Fureys star will be The Hit in US with top record deal
A year ago he nearly lost his life to a heart attack, but 12 months later folk legend Finbar Furey has never been better.
He achieved his first Irish No1 since 1987 this year, and is now about to sign a major deal with Decca in the United States.
The 67-year-old credits RTE show The Hit with bringing him and his career back to life after he topped polls with the Gerry Fleming-penned The Last Great Love Song.
Finbar said: "I really knew something was going on when I heard I was out-selling Shane Filan of Westlife. I'm the singer who has given talent shows a good name."
Such has been his success, the Ballyfermot man will guest on The Late Late Show this Friday to tell host Ryan Tubridy about his amazing turnaround. Producers of The Hit, which will now air in Holland, are in talks with RTE about the format returning to home screens for a second season.
Along with allowing Finbar to hook up with a new generation of Irish songwriters, it has helped him land a new record deal in the US.
He told the Herald: "People do take notice of success in Ireland, and my agent in the US got a call from a label.
"The next thing I knew I was on a plane to London, to work with a big American songwriter for a new record we're releasing in the US next year."
To build on his success, Finbar has added The Last Great Love Song to his current album Colours along with three new tracks.
But he said any reunion with his brother Eddie -- who he topped the charts with in the Furey Brothers -- is out of the question.
Finbar explained: "Myself and Eddie performed the Lonesome Boatman at a cousin's funeral a few months back.
"The Church was rammed -- it was very special. But even though we're close, myself and Eddie wouldn't last five minutes in the same band.
"Eddie is a fabulous musician with his own ideas."
A new eight-episode version of The Hit airs on Dutch TV RTL5 in the spring. The format has spawned Russian, Ukrainian and Chinese series, based on the Irish show.