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The Script finds magic after years of struggle

  • Story Highlights
  • Musicians spent several years as struggling writers and producers in the U.S.
  • They decided to form a band when they returned to Ireland
  • The group's self-titled debut came out in August 2008 in Britain
  • This year, the band has been the opening act for U2 and Paul McCartney
By Todd Leopold
CNN
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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- The Script didn't follow the script.

The Script includes, from left to right, Glen Power, Danny O'Donoghue and Mark Sheehan.

The Script includes, from left to right, Glen Power, Danny O'Donoghue and Mark Sheehan.

In the standard showbiz treatment, a group -- say, three plucky, working-class music-mad young men from Dublin, Ireland -- travel to the grand shores of the U.S. of A.

They form a band, grab the ear of a noted producer and, with a lucky break or two, are soon opening for the stars who inspired them so many years before.

If the story needs a rousing climax, they return as conquering heroes to their homeland, pick up the local paper and find that their new single has gone straight to No. 1.

Applause, joyful tears, roll credits.

Well, it wasn't quite like that.

In the case of The Script -- vocalist/keyboardist Danny O'Donoghue, multi-instrumentalist Mark Sheehan and drummer Glen Power -- O'Donoghue and Sheehan traveled to the States and spent several years as struggling writers and producers.

Drummer Power, another Dubliner, had bummed around music scenes for years; he'd met O'Donoghue and Sheehan not long before the pair packed it in and returned to Dublin, plying their trade and looking for breaks.

Descriptions of the trio as "an overnight success" thus leave them skeptical.

If that's the case, said Sheehan before a concert at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia, "It was the longest night of our lives." Video Watch an interview with The Script »

On the other hand, when success did strike, it struck hard and relatively quickly.

When O'Donoghue and Sheehan returned to Dublin, they decided to form a band. They recruited Power, noting their "great strength together" -- in Power's words -- after jamming together. The Script's first single, "We Cry," hit the UK Top 20 in the spring of 2008, and the second, "The Man Who Can't Be Moved," hit No. 1. The group's self-titled debut came out in August 2008 in Britain.

In December 2008, they played the Nobel Peace Prize Concert, and, in March of this year, opened for U2. (Their album was finally released in the U.S. that same month.) They've spent this summer as Paul McCartney's opening act, which was what brought them to Piedmont Park.

Touring with the former Beatle "feels like a master class for us," said Sheehan.

The three, all around 30, finish each other's sentences like the old friends they are and display a savvy about the music business. That's only fitting, as O'Donoghue and Sheehan spent their years in America learning the trade alongside producers such as Teddy Riley and the Neptunes.

Sheehan says the group is looking for the sweet spot between the "rock climate" they grew up in and the hip-hop and R&B sounds that dominate American popular music.

"[With our experience,] we're hashing it out, and I think we've found it," he said. (Asked about their own influences, they rattle off hip-hop artists such as Missy Elliott, Jay-Z and Kanye West.)

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The Script appears to have a happy ending, just as an old tale of rising stars would have it. But the three are quick to point out that aspiring musicians should, well, write their own story.

"If there's a message to younger musicians, to me, it's 'don't give up,' " says O'Donoghue. "Magic can happen."

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