Celtic Woman is a musical ensemble comprising five Irish female artists: vocalists Chlo? Agnew, Lynn Hilary, Lisa Kelly, Alex Sharpe and fiddler M?ir?ad Nesbitt. The group's repertoire ranges from traditional Celtic tunes to modern songs. To date, the group has released four albums, Celtic Woman, Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration, Celtic Woman: A New Journey and Celtic Woman: The Greatest Journey and have undertaken a number of world tours.
The foundation for Celtic music's popularity outside of Ireland and Europe was previously set by artists Enya and Clannad, along with stage shows Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. To this end, Celtic Woman has been referred to as "Riverdance for the voice."
Celtic Woman was filmed on 15 September 2004 for PBS Television at The Helix, Dublin, Ireland, in front of a sold out audience. Organized by producer Sharon Browne, Chairman & CEO Dave Kavanagh and musical director and composer David Downes, this performance was first broadcast on PBS during March 2005 in the United States, and within weeks the group's eponymous debut album Celtic Woman reached #1 on Billboard's World Music chart, eventually breaking a long-standing record on 22 July 2006 by staying at #1 for 68 weeks, and held that position for 81 weeks total. Much of the group's success in America has been credited to the extensive PBS publicity throughout 2005. The live performance at The Helix was released on DVD alongside the studio album.
The release of the second album, Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration, on 19 October 2006 knocked their first album to the #2 spot on the World Music chart.
In preparation for their third studio album, Celtic Woman performed at Slane Castle in County Meath, Ireland, on 23 August and 24 August 2006, with this show airing on PBS during December 2006. The studio album, titled Celtic Woman: A New Journey, was released on 30 January 2007, and as with their debut, the live performance was released on DVD simultaneously. This album immediately hit the Billboard 200 at #4 and the Billboard World Music chart at #1, bumping their previous two releases down a spot and securing the top three positions on that chart for the group.
In response to the amazing popularity of the performance at Slane Castle in 2006, on 7 December 2007 PBS aired a special concert of Celtic Woman performing again in The Helix Theatre, Dublin, Ireland. This performance included songs from the group's second album Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration.
The Irish group released a fourth album called Celtic Woman: The Greatest Journey in October 28, 2008.
Celtic Woman has performed a total of three tours in America, with additional performances overseas. The group appeared live in more than a dozen US cities in 2005 for their original album debut. The group toured the United States twice with their "Celtic Woman: A New Journey" tour, visiting 88 cities in 2007 and over 75 cities in 2008. In early April 2008 it was announced that The High Kings would be opening the act for the group through June 2008.
The 2009 Isle of Hope Tour was announced in late 2008, and features a blend of original music from composer David Downes and Brendan Graham (the author of the group favorite You Raise Me Up), renditions of songs such as "Fields of Gold" and "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" and traditional performances of "Danny Boy", "The Sky and the Dawn and the Sun" and "Spanish Lady".
The original members of Celtic Woman were Chlo? Agnew, ?rla Fallon, Lisa Kelly, M?av N? Mhaolchatha, and M?ir?ad Nesbitt. During N? Mhaolchatha's pregnancy in 2005, Deirdre Shannon was selected to fill her place during tours. Shannon departed in February 2006, and N? Mhaolchatha returned to the group in time to record A New Journey and tour for that album.
The second lineup change was announced on 6 September 2006, when Hayley Westenra was stated as having officially joined Celtic Woman on 24 August. As well as being featured on the album and DVD for A New Journey, Westenra alternated with N? Mhaolchatha during tour events to maintain the live five-person lineup.
On 20 August 2007, N? Mhaolchatha was announced as taking a permanent break from Celtic Woman to focus on her solo career. N? Mhaolchatha's replacement, Lynn Hilary, made her first appearance on 10 October 2007 in Estero, Florida, United States.
In December 2007, Lisa Kelly, who was expecting a new child in 2008, took maternity leave from the group. Alex Sharpe filled her position on the A New Journey tour during this leave.
For the 2009 Isle of Hope Tour, the group comprises vocalists Chlo? Agnew, Lynn Hilary, Lisa Kelly, Alex Sharpe and fiddler M?ir?ad Nesbitt. It was announced on the official Celtic Woman website that ?rla Fallon was taking a full break to spend time with her family and focus on recording a new solo album. Therefore, Alex will take over full time in ?rla?s place.
When asked how the group members get along, member Lisa Kelly responded,
"We get along because we're so different. Chloe Agnew is hip, M?av Ni Mhaolchatha is rational, Orla Fallon is angelic and Mairead Nesbitt is energetic."
According to Chlo? Agnew, the friendship between the vocalists is the number one question they're asked,
"I think people are always looking for a 'Desperate Housewives' story, that they all hate each other and nobody actually gets along. It's all for show. And the truth of the matter is, it's not. The reality is we do all get along. The five of us are like sisters, best friends."
All Celtic Woman lyrics
- Ave Maria
- Away In A Manger
- Beyond The Sea
- Carol Of The Bells
- Christmas Pipes
- Danny Boy
- Ding Dong Merrily On High
- Don O�che �d I MBeithil
- Harry's Game
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
- Isle Of Inisfree
- Laschia Ch'io Pianga
- Let It Snow!
- May It Be
- Mo Ghile Mear
- Nella Fantasia
- O Come, All Ye Faithful
- O Holy Night
- One World
- Orinoco Flow
- Over The Rainbow
- Panis Angelicus
- S� Do Mhaime� �
- Scarborough Fair
- Send Me A Song
- She Moved Thru' The Fair
- Si�il A R�in
- Silent Night
- The Blessing
- The Christmas Song
- The Last Rose Of Summer
- The Little Drummer Boy
- The Prayer
- The Sky And The Dawn And The Sun
- The Soft Goodbye
- The Voice
- The Wexford Carol
- Vivaldi's Rain
- Walking In The Air
- White Christmas
- You Raise Me Up
All lyrics are property of their respective owners and are strictly for non-commercial use only.