Niall Horan has performed all over the world as a solo artist and in his former boy band, One Direction, but the new coach on “The Voice” says he just experienced his most nerve-wracking concert yet. On March 17, 2023, which was St. Patrick’s Day, Horan represented his native Ireland while performing four songs in the East Room of the White House for President Joe Biden, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, and a roomful of dignitaries, according to Deadline.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared in my life,” Horan, 29, told the crowd, as seen in a video of the event posted to YouTube. But the concert went off without a hitch and Horan now says the stressful performance turned out to be one of the best days of his life.
Niall Horan’s Mom ‘Didn’t Sleep a Wink’ the Night Before His Concert
Horan started the concert by singing his new single, “Heaven.” He then revealed how nervous he was, but carried on with his set list, including his hits “This Town” and “Flicker,” as well as an Irish folk song about emigration called “Spancil Hill,” according to Irish news outlet Raidió Teilifís Éireann.
The outlet caught up with Horan’s mom, Maura Gallagher, who knew Horan had been invited to the White House but “didn’t say a word to anyone.”
“I didn’t sleep a wink,” she said. “He told me it was happening and I was so nervous for him.”
Before his mini-concert, Horan told the audience, “As a proud Irishman who travels the world, it’s a major honor for me to be here. Thanks for putting me up to it. There’s a lot of talented Irish singers out there but to get chosen to represent your country on the grandest of stages is a real honor, so thanks very much.”
Horan posted a series of Instagram photos and videos on March 20, calling the experience “one of the most special days of my life.”
“Thank you President Biden and Vice President Harris for having me as part of the celebrations,” he wrote. “To be able to say ‘I performed at the White House’ is something I’ll hold dear forever.”
St. Patrick’s Day events at the White House are a time-honored tradition, including a visit by Ireland’s prime minister, or taoiseach, according to the New York Times. However, President Biden and former President Ronald Reagan have been the only Irish Catholics to occupy the White House since John F. Kennedy, the outlet said.
Niall Horan Films Cute Video With President Biden
Horan also posted a video from the White House on the day of the event, with a surprise appearance by President Biden. After wishing his fans a happy St. Patrick’s Day “from the White House, from me.”
Horan then panned the camera to show Biden, wearing a green tie with his suit, who put his arm around the singer and said, “And me, too. I’m here at the White House, I hang out here once in a while. I’m glad he’s here.”
Horan has had an exciting few days, given that he also got to return to golfing, one of his biggest passions outside of music, and just released his new single, “Heaven.” On March 20, he posted a video in his Instagram Stories of himself on a golf course with a new set of Callaway clubs, excited to play again.
Horan’s had issues with his back and knee for years. In October 2022, Horan told a fan via a Twitter, “No golf for weeks. Got two bulged disks in my lower back. No fun.”
Then on March 3, when another fan on Twitter asked if he’d been out golfing, Horan replied, “No golf. Been trying to fix my knee.” He went on to add that he’d “torn my patella tendon.”
Horan had major knee surgery in 2014, according to E! News, which reported that he’d had an issue since his childhood which caused his knee to easily dislocate. It’s not known if his latest challenges are related to that condition, but according to the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, patellar tendon tears can be debilitating because “the patellar tendon works with the muscles in the front of your thigh to straighten your leg.”
In addition to the golf outing, Horan told followers in his Instagram video that he was thrilled “Heaven” had been streamed so many streams already and shared a Spotify list of “Today’s Top Hits,” with his song coming in at number 10.
“Thank you for all the support,” he said to the camera in his video, urging fans to keep streaming the song to make it an “amazing week.”
Horan appears as a coach on season 23 of “The Voice,” currently airing Monday and Tuesday nights on NBC.