With less than 100 days to go until the 61st Eurovision Song Contest many countries are currently announcing their songs set to compete in the competition.
Amongst the acts already announced is Nicky Byrne, the former Westlife star, who will represent Ireland in Eurovision 2016.
Nicky is known to the Eurovision community already as he has been the Irish representative who has announced the results of the nation’s voting during the infamous voting process towards the end of the competition.
Byrne was internally selected by Irish broadcaster RTE and it is the first time the nation has ever chosen its entry behind closed doors. The former boy band member has opted to head to Eurovision 2016 with the song ‘Sunlight’.
Nicky Byrne said, “Like many of us, I have grown up watching the Eurovision Song Contest. It always brought great excitement to our house down through the years and I was lucky enough to see Ireland win it on many occasions.
I have a great memory as a nine-year old, of dancing around our sitting room in a tri-colour sweatshirt when Johnny Logan lifted the trophy in 1987.
The Eurovision is a TV show and song contest like no other and for the past three years my Eurovision experience has gotten better and my affiliation grown stronger, as I have proudly delivered the Irish votes live from Dublin.
This year I go one step further, and actually walk on that stage to represent my country, I am honoured RTÉ have chosen me and believe in this song like I do”.
Nicky continued, “The song is called Sunlight and I co-wrote it with two of the music industry’s legends; producer and writer Ronan Hardiman and songwriter Wayne Hector.
I have always felt this song had something different, something special.
I also look forward to re-visiting Sweden, a country where we had so much success with Westlife over the years and I can’t wait to be a part of what I’m sure will be an amazing show in Stockholm.
Ireland, I will give it my best shot. Sweden… here we come!”.
Irish media reaction has been mostly positive, with the Irish Independent calling the entry “the most credible entry we’ve had in years”.
Although other outlets have questioned whether the song is strong enough to realistically have a chance of beating the competition.
Eurovision 2016 will be held in Stockholm, after Mans Zelmerlow stormed to win last years contest in Austria with the catchy ‘Heroes’ for Sweden.
This years contest will be held on Saturday 14th May, with the semi finals on Tuesday 10th and Thursday 12th May 2016.
Take a look at Nicky Byrne’s track Sunlight below…