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Ronan Keating talks touring, Kiwi fans and his new album

The veteran TV judge surprises us with a few dressing room secrets

Although he’s already been in the showbiz industry for 23 years, Ronan Keating isn’t ready to hang up his mic just yet. In fact, he is busier than ever before, with the release of his new album Time of My Life, an upcoming world tour, three gigs in New Zealand (including a newly-announced second show in Wellington), plus a return to the red chair as a judge on The Voice Australia. It’s amazing the singer has any time to speak to us about his jam-packed year!
What was the inspiration behind the new album?
The main influence for me was when I starred in the West End musical Once. You’d think after 20 years I’d know it all, but there was so much that I learnt during those three months. It really inspired me to pick up my guitar and write heartfelt, honest songs. I’d never thought I was able to create something like that, but my family gave me the confidence I needed.
You’re coming to New Zealand as part of your tour in November. What are your Kiwi fans like?
Crazy! My son and I were at a Hurricanes training session and after we got a group photo, they whipped out a ghetto blaster and played “Life is a Rollercoaster.” It was such a funny moment!
Watch a sneak peak of Ronan's wedding in the music video for his song 'In Your Arms'. Story continues below.
Who were your musical inspirations growing up?
I loved George Michael, Wham!, the Police, Queen ... the list goes on. I’m the baby of the family, so I used to get all my brothers and sisters’ old records, and I now have
a huge collection.
Who is the most competitive judge on The Voice Australia?
Delta is this year because she’s never won. She is ready to win – she’s fighting for it!
How would you sell yourself as a judge?
I’m very honest and upfront. It’s tough love from me as I really need my artists to commit and work hard. I’m tough on them, but in a loving way.
What makes you turn your chair around?
Something unique. Someone who will make the hairs on my arms stand up.
With fellow judges (from left) Joel Madden, Delta Goodrem, Benji Madden and Jessie J.
What are your top dressing-room jams?
Bob Marley, Wham!, Joni Mitchell and U2.
Is there anyone you would like to collaborate on a track with?
Frank Sinatra! But that’s never going to happen.
What’s been your showbiz highlight?
Probably singing with Pavarotti or Elton John, but I think to still be here 23 years later is probably my best highlight.
Are there any plans to celebrate Boyzone’s 25th anniversary?
Nothing in concrete yet, but we have lots of ideas and we are all definitely up for it!
Ronan Keating will be playing three headline dates in Auckland and Wellington in November as part of his 'Time of My Life' world tour. He'll be performing at Auckland's Vector Arena on November 4, and at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington on November 5 (which has now sold out). A second show in Wellington has also been announced for November 6, with tickets available through www.livenation.co.nz.

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