(born Kiltimagh Co Mayo, Ireland, August 5, 1952) is a
manager in the music industry. He has managed Boyzone,
Westlife (alongside Ronan Keating), Samantha Mumba and
Girls Aloud after being a judge on reality television
The Rivals. As of October 2004 his acts have
totalled 27 number one singles.
his career as a pop band manager has not been all
success. He has had failed acts such as Bellefire and
The Carter Twins. His noteriety has even got him his own
song - "Louis Walsh" by Irish band The
(Girls Aloud) with Louis Walsh
is currently appearing as a judge (along with Simon
Cowell and Sharon
Osbourne) on the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor.
In November 2005 it was reported that Walsh quit the
show mid-series out of protest of his treatment on the
2001, Louis made his first foray into television on the
Irish version of Popstars. The show made Louis a
household name in Ireland.
is the undisputed king of the Irish pop scene.
Heís the man behind some of the most successful bands
in pop history, masterminding the careers of Boyzone,
Westlife, Samantha Mumba and Girls Aloud. ¬ The fact
that he has achieved a staggering 27 number one hits is
a testament to his success and is one of the reasons why
Louis Walsh is one of the most respected names in the
music industry today.
Louis appeared as a judge on Popstars: The Rivals, along
with Pete Waterman and Geri Halliwell. He went head to
head with Pete Waterman on the show, with his all girl
band Girls Aloud battling it out with Peteís boy band,
One True Voice. Girls Aloud won hands down and their
debut single achieved the coveted UK Christmas Number 1.
Louis continues to manage the group, who went on to
achieve a million single sales while their debut album
went platinum. Success and Louis Walsh go hand in
hand and heís back to find the X Factor with fellow
judges Simon Cowell and Sharon Osbourne.
Halliwell with Louis Walsh
is filming going?
Itís been great fun and the auditions have been good.
I think itís going to be bigger and better than last
year. That is the easy part over, now itís the hard
stuff. We have to sort out the men from the boys. I know
Simon will be winding me up all the way.
Have you spotted any future stars yet in this series?
There is definitely more talent this year. Nobody knew
what the show was all about last year but this year
everyone knows what to expect. Weíve had a great,
great time doing the auditions. There have been a lot of
What sort of star quality are you looking for?
You have to have the personality and want to work hard
otherwise it isnít going to happen. Attitude to me is
more important than talent because I only want to work
with nice people.
There have been stories about you putting through
contestants who are rubbish just for the hell of it Ė
is it true?
Absolutely untrue. Myself and Sharon did put a few
different acts through, if we thought they were going to
be entertainment. They may not go on to sell records but
if they were wackily dressed, with a great story, we
wanted the public to see them. We did not put anyone
through just to annoy Simon Ė we annoy him enough
Have you, Sharon and Simon been getting on quite well
Fantastically well. Mainly because there is no
competitive edge yet. Once we get our categories,
thatís when it hots up. Myself and Sharon will always
help each other. I think the world of her.
Whatís your personal opinion of Simon?
On camera, we get on fantastically well. We have great
fun and we are constantly laughing, usually at other
people. He is very, very sharp, he spots things in
people. He has a way of putting into words what the
viewers at home are thinking.
To what does The X factor owe its success?
You never know what youíre going to get. The talent is
great and itís also hugely entertaining. The show
constantly surprises. One minute youíre laughing, the
next youíre crying. It covers all emotions. Plus three
crazy judges who are very opinionated. Itís got a bit
of Jerry Springer, a bit of Oprah, sad stories, which
Sharon is a sucker for. Thereís a bit of everything
Ė all human life is there.
Do you still get excited about discovering new
Oh yes, when someone lights up a room, thereís a huge
buzz. Itís 90% headbangers this year but thereís a
very good 10%.
Are the fall outs between you, Sharon and Simon on
camera for real?
Oh yes, we have to back it up later on. There was
nothing set up last year, it was all there for real.
What are you hoping for this year?
To find someone who is going to have a career out of
this. Another Will Young, Lemar or Girls Aloud. I hope
the winner is somebody who is going to stick around and
make two or three albums. Iím a punter myself and that
is what makes me tick. Iím a music fan, Iím always
buying albums. I love music.
What are you doing next?
Iím working with Westlife on their seventh album. G4
have a new album out later this year and Girls Aloud are
making a new album too. All my bands are working and
Were you surprised at the success of the first series
of The X Factor?
Yes, it was fantastic. But it wasnít just like a job
to us, we all absolutely lived and breathed it and it
took me weeks to recover afterwards. We picked people we
really want to win and when they were voted out it was
really sad for us. Simon, Sharon and I are very much in
competition with each other and we donít get on at
certain times because of that.
finally exacted revenge on Louis, soaking him with water
live on The X Factor. Having earlier
refused to apologise for kicking out Maria, Louis
stirred up more trouble when he criticised Journey South
for their "lazy" choice of song, Robbie
Sharon took amusement at his comments - then took
offense when he asked: "Are you taking Ozzy's
drugs?" "Don't you bring my husband into
this," she snapped, before emptying the contents of
her glass, Simon's glass and even Louis' own glass over
the defenseless judge.
Louis appeared to laugh off the incident as the crowd
cheered their approval.
is was rumored Louis had quit The X Factor,
despite the show having another four weeks left to
run. The music mogul's decision comes after he was
drenched by Sharon
Osbourne live on last week's show for taking the
controversial decision to eliminate Maria and keep the
Conways the week before.
Louis, who now has just one act left, was also offended
by comments from Simon, who called him an
"idiot" in a recent newspaper interview.
ďIíve been totally humiliated and undermined by both
of them," Louis told The Sun newspaper.
"This has caused me nothing but stress. The final
straw was Sharon with the water and being booed by the
audience and then Simon Cowell saying I was an idiot and
stupid. "Iíve had enough. Iím going back
to Dublin. Iím not putting up with it any more.Ē
Simon has since apologised for his comments and is
begging Louis to return to the show. ďIíve been
called all sorts of things but taken it in the spirit it
was meant," he said. ďIíve known Louis for
years. I know what a huge success heís been. If
I offended him I apologise. We want him back.Ē
many are skeptical that this was merely a publicity
stunt for the show as Walsh conveniently patched things
up with his fellow judges in time for him to appear as
usual on that weeks show.
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