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28 May 2009: (published on 22 May 2009) WESTLIFE star Shane Filan has revealed how he was reduced to a nervous wreck when he had to perform a private gig for Pope John Paul II.
The singer has almost seen and done it all in 10 years of chart topping hits and sell-out tours. But he confessed a personal audience with the Pope almost ended in disaster when they were asked to sing in an ultra-high key.
Cranberries star Dolores O'Riordan came to their rescue at the last minute by turning their Little Drummer Boy rendition into a duet.
Shane revealed: "It could have been an absolute car crash. I was terrified and sweating buckets.
"I have never been so nervous in my life and will probably never be that nervous again."
Shane, 29, and the Westlife boys hit the jackpot when they were asked to perform at the late Pope John Paul II's Christmas concert at the Vatican in 2001.
Sligo-born Shane added: "I was shaking and I called my parents up the day before and said, 'You're coming with me tomorrow to meet the Pope'.
"When we got there the plan was to sing World Of Our Own and Little Drummer Boy.
"But the orchestra had rehearsed the whole song in a much higher key than we could sing. "We would have ended up sounding like chipmunks.
"Thankfully Dolores was there too and she came in at the last second and did all the high notes. We got away with it thanks to her. Then when it came time to meet the Pope and get blessed by him it was a surreal experience. It really was something else.
"My shirt was soaking wet, I was hot all over and the whole thing got to me. "My parents were also waiting in line with me and we were just all stunned that we were even there.
"So when people ask me what my most memorable moment of being in Westlife is I have to say that."
The band are now planning a huge comeback after a year off which will include a new album and tour.
Shane said: "We have so many amazing memories from the past decade but we're determined to have an even better 10 years ahead.
"We are really hyped up to give it our best shot and we're going to be working on some amazing songs."
Source: Irish Daily Mirror. Credits: Thanks to Saffy Feehily at The Committed for posting article.