Puneet Varma (Editor)

Daniel O'Donnell

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Also known as  "Wee Daniel"
Instruments  Vocals
Occupation(s)  Singer–songwriter
Years active  1980–present
Daniel O'Donnell wwwmaximanetwpcontentuploads201312PURPLECR
Birth name  Daniel Francis Noel O'Donnell
Born  12 December 1961 (age 55) Kincasslagh, County Donegal, Ireland (1961-12-12)
Genres  Country, easy listening
Spouse  Majella O'Donnell (m. 2002)
Movies  Daniel O'Donnell: At Home in Ireland
Albums  Peace in the Valley, Moon Over Ireland, Together Again, Daniel in Blue Jeans, From Daniel With Love

Daniel Francis Noel O'Donnell (born 12 December 1961) is an Irish singer, television presenter and philanthropist. After rising to public attention in 1983 he has since become a household name in Ireland and Britain; he has also had considerable success in the US and Australia. In 2012, he became the first artist to have a different album in the British charts every year for 25 consecutive years.


Daniel O'Donnell Kristina Rihanoff paired with Catholic singer Daniel O39Donnell in

Known for his close relationship with his fanbase, and his charismatic and engaging stage presence, O'Donnell's music has been described as a mix of country and Irish folk, and he has sold over ten million records to date. He is widely considered a "cultural icon" in Ireland, and is often parodied in the media. Affectionately known as "Wee Daniel", O'Donnell is a prominent ambassador for his home county of Donegal.

Daniel O'Donnell Daniel O39Donnell INEC Killarney

Daniel o donnell a little piece of heaven


Daniel O'Donnell Daniel O39Donnell fans to cross borders after ban on Irish vote

O'Donnell was born in and brought up in the village of Kincasslagh, in The Rosses district in the west of County Donegal in Ulster. He grew up as the youngest of a Roman Catholic family, with his parents, Julia (née McGonagle born 1919; died 18 May 2014) and Francis O'Donnell, and siblings John (the eldest), Margaret (Margo), Kathleen and James. He has described his upbringing as mostly happy, with the exception of the death of his father after a heart attack when O'Donnell was six years old.

Daniel O'Donnell Daniel O39Donnell will be contestant on Strictly Come Dancing BBC News

During his school years, O'Donnell considered pursuing a career in banking. Despite this, a career in music was also always a possibility. As a youngster O'Donnell performed in the local religious choir. In 1980, he went to Galway to pursue business studies, however, he never settled down and by Christmas he was in his sister Margo's band. Margo had already forged a successful career in Ireland.

Rise to fame

Not getting enough opportunities to perform solos with the band, in 1983 O'Donnell decided to record his own record. On 9 February 1983 he recorded his first single, Johnny McCauley's "My Donegal Shore", with £1,200 of his own money, selling all the copies himself. Later that year, he formed his own musical group, Country Fever. After the group disbanded, he formed The Grassroots. In 1985, the manager of the Ritz label, Mick Clerkin, saw him perform, and introduced him to Sean Reilly, who remains as his manager to this day.

Under the management of Reilly, O'Donnell started to sell concerts out in England on a regular basis. According to O'Donnell, by January, 1992, he had hit rock bottom with exhaustion. After a three-month recovery break, he returned to the stage, this time at the Point Theatre, Dublin.


By the mid-1990s, O'Donnell had become a household name across Ireland and Great Britain. He appeared on popular television shows in both countries, and won various awards. Among the accolades, O'Donnell was named Donegal Person of the Year in 1989, which he still rates as the best award. He was given the Irish Entertainer of the Year award in 1989, 1992 and 1996. O'Donnell's first chart hit single in the UK was in 1992 with "I Just Want to Dance With You" (later covered by George Strait). This also led to his first ever appearance on Top of the Pops.

During his lengthy career, O'Donnell has made friends with his childhood idols, including Cliff Richard and Loretta Lynn. He also forged a close professional relationship with the Irish songstress Mary Duff, who regularly tours with O'Donnell.


In 2002, he was awarded an Honorary (because of his Irish citizenship) MBE for his services to the music industry. He has had twenty UK Top 40 albums as well as fifteen Top 40 singles and has sold 10 million records to date. O'Donnell garnered considerable success in North America, when he starred in seven concert specials on public television stations (PBS) in the US. He has charted 18 albums in the Top 20 of the United States Billboard's World Music Album Chart and also has had several entries in the Independent Albums Chart too. He was afforded an RTÉ Christmas Day special, Daniel at 50, in 2011 to mark his 50th birthday.

