Born Ronan Patrick John Keating in 1977 in Dublin, Ireland, Keating was raised in a working-class family with a father who drove trucks and a mother who worked as a hairdresser. Growing up, he excelled at sports, winning several track tournaments. He also became interested in performing and around age 16 auditioned for Boyzone after seeing manager Louis Walsh's newspaper advertisement looking to put together an Irish version of the successful English boy band Take That. Performing a cover of the Cat Stevens song "Father and Son" (later released as a Boyzone song), Keating beat out 300 other hopefuls to become the youngest member of the band. Between their start in 1993 and their initial break-up in 1999, Boyzone released four albums, every one debuting at number one in the U.K., and scored six U.K. number one singles, as well as nine in their native Ireland.
In 1999, Keating made his solo debut with the song "When You Say Nothing at All" for the soundtrack to the romantic comedy Notting Hill. The single went to number one in the U.K. and paved the way for his debut solo album. Released in 2000, Ronan also hit the top of the U.K. charts and reached number two in Ireland. Along with "When You Say Nothing at All," it spawned three more Top Ten singles, including "Life Is a Rollercoaster," "The Way You Make Me Feel," and "Lovin' Each Day." For his sophomore album, 2002's Destination, Keating collaborated with former New Radicals frontman Gregg Alexander. Buoyed by the hit singles "If Tomorrow Never Comes" and "I Love It When We Do," the album was another smash overseas, topping the U.K. album charts and reaching number three in Ireland.
Keating's third album, Turn It On, arrived in 2003 and featured production by the Matrix, Mark Taylor, David Frank, and others. Along with the original single "A Loss for Words," the album included a rendition of Terence Trent D'Arby's "Let Her Down Easy," as well as a duet cover of Kenny Rogers' "She Believes (In Me)" with country singer LeAnn Rimes. It reached number 21 on the U.K. album chart. Following a 2005 compilation, 10 Years of Hits, the singer returned with the Mark Taylor- and Steve Mac-produced Bring You Home. The album, which featured the single "All Over Again" featuring Kate Rusby, hit number three in the U.K. A year later, he reunited with Boyzone for the first time since 1999, performing a medley of the group's hits on the BBC fundraiser Children in Need. A tour followed, as did the 2008 single "Love You Anyway," released as part of a hits compilation.
In 2009, Keating released the heartfelt tribute album Songs for My Mother, which was dedicated to his late mother Marie Keating, who passed away from breast cancer in 1998. The album topped both the U.K. and Irish album charts. It was followed the same year by the holiday-themed Winter Songs and in 2010 with the appropriately titled Duet, the latter of which found Keating singing alongside Hayley Westenra, Elton John, Cat Stevens, and others. Keating joined The X Factor as a judge in 2010, appearing on the show for five seasons.
Keating's eighth studio album, When Ronan Met Burt, arrived in 2011. Produced by Burt Bacharach, the album saw the singer take on a selection of Bacharach standards. It was followed a year later by Fires, which again found him working with Gregg Alexander, as well as Electric, Phil Meehan, and more. From 2015 to 2016, Keating appeared as a coach on The Voice Australia, having taken over for Ricky Martin. In 2016, he returned to his solo work with the full-length Time of My Life, featuring the single "Let Me Love You." It reached number four in the U.K. His 11th album, Twenty Twenty, arrived in May of the titular year, bringing with it collaborations with Robbie Williams, Nina Nesbitt, and Emeli Sandé. It peaked at number two on the U.K. albums chart. Songs from Home arrived in 2021 and found Keating paying tribute to Ireland. ~ Matt Collar, Rovi
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