Westlife have been installed as favourite to claim best Irish pop act at this year’s Meteor Awards, it emerged today.
Bookmaker Boylesports said the four-piece band were the front-runners for the sought-after award at odds of 2-5, but former band-mate Brian McFadden is close behind at 7-2.
A bill of international stars and leading Irish acts will take to the stage in the Point Theatre in Dublin on February 24 next at the Meteor Ireland Music Awards.
Some of the top names up for the 16 awards include Snow Patrol, Franz Ferdinand, The Frames and Damien Rice.
McFadden is also in the running for another one of the Meteor awards in the Best Irish Male category.
Some of the industry’s firm favourites are on strong odds with Damien Rice, who has struck it big in the elusive US market, on evens. Also in the running are Paddy Casey at 7-2, David Kitt at 7-1, Mundy at 16-1 and newcomer Declan O’ Rourke at 25-1.
The battle of the bands has proved tight with The Frames favourites at 5-4 to take the award.
But the Thrills are also in the running at 2-1 for Best Irish Band Award, and Snow Patrol at 3-1.
Two females are also in the running for the Best Irish DJ award for the first time – Today FM’s Alison Curtis and 2FM’s Jenny Huston – who are both on odds of 25-1.
Last year’s winner, 2FM’s Ryan Tubridy, is on even odds, while Dave Fanning is at 7-2. Today FM DJ Ray D’Arcy is on 7-2, breakfast presenter Ian Dempsey at 5-1 and Tom Dunne is at 6-1.
Publicity-shy Sinead O’Connor is in the running for the Best Irish Female award at 5-1. However, ‘Burn the Black Suit’ singer Juliet Turner is favourite at 7-4.
Adi Roche, who runs the charity, the Chernobyl Children’s Project, has already been chosen to receive this year’s Humanitarian Award for her tireless work.
A cheque for €100,000 will also be presented to the fundraiser at the awards ceremony. Some of the previous winners include Bono, Christina Nobel and Sister Stanislaus Kennedy.
Fans will be able to vote for their favourite act from tomorrow, Thursday January, 13, by texting "vote" to 53500 or voting online by the website www.meteor.ie.
Tickets for the event will go on sale later this month for €30.