Celtic Woman

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Celtic Woman

Celtic Woman performs at Macquarie Shopping Centre, Sydney, in August 2012
Background information
OriginIreland
GenresCeltic, Folk, New Age, Adult Contemporary, Classical
Years active2004–present
LabelsManhattan
WebsiteCelticWoman.com
Members
Chloë Agnew
Lisa Kelly
Lisa Lambe
Susan McFadden
Máiréad Nesbitt
Past members
Órla Fallon
Lynn Hilary
Méav Ní Mhaolchatha
Deirdre Shannon
Alex Sharpe
Hayley Westenra
 
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Celtic Woman

Celtic Woman performs at Macquarie Shopping Centre, Sydney, in August 2012
Background information
OriginIreland
GenresCeltic, Folk, New Age, Adult Contemporary, Classical
Years active2004–present
LabelsManhattan
WebsiteCelticWoman.com
Members
Chloë Agnew
Lisa Kelly
Lisa Lambe
Susan McFadden
Máiréad Nesbitt
Past members
Órla Fallon
Lynn Hilary
Méav Ní Mhaolchatha
Deirdre Shannon
Alex Sharpe
Hayley Westenra
Celtic Woman logo (2011)

Celtic Woman is an all-female musical ensemble conceived and assembled by Sharon Browne[1][2] and David Downes, a former musical director of the Irish stage show Riverdance.[3][4] In 2004, he recruited five Irish female musicians who had not previously performed together: vocalists Chloë Agnew, Órla Fallon, Lisa Kelly and Méav Ní Mhaolchatha, and fiddler Máiréad Nesbitt, and shaped them into the first lineup of the group that he named Celtic Woman. Downes chose a repertoire that ranged from traditional Celtic tunes to modern songs.

The group's lineup has changed over the years; in 2009, the group consisted of Chloë Agnew, Lynn Hilary, Lisa Kelly, Alex Sharpe and fiddler Máiréad Nesbitt; Alex Sharpe left the group in May 2010.[5] Six albums have been released under the name "Celtic Woman": Celtic Woman, Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration, Celtic Woman: A New Journey, Celtic Woman: The Greatest Journey, Celtic Woman: Songs from the Heart and Celtic Woman: Believe. The group has undertaken a number of world tours. Cumulatively, albums by Celtic Woman have sold over 6 million records worldwide[6]. The Celtic Women are all of Celtic origin.

The foundation for Celtic music's popularity outside Ireland and Europe was built by tapping into the success of artists such as Enya and Clannad, along with stage shows Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. Celtic Woman has been described as being "Riverdance for the voice."[7]

Contents

Albums

Celtic Woman was taped 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, television producer and director Avril MacRory, 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 Andrea Bocelli's long-standing record of chart-topping longevity on 22 July 2006 by having stayed at #1 for 68 weeks.[8] The album held the top position on the Billboard World Music chart for 81 weeks total.[9] 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.[9]

In preparation for their third studio album, Celtic Woman performed at Slane Castle in County Meath, Ireland, on 23 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. As with their debut, the live performance was released on DVD simultaneously. This album immediately hit the Billboard 200 at #4[10] and the Billboard World Music chart at #1,[11] moving their previous two releases down a notch and securing the top three positions on that chart for the group.

In response to the popularity of the performance at Slane Castle in 2006, PBS aired a special concert of Celtic Woman performing again in The Helix Theatre, Dublin, Ireland on 7 December 2007. This performance included songs from the group's second album, Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration.

A fourth album, Celtic Woman: The Greatest Journey, was released in 28 October 2008. The group's fifth album, Celtic Woman: Songs from the Heart, was released 26 January 2010. It peaked at #48 in July 2010 on the ARIA Top 50 Albums chart.[12]

The group recently released their sixth album, Lullaby, available through PBS pledge or the QVC shopping website.[13] On February 15, 2011, it was released by other major retailers as a limited edition album. It reached #1 on the World Charts and #3 on the Children's Charts, a first for Celtic Woman.

The group filmed a new special on 6 and 7 September 2011 at the Fox Theater in Atlanta for PBS broadcast and DVD release. It is to be titled "Believe". The show aired on PBS stations on December 3, 2011. The CD/DVD was released on January 24, 2012.[14]

Tours

Celtic Woman has performed 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.[15] 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.[16]

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". This tour finished on 22 November 2009.

The 2010–11 tour called "Songs from the Heart", featured some of the same music and some new music. It began in February 2010.[17][18] PBS television presented a special concert starting 28 November 2009. It was taped in HD at the Powerscourt House & Gardens. It included a 27-member film orchestra, Discovery Gospel choir, 12-member Aontas Choir, 10-member Extreme Rhythm Drummers with an 11-piece bag pipe ensemble.[19]

A second "Songs from the Heart" tour opened in February 2011 with three singers (Agnew, Kelly, Lambe) and one fiddler (Nesbitt) and consisted of about 80 concerts in North America in spring 2011[20] and 10 performances in Germany and Austria during summer 2011.[21]

The Symphony Tour featuring songs from their Christmas Album "A Christmas Celebration" took place during December 2011.[22]

The BELIEVE 2012 North American Tour went from February 2012 through April 2012.[23] During May through June 2012 the BELIEVE European Tour will take place.[24] Lisa Kelly, who is pregnant with her fourth child, will not participate in the 2012 tours,[25] and will be replaced by Susan McFadden,[26] who is the younger sister of Brian McFadden, a former member of Irish boy band Westlife.

Membership

The original performers in Celtic Woman were Chloë Agnew, Órla Fallon, Lisa Kelly, Méav Ní Mhaolchatha, and Máiréad Nesbitt. During Ní Mhaolchatha's pregnancy in 2005, Deirdre Shannon was selected to fill her place during tours. Shannon departed in February 2006, and Ní 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, with the announcement that Hayley Westenra officially joined Celtic Woman on 24 August 2006.[27] As well as being featured on the album and DVD for A New Journey, Westenra alternated with Ní Mhaolchatha during tour events to maintain the live five-person lineup.[28]

On 20 August 2007, Ní Mhaolchatha left Celtic Woman to focus on her solo career. Ní Mhaolchatha's replacement, Lynn Hilary, made her first appearance on 10 October 2007 in Estero, Florida, United States.[29][30]

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.[31]

For the 2009 Isle of Hope Tour, the group comprised vocalists Chloë Agnew, Lynn Hilary, Lisa Kelly and Alex Sharpe; and fiddler Máiréad Nesbitt. The Celtic Woman website reported that Órla Fallon was taking a full break to spend time with her family and focus on recording a new solo album and that, therefore, Alex would take over full time in Órla’s place.

The group completed the entire 2009 tour as well as the first leg of the Songs from the Heart tour, from February to May 2010, with this lineup. After the tour ended, it was announced that Alex Sharpe would take a full-time break from Celtic Woman in order to spend time with her family.[5]

After the Songs from the Heart tour, in November 2010, Lynn Hilary announced that she was leaving the group to return to Ireland.[32] Singer and actress Lisa Lambe joined the group as part of the 2011 tour lineup.

In December 2011 Lisa Kelly announced that she would be taking maternity leave from the group after the "Symphony Tour" was over. In January 2012 Celtic Woman's website announced that Susan McFadden would be filling in for Kelly.

When asked how the group members got along, member Lisa Kelly responded,

"We get along because we're so different. Chloe Agnew is hip, Méav Ni Mhaolchatha is rational, Orla Fallon is angelic and Mairead Nesbitt is energetic."[33]

According to Chloë Agnew, the friendship between the vocalists was the number one question they were asked. She explained:

"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."[34]

Discography

TitleDate of releaseMedia formatChart peaks
Celtic Woman1 March 2005CD & DVD
Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration3 October 2006CD & DVD
Celtic Woman: A New Journey30 January 2007CD & DVD
Celtic Woman: The Greatest Journey28 October 2008CD & DVD
Celtic Woman: A Celtic Family Christmas[35]14 October 2008CD
Celtic Woman: Songs from the Heart26 January 2010CD & DVDUK: #122[36]
Celtic Woman: Lullaby15 February 2011CD
Celtic Woman: Believe (Compilation)25 May 2011CD & DVD
Celtic Woman: An Irish Journey[37]3 October 2011CD
Celtic Woman: A Celtic Christmas[38]25 November 2011CD
Celtic Woman: Believe[39]24 January 2012CD & DVD
"Celtic Woman: Home for Christmas"Fall 2012CD

