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Sunday, 12 December, 1999, 01:29 GMT
Westlife win song award
Westlife: Triumph tops a successful year
Boy-band Westlife have pipped their manager, Boyzone's Ronan Keating, to win top spot in a telephone poll to find the best record of the year.

The Irish band - who are co-managed by the Boyzone singer - won 159,590 votes from viewers of ITV's Record of the Year for their song Flying Without Wings.


Ronan Keating had to settle for second place
Westlife's triumph caps a hugely successful year for the group, which in October became the first boy-band to have three UK number ones with their first three singles.

And the heart-throbs are still hoping their cover of the Abba song I Have A Dream will win the much-prized number one spot in the Christmas pop charts.

Keating, whose band Boyzone won 1998's poll with No Matter What, provided the toughest competition.

His hit When You Say Nothing At All came second with 150,669 votes. The single was the theme from the UK's highest grossing film Notting Hill, starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.

Both Westlife and their manager streaked ahead of the competition, with Baby One More Time by Britney Spears taking third spot with just over 70,000 votes. The singer recently won Best Female Singer at the Smash Hits awards and also at the MTV Europe awards.

Record of the Year 1999
1. Flying Without Wings - Westlife
2. When You Say Nothing At All - Ronan Keating
3. Baby One More Time - Britney Spears
4. That Don't Impress Me Much - Shania Twain
5. Livin' La Vida Loca - Ricky Martin
6. Blue (Da Ba Dee) - Eiffel
7. Bring It All Back - S Club 7
8. Mambo No. 5 - Lou Bega
9. Perfect Moment - Martine McCutcheon
10. If You Had My Love - Jennifer Lopez
Almost a million people took part in the phone voting after performances by the finalists in a show hosted by Denise Van Outen.

The ten songs made it to the final after organisers took the 50 highest-selling singles this year, and cut out the duplicates where one act featured twice.

Then subscribers to pundit Jonathan King's magazine The Tip Sheet voted on the remaining records - and a list of 20 was drawn up.

Sir Cliff Richard's current chart-topper, The Millennium Prayer, failed to make it on to the final 20.


Britney Spears was third in the poll
And although the current lust for all things Latino helped Ricky Martin and actress Jennifer Lopez into the poll, they made it only to fifth and tenth places.

ITV screened video clips from the 20 nominees earlier this month, with the list whittled down in a phone poll to produce the top ten which made it through to the grand final.

Last year, 10 million viewers watched the inaugural Record of the Year contest, with over one million voting for Boyzone.

Mr King, who is the brainchild behind the competition, said: "Like all great ideas, it's so simple. It's a genuinely interactive live show with the public selecting their favourite record from a choice of 10 finalists.

"It's the exact opposite of other music awards. This is one award in one calendar year - one favourite record."

Nigel Lythgoe, controller of entertainment at LWT, which makes the show, said: "Unlike the Brits which are voted for by record company bosses, the British public can have their say for the first time and vote for a winner directly."

See also:

30 Nov 99 | Entertainment
Viewers vote for top record
19 Dec 98 | Entertainment
Boyzone scoop record of the year
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