Former boy band star Ronan Keating has admitted that he is envious of One Direction. Keating followed a career path similar to One Direction’s when he made it big with hit Irish boy band Boyzone. Keating’s band, like One Direction, even had an X-Factor connection, as they were created by former judge Louis Walsh. Like One Direction, Boyzone were created to appeal to a niche market, primarily young females, but the similarities do not end there. Boyzone’s image, like One Direction’s, had to be kept “squeaky clean,” and it was this aspect of fame that Keating seems to have come to regret.
— Maximum Pop! (@maximumpop) February 8, 2016
Like One Direction’s Harry Styles, Keating was just 16-years-old when he joined Boyzone, and despite the obvious benefits of fame and fortune, Ronan feels he missed out on a lot by being thrust into the music industry at such a young age. According to the Daily Mail, Keating believes that he simply wasn’t ready to deal with the fame that being a member of Boyzone brought.
“What 16-year-old is ready for that world? I wasn’t. I was a kid, a baby. I was 16 and I should have been climbing trees and riding my bike, but I was flying first-class to Hong Kong – and I was expected to know what I was doing there.”
Unlike One Direction, Boyzone were at the height of their fame before the advent of social media. In 2016, the members of One Direction have their every move scrutinized by fans and by the media. In many ways, the internet has created a global village, and media outlets big and small are on the lookout for news and gossip to feed the hunger for news and gossip 24 hours a day. One Direction have been at the center of the social media revolution since their formation in 2010. If Keating thought that dealing with the demands of fame was difficult in 1993, think how much more difficult it must be for members of One Direction.
— Daniel Jeremiah (@DanielJeremiah2) January 30, 2016
It isn’t that Keating resents the demands that fame impressed upon him, it is more that he regrets not enjoying it more. That seems to be where Keating casts an envious eye towards One Direction. According to Contact Music, Ronan wishes that he had been more like One Direction when he was at the peak of his fame.
“But don’t get me wrong, it was brilliant. It was amazing. I just wish I’d enjoyed it more. I didn’t. I honestly didn’t. I was too busy trying to be the perfect pop star or making sure I said all the right things.
“I look at the lads from One Direction now and I’m envious of them. They’re having a great time. I was a 16-year-old kid with a 30-year-old head on my shoulders. I should have been wild, and having a great time, and being a pop star.”
Of course, Keating has a great insight into life as a member of a boy band, and Boyzone were the One Direction of their day. While Boyzone were massive, unlike One Direction, they did not have to deal with 100 million Twitter followers anxious for any and every snippet of news or gossip. If anything, One Direction’s image is even more closely curated that Boyzone’s ever was. However, Keating has shown that, like One Direction, he still has to deal with headline writers sensationalizing stories.
— Ronan Keating (@ronanofficial) February 5, 2016
Boyzone also share a further similarity with One Direction, one that is sure to give heart to One Direction fans as their favorites head off into their hiatus.
Boyzone as 5 xx pic.twitter.com/L8KqL1qo10
— Mikey&RonanFans (@TeamMikeyRonan) February 5, 2016
Like One Direction, Boyzone split after around five years in the limelight, although in their case, after just three albums. Like One Direction, Keating and his bandmates went off to pursue solo projects, very successfully for some of them. One Direction fans will take heart from the fact that Boyzone reunited after pursuing their solo projects.
That said, One Direction fans will be hoping that they don’t have to wait the eight years it took for Keating and his bandmates to reform.
[Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP]