After much recent speculation RTÉ today has confirmed the announcement that Nicky Byrne will represent Ireland in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden with the song Sunlight.Nicky, who has performed in arenas around the world and has sold 45 million records as part of Westlife, will perform the song Sunlight co-written by himself, renowned songwriter Wayne Hector and award-winning composer Ronan Hardiman.
The team behind 'Sunlight'
Voted one of the top 25 songwriters in the world, over the last two decades Wayne Hector has written hits for leading international artists such as One Direction, Britney Spears, Nikki Minaj and Jason Derulo. His songwriting credits also include seven of Westlife's number 1 singles including Flying Without Wings, Swear It Again and World Of Our Own.
Sunlight co-writer Wayne Hector said, "Nicky is a real talent and after having shared so much success previously, I was looking forward to working together with him again and with my good friend and super producer/composer Ronan Hardiman. We've written a song that we all love and believe in, which is a great showcase for Nicky's voice, so I'm looking forward to the night".
Ronan Hardiman has worked as a musician, composer and producer since 1990 and his credits include the soundtrack of Michael Flatley’s Lord Of The Dance and Feet Of Flames, as well as more recently scoring the TV series Neverland.
RTÉ selected Nicky and the song Sunlight this year in a departure from the Eurosong format and the mentor format which it has engaged over the last eight years.
John McHugh, Head of Entertainment RTÉ Television, said, “We have a long and proud history with Eurovision, but we’ve had mixed results over the last few years. Myself and Head of Delegation Michael Kealy took a serious look at our approach, reviewing the entire process and the Eurovision Song Contest itself. The competition is constantly evolving and RTÉ has to be flexible in how we approach it in order to put our best foot forward. Direct selection has proven to be a successful method for other countries and we felt that this year it would give us the best chance at success”.
Speaking about Sunlight to be performed by Nicky Byrne, John said, “First and foremost, it’s a great song, written by an internationally renowned team, and with Nicky’s massive breadth of performance experience, along with his huge fan-base and profile throughout Europe, it’s a really impactful package”.
Nicky will perform in one of the Eurovision Semi-Finals in the Globe Arena in Stockholm on either Tuesday 10th or Thursday 12 May to qualify for a place in the Final on Saturday 14th May.
Nicky will perform the song live on The Ray D’Arcy Show on Saturday 13th February.
What do you think of the choice of Nicky Byrne to represent Ireland?