Irish pop heartthrobs Westlife have abandoned their plans to break the American charts, after being ditched by their US record label.

The COAST TO COAST hitmakers have long harboured ambitions to take their music stateside, but all attempts have failed in the notoriously tough American charts - so they have vowed to concentrate on their established fanbases elsewhere in the world.

But the boys are still sore about the split from ARISTA.

Singer SHANE FILAN says, "We were so close to doing it, but then the record label who had signed us teamed up with another couple of companies.

"We were bottom of their priority as they had so many other American bands to sort out and they didn't have much money left over.

"They told us to come back, but pop music isn't working in general over there at the moment. Hip hop and R+B is a massive market in America. I don't think we would go down particularly well.

"All of us know it's not the be all and end all. We have done really, really well in the UK and Far East - we have sold so many records in Asia and South Africa.

"All the boys agree there is just no point risking it over there. We have lots of money by attracting fans everywhere else."

09/02/2004 03:12