See also

References

  1. ^ Morse, Steve (2005-07-24). "Swept away by the sounds of Ireland's 'Celtic Woman'". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/globe/living/articles/2005/07/24/swept_away_by_the_sounds_of_irelands_celtic_woman/. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  2. ^ Lynch, Donal (2010-03-10). "We'll Take Manhattan". Independent.ie. http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/well-take-manhattan-2114828.html. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  3. ^ http://jksalescompany.com/dw/celticwoman.html
  4. ^ http://www.christmastwist.com/2007_09_01_archive.html
  5. ^ a b Sharpe, Alex (2010). "It has been a great joy...". CelticWoman.com. http://celticwoman.com/trellis/alex_message. Retrieved 27 May 2010. 
  6. ^ Celtic Woman talking the Irish music world by storm
  7. ^ McElhinney, Danny (2006-02-05). "Celtic Woman in Dublin". Ireland on Sunday. Archived from the original on 2007-09-07. http://web.archive.org/web/20070907031308/http://www.deirdreshannon.com/IrelandOnSunday_050206.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  8. ^ "Celtic Woman enters record books with 68 weeks at #1". CelticWoman.com. Archived from the original on 2007-02-23. http://web.archive.org/web/20070223143919/http://www.celticwoman.com/viewSection.asp?idSection=213. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  9. ^ a b "November 06". CelticWoman.com. Archived from the original on 2007-02-23. http://web.archive.org/web/20070223143719/http://www.celticwoman.com/viewSection.asp?idSection=209. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  10. ^ "Celtic Woman Debut at #4..." (Press release). PR Newswire. 2007-02-07. Archived from the original on 2007-12-10. http://www.webcitation.org/5TyuPOaWX. 
  11. ^ Cohen, Jonathan (2007-02-07). "Better 'Late' Than Never: Jones Debuts At No. 1". Billboard.biz. http://billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3i0c4f370624146d95dedde46dfadd0400. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  12. ^ "Celtic Woman - Songs from the Heart (album)". Australian-charts.com. July 2010. http://www.australian-charts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Celtic+Woman&titel=Songs+From+The+Heart&cat=a. Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  13. ^ "Celtic Woman: Lullaby". CelticWoman.com. http://www.celticwoman.com/details/. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  14. ^ "Celtic Woman Invites Fans to Exclusive Filming in Sept". http://atlanta.broadwayworld.com. http://atlanta.broadwayworld.com/article/Celtic-Woman-Invites-Fans-To-Exclusive-Filming-Of-New-Live-Concert-in-Sept-20110801. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "Celtic Woman members get along harmoniously". LiveDaily.com. http://www.livedaily.com/news/9048.html. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  16. ^ "Celtic Woman Home Page". CelticWoman.com. http://celticwoman.com/. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  17. ^ Pullen, Doug (14 November 2009). "PBS helps lift group Celtic Woman to U.S. popularity". El Paso Times via California Chronicle. http://www.californiachronicle.com/articles/yb/137741350. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  18. ^ Salkin, Judith (19 November 2009). "Singer has even higher hopes". The Desert Sun. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20091119/LIFESTYLES0101/911180374/1026/news12. Retrieved 25 November 2009. [dead link]
  19. ^ 5 December 2009
  20. ^ "Songs from the Heart Tour dates for North America". http://www.celticwoman.com/tour-dates/. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  21. ^ "Songs from the Heart Tour dates for Europe". http://www.celticwoman.com/german-tour-dates/. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ [2]
  24. ^ [3]
  25. ^ "A Special Delivery Is On The Way". Retrieved 2011-11-13.
  26. ^ "New Celtic Woman Announced". Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  27. ^ "September 06". CelticWoman.com. 2006-09-06. Archived from the original on 2007-02-23. http://web.archive.org/web/20070223143839/http://www.celticwoman.com/viewSection.asp?idSection=211. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  28. ^ "Hayley and Méav dates announced". CelticWoman.com. Archived from the original on 2007-02-23. http://web.archive.org/web/20070223143932/http://www.celticwoman.com/viewSection.asp?idSection=218. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  29. ^ "Welcoming Our New Celtic Woman". CelticWoman.com. 2007-08-20. Archived from the original on 2007-12-10. http://www.webcitation.org/5TytGlb6b. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  30. ^ "Méav Concert Tour Kicks off in New York". Meav.com. Archived from the original on 2007-12-03. http://www.webcitation.org/5Tob23PmX. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  31. ^ "And So...". CelticWoman.com. December 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-12-10. http://www.webcitation.org/5Tyt4BvGl. Retrieved 2007-12-09. 
  32. ^ "Celtic Woman: Lynn's Message". CelticWoman.com. November 2010. http://www.celticwoman.com/lynns-message/. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  33. ^ Scott, Walter (2007-05-23). "Personality Parade". Parade. http://www.parade.com/articles/editions/2007/edition_06-03-2007/Personality_Parade. Retrieved 2007-12-18. 
  34. ^ "Celtic Woman members get along harmoniously". Post Crescent. http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080402/APC05/80402152. Retrieved 2008-04-04. [dead link]
  35. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Celtic-Family-Christmas-Woman/dp/B001KMIZ22/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322058611&sr=8-1
  36. ^ http://www.zobbel.de/cluk/110618cluk.txt
  37. ^ http://www.amazon.fr/Irish-Journey-Celtic-Women/dp/B005EVV5RM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321980379&sr=8-1
  38. ^ http://www.amazon.de/Celtic-Christmas-Woman/dp/B005WNF5UU/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1321980480&sr=8-13
  39. ^ http://music.barnesandnoble.com/Believe/Celtic-Woman/e/5099995543123?itm=1&usri=celtic+woman+believe

External links

Official sites

Current Members

Previous members