BLUE STAR GETS ‘LIFE LINE

The 'Life insist that Lee Ryan's controversial comments about the US terrorist attacks shouldn't result in a sacking...

WESTLIFE have come to the defence of BLUE star LEE RYAN, after he caused outrage by saying the US terrorist attacks had been “blown out of all proportion”, saying that he should not be sacked.

Speaking at a press conference to launch the group’s third album ‘World Of Our Own’ at London’s Bafta Theatre, Bryan McFadden told of how Ryan had come to them following the storm.

“We actually spoke to him, I think it was in Belgium at the weekend, and he actually told us that (The Sun) totally took him out of context and he didn’t actually mean it that way. I think whatever he says he says, y’know, and we’re not gonna comment on it because we don’t have an opinion on it.”

He continued, “I think he shouldn’t be sacked for something he says like that. He has his opinion, whether it’s wrong or whether it’s right, he shouldn’t be sacked from a music group for what he thinks about politics and stuff like that.”

Asked for the group’s opinions on the conflict in Afghanistan, Shane Filan said, “It’s terrible. Obviously the whole war is terrible, it’s very sad. I just hope everything gets back to normal as soon as possible.”

The band also responded to manager Louis Walsh’s recent criticism of the second Westlife album, ‘Coast To Coast’.

Kian Egan commented, “I think Louis’ a very honest person, that’s the God’s honest truth. That’s probably how he does feel, but we know he loves this album. Louis is a very music-minded person. That’s always been his thing really, he should be in the A&R business. Louis is great at what he does and he’s always directed us right, so we’re very very happy.”

Bryan McFadden joked, “‘Coast To Coast’ sold 8 million albums, so I hope he absolutely detests this one!”

The band also confirmed that a Greatest Hits package will be released in 2002. However, they denied that this would mark the end of the band, revealing that plans are already underway for a fourth album.

As previously reported on NME.COM, Westlife have just announced a major tour for 2002. ‘World Of Our Own’ is released on November 12 through RCA, preceded by a single, ‘Queen Of My Heart’ on Monday (November 5).

The tour calls at: Belfast Oydessy (April 19-20)

Newcastle Telewest Arena (25-26)

Sheffield Arena (May 1-2)

Glasgow SECC (8-9)

Manchester Evening News Arena (14-15)

Birmingham NEC (21-22)

London Earls Court (28-29)

Dublin Point (June 6-8)

Tickets go on sale this Saturday (November 3), priced between £22.50-£25.00.

To buy tickets for the shows after this time, [url=]click here.