Irish singer Ronan Keating is to ditch his solo career to work behind the scenes, and has invested $1.7 million (GBP1 million) on a new studio and record label.

The former BOYZONE star, who used to co-manage hit boyband Westlife, wants to cultivate new talent after struggling to make a mark as a solo star - so has decided to build a state-of-the-art recording studio at his home in Dublin.

The 26-year-old multi-millionaire is also launching a new record label called ROLLERCOASTER RECORDS, named after his hit single LIFE IS A ROLLERCOASTER.

Ronan says, "I was so tired looking at all the Pop Idol acts and one-hit wonders who are in the business.

"I was thinking about what else I can do and basically the other option would have been going back to selling shoes in Dublin."

An insider adds, "He's building a extension on his home, which he's turning into a top-of-the-range recording studio.

"The idea behind setting up his own label is to give young singers and bands a shot at a record deal.

"With most of the major labels, the odds of anyone landing a deal are small, but Ronan will be able to give young talent a chance if he believes in them."

26/01/2004 13:41