Mary Byrne is recognized as an X Factor legend.
The former Tesco employee shot to fame when she appeared on Season 7 of the hit ITV program in 2010. Mary won over the judges with a stunning rendition of I (Who Have Nothing) and sailed to the shows in direct where she was supervised by Louis Walch.
The Dublin singer was then 51 years old and participated in bands such as Matt Cardle, Rebecca Ferguson and One Direction. Mary received support from her employer who launched a campaign for all staff to support her and she qualified for the semi-finals.
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She was ultimately rejected by the judges in the showdown, who picked Cher Lloyd to advance to the finals, meaning she finished in 5th place. She went on to build a successful career in music after her time on the show and signed a recording contract with Sony Music Ireland and released her debut album, Mine & Yours.
Mary released a follow-up album titled …With Love a year later in 2012 – and has since released two more cover albums. Mary has also toured the country in musicals and recently had a starring role in Dirty Dusting.
Mary is now 62 – and the singer has undergone a weight loss transformation since first appearing on The X Factor. Mary weighed just under 21 stone when she appeared on the ITV show and has now lost just under six stone. She told the Irish Mirror in 2020 that her daughter inspired her lifestyle change.
She said: “I looked at the picture of me on the show and me now and honestly I was shocked. Because it happened gradually over the decade I guess I didn’t. haven’t noticed as much, but yeah, that’s a shocking amount of weight loss.
“For me it was just a journey to get healthier, live longer and be there for my daughter Deborah. I was just under 21 stone on the show and now I’m just over 15 stones.
“I still have a long way to go, I want to lose two more stones before I feel like I have reached the new me. But I know now that I will get there because I have realized all the way that I ‘ve traveled now.
Mary appeared on an episode of Loose Women in 2018 when she was losing weight and had lost four and a half stone. She also debuted a short blonde hairstyle on the program – and host Kay Adams gushed when Mary showed off her look.
She said, “Your hair is fabulous, your skin is fabulous!”
Mary opened up about her battle with depression and said she suffered a dark few months at the start of the pandemic when she stopped taking antidepressants against her doctor’s recommendations. She said woman’s path magazine in 2021: “It hit me like a ton of bricks. I just remember feeling like I had a hole in my stomach, an emptiness that I couldn’t fill no matter what I did.
Mary has recovered from her dark period and said she is “floating with positivity”. She credits an encounter with a pharmacist with saving her life. She said: “Her name is Ramona. The day I thought I was doing something stupid for myself, I remember walking down the road looking at the chemist.
“Something dragged me there to that girl. She was behind the counter and I burst into tears. She spoke to me in the sweetest voice and told me that I was fine and that I would be fine.”
She added: “This whole experience has made me realize that I am a very strong girl. My positivity is so high right now. I am floating with confidence. I have a lot of love that I want to give to everyone. . “
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