, so financially the Keating family was trying to make ends meet. The working trudge instilled the desire to work in the youngest Keating. While working in a local shoe store, he noticed an ad that was searching for an Irish Take That. The 14-year-old beat out 300 hopefuls with his own rendition of the Cat Stevens song "Father & Son" and was onto becoming a celebrity. Boyzone released four albums, every one debuting at number one in the U.K. They released 16 singles, each one also charting in the top three on the U.K. charts. Most notably, Americans will recognize this five-piece as the dashing young men singing behind U2's Bono in "The Sweetest Thing" video.
Six years into being part of one of the U.K.'s brightest and biggest-selling pop bands, Keating searched for an alternate creative outlet. He began managing another male pop group called Westlife. He married Irish model Yvonne Connelly in April 1998 and the following year they had a son, Jack. Musically, however, Keating's intentions stayed in tune with his internal spirit. He couldn't possibly steer clear of the media spotlight for long and something positive was bound to come of it. He recorded his debut solo effort in early 2000 under the craftsmanship of artists such as Bryan Adams and Barry Gibb. His sensual and childlike persona was full-fledged. He is a working songsmith with the utmost class, and counterparts like Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow are a bit shy of such inborn grace. Ronan was issued overseas in mid-2000. A U.S. version followed in October.