Louis Walsh is a music manager from Ireland and is perhaps best known as a judge on the The X Factor. Walsh’s other main achievement came in the 1990s when he created an Irish version of the popular English boy band Take That. The band created by Walsh was called was Boyzone who went on to achieve six Number 1 singles, as well as four Number 1 albums.
Walsh’s next discovery, Westlife, were also a major success with many record companies fighting to sign the band. Their first single ‘Swear it Again’ reached Number 1 in the UK charts and their next 6 singles also reached the top spot in the charts. Under Walsh, Westlife have achieved 14 UK Number 1s and six number 1 albums.
Despite Walsh’s success with boy-bands he was nowhere near being a household name. His first main television appearance was in 2001, when he appeared as a judge in the Irish version of Popstars. The following year Walsh was asked to be a judge on the UK version of Popstars: The Rivals, alongside Pete Waterman and Geri Halliwell. Walsh ended up winning the show with his girl band act, Girls Aloud.
Despite his previous television work it wasn’t until 2004 that Walsh became a household name as he starred as a judge in the ITV programme, The X-factor. Walsh starred along side Simon Cowell and Sharon Osbourne on the first run of the popular series. In 2005 Walsh went on to manage the winner Shayne Ward, who had immediate chart success.
Louis Walsh’s run on the X factor has not been without controversy as in November 2005 it was reported that Walsh had actually quit the hit show due to his treatment on the show, with one such example being Sharon Osbourne pouring water over him during a live recording. Whether it was a publicity stunt or a genuine grievance, Walsh returned to the next live show, eventually winning with Shane Ward.
It doesn’t end their either! in March 2007, it was announced that Walsh would not return as a judge on The X Factor, but, instead, would stay a part of the production, behind the scenes managing some of the acts. However, it was later confirmed that he would return as a judge.
In 2008, Walsh returned for the fifth series along with Simon Cowell, Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Cole as Walsh mentored, most notably, JLS, who finished the show in second place.
Walsh mentored the groups in 2009 as he looked after Miss Frank, Kandy Rain, and John & Edward. Walsh returned in 2010 and is currently mentoring the Over 28 category.
Louis Walsh latest deal on the X factor is said to be worth over £1.6 million which is more more than double the £700,000 he was paid in 2008.