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Saturday, December 19, 1998 Published at 22:55 GMT


Boyzone scoop record of the year

The Boyzone single was the centre of controversy

Irish boy band Boyzone have scooped the title of Record of the Year 1998 for their single No Matter What.

More than a million music fans phoned up to register their votes after a shortlist of 10 songs was aired on ITV's Record Of The Year 1998 show, which became Britain's biggest phone poll.

Boyzone romped home with about a quarter of the votes, more than 100,000 votes above those for their nearest rival, Celine Dion, with My Heart Will Go On.

The band also held out against competition from acts including Robbie Williams, All Saints, and Cher.

[ image: Denise van Outen fronted the awards]
Denise van Outen fronted the awards
The win might provide some comfort to Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber, who wrote the hit single for Boyzone.

He sparked controversy earlier in December when he claimed that the record label Polydor had cut the price of the single so that it would be ineligible for inclusion in the charts.

Lord Lloyd-Webber, along with songwiter Sir Tim Rice, claimed the record company had deliberately done this to give the group's current single, I Love The Way You Love Me, a clear run at the charts. However, it still failed to make it to number one, unlike its predecessor.

But on Saturday night lead singer Ronan Keating would not be drawn on the issue.

He said: "It's all politics. It's nothing to do with us.

"We'd have loved the song to be No1 for years to come."

'Absolutely amazing'

The group were delighted with their win and as singer Stephen Gately collected the award from the show's presenter Denise Van Outen, he said: "Thank you to everyone who voted for us. This is an absolutely amazing award."

The band's Mikey Graham said: "All credit to Jim Steinman and Andrew Lloyd-Webber (the song's writers). Thanks very much."

No Matter What was the five-piece band's fourth UK No1 single and made it to the top of the charts in August.

Ronan Keating said of the award: "It's voted for by the public and you can't get much better than that."

Each ITV region cast votes separately on Saturday night's show, and the song was the most popular for every network.

Organiser and pop impresario Jonathan King said: "We had over 500,000 people voting the first 12 minutes, it's quite unbelievable.

"The buzz around the back is that it's been a great success and there will certainly be one next year and probably in years to come."


A shortlist of the 20 biggest-selling singles of the year was originally drawn up and whittled down to half the size after a preview show last Saturday.

Acts which got the chop at that stage of the competition included Aqua and Cornershop, and even the Spice Girls said Goodbye.

The shortlisted singles on Saturday night were:

  • Angels - Robbie Williams
  • Believe - Cher
  • C'est La Vie - B*Witched
  • Feel It - The Tamperer Featuring Maya
  • Got The Feelin' - Five
  • How Do I Live - LeAnn Rimes
  • My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
  • Never Ever - All Saints
  • No Matter What - Boyzone
  • One For Sorrow - Steps

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