Happy Birthday Mary Black born on this day in 1955!

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With over 36 years in the music business, Mary Black is widely regarded as Ireland’s premier female vocalist and today’s her birthday!

From “A Song for Ireland” to “No Frontiers”, Black’s stunning vocals and beautiful songs have made her the first lady of the Irish music industry.

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Recently the songstress completed a ten-city tour of the US, including Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco, and now she’s back touring in Ireland for the summer.

It’s been said of Mary Black that she rarely gets a bad review.  Her latest album, “Stories from the Steeples,” is no exception. Ireland’s Hot Press said of the album “Mary Black instinctively makes a song her own, and her voice here is more expressively fragile than before. The musicianship is impeccable.”

Allmusic.com called it a “welcome return for one of contemporary folk music’s finest voices and most original stylists.”

In her long and successful career, Black has recorded dozens of albums.  Her breakthrough “No Frontiers” in 1989, featuring the haunting track “Columbus,” brought her rich, clear voice and gift for storytelling to the attention of US audiences for the first time.

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Black’s musical roots run deep and it’s evident in her own children. Her own father was a fiddle player from the small island of Rathlin, off the coast of Antrim. By the age of eight Black was singing folk songs her brother, Shay, had taught her.

As she grew up she started performing with her siblings in small clubs around Dublin for the fun of it. Soon her hobby turned into a career.

Music is at the center of Black’s life and her family’s. Her husband, Joe O’Reilly, worked for Dara Records. She has three children, Conor, Danny, and Roisin. Danny O’Reilly is the ‘frontman’ of the popular rock band The Coronas and Roisin O is a talented and highly acclaimed singer-songwriter herself.

Black and her family live in Dublin but spends a great deal of time in County Kerry. The 63-year-old star recently admitted that while she still loves to tour she also wants to be a hands-on grandmother to her family’s two newest arrivals.

In 2014 Black published an autobiography, Down the Crooked Road, to announce that she was retiring from touring but something tells us that she’s ain’t done with music quite yet.

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Courtesy of Irish Central. (First published in 2016)

 

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