In 2015, O'Donnell became the first artist to have charted at least one new album in the UK charts for 28 consecutive years (1988–2015), when his latest album The Hank Williams Songbook entered the UK Artist Albums Chart at number 5.

A Daniel O'Donnell Visitors' Centre was opened in Dungloe in May, 2012, which displays all his gold discs, awards and wedding suit.

In Autumn 2015, he appeared on Strictly Come Dancing. He was eliminated third; in week 4 of the series.

In October 2015, Daniel and his wife Majella starred in the first series of their TV programme Daniel and Majella's B&B Road Trip. That series aired on UTV but moved to RTÉ in 2016.

Personal life

O'Donnell was married, aged 40, on 4 November 2002, to 41-year-old divorcée Majella McLennan from Thurles, whom he met on holiday in Tenerife three years previously. McLennan received a Catholic divorce with respect to her previous marriage, by which she had two children (Siobhan and Michael). The couple live in Meenbanad, County Donegal, and spend time at their second home in Tenerife. Daniel is proficient in Irish Gaelic and presented a show for the Irish broadcaster TG4 wholly in Irish Gaelic.

Daniel also has a step-granddaughter, Olivia, who is the daughter of Majella's daughter Siobhan and Siobhan's husband Gavin.


O'Donnell has been involved in many charitable causes for many years, most notably in Romania. He has championed the Romanian Challenge Appeal, a charity that helps orphaned Romanian children re-establish themselves within society. He was involved in urging Irish families to home these young people in Ireland for a period.


O'Donnell is arguably better known for his gentle, soft-spoken personality and clean cut image, than for his music. Over the years he has attracted vast media attention and there have been many cultural references to the performer. O'Donnell is frequently satirised in Irish and British comedy because of a common supposition that his audience consists mainly of older women. He was parodied as celebrity singer "Eoin McLove" in the Father Ted episode "Night of the Nearly Dead", as well as an episode of BBC sketch-show Chewin' the Fat, as an Irish singer named "Donald O'Daniel". The comedy show Bull Island and the radio sketch segment "Gift Grub" portrayed him in sketches frequently singing about his "mammy". DJ Chris Moyles has parodied O'Donnell on numerous occasions.

O'Donnell is known for his close relationship with his fans and has a meet-and-greet session after almost every concert. He used to host a massive tea party for his fans outside his Donegal home every year. He has expressed a wish to appear in Coronation Street.Daniel can also be identified by his lazy right eye which he seems to not be able to close properly. (See 2005 teenage dreams tour)

He appeared on Martin and Paul's Surf 'n' Turf.

Awards and honours

  • 1988 – RTÉ Guide Favourite Country Artist of the Year
  • 1989 – RTÉ Guide Favourite Country Artist of the Year
  • 1989 – Donegal Person of the Year
  • 1989 – IRMA Entertainer of the Year
  • 1990 – RTÉ Guide Favourite Country Artist of the Year
  • 1991 – RTÉ Guide Favourite Country Artist of the Year
  • 1991 – British Country Music Awards International Artist of the Year
  • 1991 – CMRU Most Popular British Vocalist
  • 1991 – IRMA Entertainer of the Year
  • 1992 – IRMA Entertainer of the Year
  • 1992 – RTÉ Guide Favourite Country Artist of the Year
  • 1992 – British Country Music Awards International Artist of the Year
  • 1992 – CMRU Most Popular British Vocalist
  • 1995 – British Country Music Awards International Artist of the Year
  • 1997 – British Country Music Awards Ambassador Award for Outstanding Services to Country Music
  • 2000 – This Is Your Life Tribute
  • 2002 – Awarded an Honorary MBE for services to the music industry and charity
  • 2004 – Lifetime Achievement Award from The Irish Post
  • 2011 – Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sunday World
  • Albums

