- 12 Mar 19
Una Healy has achieved her biggest successes to date as a member of pop group, The Saturdays, but she will be a huge asset to the new UK country music station, Country Hits Radio.
Irish singer and Hot Press fave, Una Healy, has announced that she is taking up a DJ role with the new UK radio station, Country Hits Radio. Una first came to prominence when she sang in the Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland in 2006, singing 'Every Song Is A Cry of Love' with Brian Kennedy. They finished 10th in the voting.
However, it was with the UK-based all-female hit machine, The Saturdays, formed in 2007, that she really hit the heights, as a singer and a songwriter. She has also had a distinguished career on stage and on television, in her own right.
Country Hits Radio launches on April 5, and will be aimed at listeners in the 25 to 44 age group. It will be available on digital radio, online, mobile app and smart speaker. It will be the second new country station to launch in the UK this year, with Smooth Country having hit the digital airwaves within the past fortnight. Una Healy will be the Saturday breakfast presenter with the station.
"I’m SO excited to be the new Saturday breakfast presenter at @countryhitsuk – the UK’s first-ever national country music radio station," Una said. "It's a genre I've fallen in love with and it's thrilling that it now has a home in Country Hits Radio. I can't wait to get started!"
While The Saturdays were a pop band with a contemporary, electro-pop, urban edge, Una Healy's own solo work had a country tinge – which is hardly surprising given that she is from Tipperary.
"When you look at the success of artists such as The Shires and Ward Thomas, as well as huge events like Country 2 Country, it's clear there's a real audience for country music in the UK," Una Healy added.
The Saturdays biggest hit single was 'What About Us', feat Sean Paul, which was a UK No.1, and reached No.6 in Ireland. Taken from the group's Living for the Weekend album, that single was their only US success, and was a relatively minor one at that, reaching No.27 in the US Dance Charts. Their biggest selling album was their 2008 debut, Chasing Lights, which sold over 300,000 copies in the UK, and was certified platinum. Una Healy's album The Waiting Game reached No.12 in Ireland and No.28 in the UK.
Una Healy has enjoyed considerable success as a broadcaster. She was a judge on the fourth and fifth series of The Voice of Ireland. She was also a judge on the ITV sports entertainment show, Let's Get Gold. Healy also starred in the series Forever Country Covers, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Country Music Association Awards. Her Saturdays bandmate Mollie King has also had success on both television and radio, co-hosting a Saturday afternoon show – and subsequently the weekend Breakfast Show – on BBC Radio 1 with Matt Edmonson.
Overall, country music is experiencing something of a renaissance, both in the UK and Ireland. Irish star Jessie Buckley, from Killarney, whose career was launched originally via the BBC's talent show, I'd Do Anything, has been getting rave reviews for her performance in the starring role in the acclaimed country music-based movie, Wild Rose. Meanwhile, the Country to Country festival has been going from strength to strength, with the 2020 dates already announced, including a stint at 3Arena from March 13 to 15.
Una Healy was married to the professional rugby player and England international, Ben Foden, in Ireland in 2012. The couple had a daughter Aoife Belle (in March 2012) and a son Tadhg John (in February 2015). However, Healy announced in 2018 that she and Foden had separated.