Irish singer, instrumentalist, and songwriter Enya (born Eithne Ní Bhraonáin was born 17 May 1961. Enya began her musical career in 1980, when she briefly joined her family band Clannad before leaving to perform solo. Enya was born and brought up in Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal, in the northwest corner of Ireland. She is part of an Irish-speaking and musical family. Enya recorded two solo instrumental pieces called “An Ghaoth Ón Ghrian” (Irish for “The Solar Wind”) and “Miss Clare Remembers” that were released on the 1984 album Touch Travel. She was first credited as Enya (as opposed to Eithne) for writing some of the music for the 1984 movie The Frog Prince, which was released on a soundtrack album of the same title. She gained wider recognition for her music in the 1986 BBC series The Celts.
Another early appearance on record followed in 1987, where Enya provided spoken (not sung) vocals in Irish on the song “Never Get Old” on Sinéad O’Connor’s debut album, The Lion and the Cobra. Enya achieved a breakthrough in her career in 1988 with the album Watermark, which featured the hit song “Orinoco Flow” which was named after Orinoco Studios (now Miloco Studios), where it was conceived, which topped the charts in the United Kingdom, peaked at number 2 in Germany . Watermark sold eleven million copies. She became known for her distinctive sound, characterised by voice-layering, folk melodies, synthesised backdrops and ethereal reverberations
Three years later she followed with another hit album, Shepherd Moons, which sold twelve million copies and earned Enya her first Grammy Award. Shepherd Moons is also her longest charting album to date, spending 238 weeks on the Billboard 200. The songs “On Your Shore” and “Exile” (from Watermark) and “Epona” (from Enya) were featured in the 1991 film L.A. Story. “Ebudæ” is also featured on the soundtrack to the Robin Williams feature film Toys, while the 1990 feature film Green Card features “River”, “Watermark”, and “Storms In Africa”. “Book Of Days” was featured prominently in the movie Far and Away, with an English-lyric version created for the film then replacing the old Irish language version from 1993 onwards. In 1993, her recording of “Marble Halls” from Shepherd Moons was featured in the Martin Scorsese film, The Age of Innocence.
In 1992, a re-mastered version of the Enya album was released as The Celts including a longer, modified version of “Portrait”, which was renamed “Portrait (Out of the Blue)”. In 1995 she released The Memory of Trees, another Top Five success in both the UK and Germany, as well as her first Top 10 album in the U.S. Singles released from the album were “Anywhere Is” and “On My Way Home”. in 1997, Enya released her greatest hits collection, Paint the Sky with Stars: The Best of Enya, featuring two new songs: “Paint the Sky with Stars” and “Only If…”; “Only If…” later became a single. (“Only If You Want To”. In 2000 Enya released the album A Day Without Rain which became Enya’s most successful to date, featuring the single, “Only Time”, which was used in the film Sweet November. In May 2001, NBC began using “Only Time” to accompany commercials for their television series Friends, which helped the song top the Adult Contemporary and Adult Top 40 charts. After the 11 September 2001 attacks “Only Time” was used as a soundtrack in many radio and television reports about the attacks. In 2001, Enya recorded “May It Be”, which was featured in the first installment of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Fellowship of the Ring, and was her second consecutive single to enter the German charts at number one. The video features scenes from the Peter Jackson film
In November 2005, Enya released the album Amarantine, which won the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album for 2007, Enya’s fourth. Then In 2006, Enya released several Christmas-themed CDs with newly recorded material. On 10 October 2006 Sounds of the Season: The Enya Holiday Collection was released containing six songs: the previously released “Oíche Chiúin” (a.k.a. “Silent Night”) and “Amid the Falling Snow”, new recordings of the standards “Adeste Fideles” (a.k.a. “Oh Come All Ye Faithful”) and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” as well as two original songs, “Christmas Secrets” and “The Magic of the Night”. At the World Music Awards in 2006 Enya was awarded the World’s Best-Selling Irish Act award and in March 2009, Warner Music Japan released Enya’s first 4 albums in a new format, called SHM-CD, Enya also released a new album called The Very Best of Enya, which included most of her hits from 1987 to 2008 including a new version of “Aníron”, from “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring” in 2001. In 2010, singer Rihanna sampled “One By One” on the song “Fading” from her album Loud. In a May 2011 interview, Enya’s manager said that she is working on a new album with part of the recording taking place in Abbey Road Studios in London.”
Enya has performed in 10 languages and continues to enjoy steady success. She received the world’s best-selling female award at the World Music Awards in 2001 and is Ireland’s best-selling solo musician. Her records sales were more than 75 million worldwide, including over 26.5 million in album sales in the US, making her one of world’s best-selling artists of all time and Her work has earned her four Grammy Awards and an Academy Award nomination.
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