  • The Boy from Donegal (1984)
  • Two Sides Of (1985)
  • I Need You (1986)
  • Don't Forget to Remember (1987)
  • From the Heart (1988) No. 56 UK
  • Thoughts of Home (1989) No. 43 UK
  • The Last Waltz (1990) No. 46 UK
  • Favourites (1990) No. 61 UK
  • The Very Best of Daniel O'Donnell (1991) No. 34 UK
  • Follow Your Dream (1992) No. 17 UK, #17 Ire
  • A Date with Daniel Live (1993) No. 21 UK
  • Especially for You (1994) No. 14 UK
  • Christmas with Daniel (1994) No. 34 UK
  • The Classic Collection (1995) No. 34 UK
  • Timeless: Daniel O'Donnell and Mary Duff (with Mary Duff – 1996) No. 13 UK, #26 Ire
  • Irish Collection (1996) No. 35 UK
  • Songs of Inspiration (1996) No. 11 UK, #15 Ire
  • I Believe (1997) No. 11 UK, #23 Ire
  • Love Songs (1998) No. 9 UK, #25 Ire
  • Greatest Hits (1999) No. 10 UK, #12 Ire
  • Faith and Inspiration (2000) No. 4 UK, #2 Ire
  • Heartbreakers (2000)
  • Live, Laugh, Love (2001) No. 27 UK, #29 Ire
  • Yesterdays Memories (2002) No. 18 UK, #34 Ire
  • The Irish Album (2002)
  • The Daniel O'Donnell Show (2002)
  • Dreaming (2002)
  • Songs of Faith (2003)
  • Daniel in Blue Jeans (2003) No. 3 UK, #4 Ire
  • At the End of the Day (2003) No. 11 UK, #7 Ire
  • The Jukebox Years (2004) No. 3 UK, #4 Ire
  • Welcome to My World (2004) No. 6 UK, #15 Ire
  • Teenage Dreams (2005) No. 10 UK, #21 Ire
  • The Rock 'n' Roll Show (2006)
  • From Daniel with Love (2006) No. 5 UK, #14 Ire
  • Memories (2006) #85 Ire
  • Until the Next Time (2006) No. 10 UK, #22 Ire
  • Together Again (with Mary Duff) (2007) No. 6 UK, #9 Ire
  • Through The Years (2008) #39 Ire
  • Country Boy (2008) No. 6 UK, #23 Ire
  • Peace in the Valley (2009) No. 8 UK, #14 Ire
  • Hope and Praise (2009) No. 82 AUS
  • O' Holy Night (2010) No. 21 UK
  • Moon Over Ireland (2011) No. 9 UK
  • The Ultimate Collection (2011) No. 7 UK
  • Songs from the Movies and More (2012) No. 7 UK
  • Discover Daniel O'Donnell Christmas Classics (2012)
  • A Picture of You (2013) No. 16 UK
  • Stand Beside Me (2014) No. 20 UK
  • The Hank Williams Songbook (2015) No. 5 UK
  • The Best of Music and Memories (2016) No. 15 UK
  • I Have a Dream (2016) No. 12 UK
  • Singles

  • "I Just Wanna Dance With You" (1992) No. 20 UK
  • "The Three Bells" (1993) No. 71 UK
  • "The Love In Your Eyes" (1993) No. 47 UK
  • "Whatever Happened To Old Fashioned Love" (1993) No. 21 UK
  • "Singing The Blues" (1994) No. 23 UK
  • "The Gift" (1994) No. 46 UK
  • "Secret Love" (with Mary Duff – 1995) No. 28 UK
  • "Timeless" (with Mary Duff – 1996) No. 32 UK
  • "Footsteps" (1996) No. 25 UK
  • "The Love Songs EP" (1997) No. 27 UK
  • "Give A Little Love" (1998) No. 7 UK
  • "The Magic Is There" (1998) No. 16 UK
  • "The Way Dreams Are" (1999) No. 18 UK
  • "Uno Mas" (1999) No. 25 UK
  • "A Christmas Kiss" (1999) No. 20 UK
  • "Light a Candle" (2000) No. 23 UK
  • "Morning Has Broken" (2000) No. 32 UK
  • "You Raise Me Up" (2003) No. 22 UK
  • "Crush On You" (2006) No. 21 UK
  • "Mother's Birthday Song" (2008 – Ireland-only)
  • "Tipperary Girl" (2010)

  • Songs

    Here I Am LordFaith & Inspiration · 2002
    My Donegal ShoreThe Irish Album · 2002
    One Day at a TimeSongs of Faith · 2003


    Daniel O'Donnell Wikipedia