As of November 2006 his acts have totalled 29 UK #1 singles, the 29th being 'The Rose' by Westlife.
While working for a record label in Ipswich, Walsh spotted the talents of singer/songwriter Johnny Logan. Walsh persuaded Logan to enter the 1980 25th Eurovision Song Contest, which Logan won in front of 500 million TV viewers. Logan's first album sold half a million copies within three days of its release.
Louis Walsh then decided to create an Irish version of Take That, which the papers picked up on when Walsh advertised the open auditions. The band created was Boyzone whom Walsh managed to international success achieving 16 top three singles, six of which were Number 1s, as well as four Number 1 albums selling over 12 million copies worldwide.
When Ronan Keating announced he wanted to take a break from Boyzone Walsh continued to manage his career. Keating achieved a Number 1 hit with Life is a Rollercoaster in 2000 while his album sold 4.4 million copies. Keating and Walsh later agreed to part company and then had a bitter falling out. Walsh told the press: "He (Keating) wasn't the most talented one - he's not a great singer and he's got no personality." Keating later told Closer magazine: "That man absolutely tried to ruin me and if he thinks we can ever hug and make up he can forget it. I haven't heard from him in three years and I wouldn't have a problem if I never saw him again. He's not a nice character."
Walsh then went back to the boy band formula to create Westlife. Walsh had his choice of record companies but eventually signed them to RCA after being impressed by executive Simon Cowell. Their first seven singles from the debut "Swear it Again" reached Number 1 in the UK charts, which still stands as the record for most consecutive number 1 singles from debut. Walsh continues to manage the band with Westlife having accumulated 14 UK number 1s and 6 number 1 selling albums.
Walsh has also managed groups who enjoyed mild success such as Six and Bellefire, as well as masterminding Lulu's duet album, being her most successful and reaching Number 4 in the UK charts. Walsh's career as a pop group manager has not been all success, with failed acts such as The Carter Twins. His notoriety has even led to his own song Louis Walsh by Co. Donegal band The Revs.
In November 2005 it was reported that Walsh quit the show mid-series out of protest regarding his treatment on the show; the most explicit example being fellow judge Osbourne drenching him with drinking water during a live recording. Walsh returned on the Saturday evening's live show, stating that he could not abandon his remaining competitor and eventual winner, Shayne Ward. Ward went on to win the competition with over 10 million votes in the final. Walsh then went on to win The X Factor: Battle of the Stars with actress Lucy Benjamin.
ITV announced in March 2007 that Walsh would not return as a judge on The X Factor, but would remain behind the scenes managing some acts from the show. According to UK tabloid newspaper The Sun the decision to be replaced with two other judges came as a shock to him. However, on 22 June 2007, it was confirmed by Walsh that he would be returning as a judge on the fourth series of The X Factor.
Simon Cowell reportedly told off Louis Walsh for his comments about the Spice Girls. Walsh had said that the girl group were "past their sell-by date" and lacking in talent, but Cowell already had plans to book the girls on the show.
The Louis factor He was once an altar boy in Kiltimagh, now he's the Svengali of pop music. Louis Walsh's journey from Mayo to the centre of the music world has been a long one, but the once-angry impresario has found great personal contentment. Barry Egan dined with him.
Jul 13, 2008; The Louis factor He was once an altar boy in Kiltimagh, now he's the Svengali of pop music. Louis Walsh's journey from Mayo to...
The Vile Lies That Almost Cost Me Everything; Two Months Ago Louis Walsh Was Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault. Here, as a New Series of X Factor Begins, He Tells Chrissy Iley He's Still So Tormented He Can't Eat or Sleep, and Barely Dares Leave His House
Aug 20, 2011; Byline: Chrissy Iley Louis Walsh is walking towards me across a quiet restaurant in a Dublin Hotel. Nothing about him looks like...
I Can't Eat, I Can't Sleep. I've Lost My Trust in People; Two Months Ago Louis Walsh Was Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault. Now, He Tells Chrissy Iley, He's Still Tormented by the Lies That Nearly Ruined Him
Aug 21, 2011; Byline: Chrissy Iley Louis Walsh is walking towards me across a quiet restaurant in a Dublin hotel. Nothing about him looks like...