Dolores O'Riordan went from being a church singer to becoming the lead vocalist of the Irish alternative rock band The Cranberries and a rock icon of the 1990s. She stunned her fans with her death as a result of accidental drowning due to intoxication at age 46.
Known for her unique blend of Celtic and folk tunes, Irish singer Enya has been dubbed the Queen of New Age. The Academy Award-nominated singer is also a 4-time Grammy winner and soared to fame with tracks such as Only Time and Orinoco Flow. She is the best-selling Irish solo artist ever.
5 The Edge
David Howell Evans, better known as The Edge, is a musician and songwriter. He first gained fame as the keyboardist, lead guitarist, and backing vocalist of the rock band U2. He is known for his signature style of guitar playing. Besides music, he is an advocate for human rights and is involved in numerous philanthropic endeavors.
Known for his powerful blues rock performances, Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher was part of the band Taste. Though The Rolling Stones offered him an opportunity to replace guitarist Mick Taylor, he rejected it. A heavy drinker, he died of complications after a liver transplant surgery at age 47.
Sinead O’Connor is an Irish singer and songwriter known for her controversial statements as much as for her work as a musician. Apart from releasing solo albums and singles, she has also collaborated with other artists and recorded songs for films. She often makes headlines for expressing views on subjects, such as women's rights, child abuse, sexuality, and organized religion.
Shane MacGowan is an Irish-English recording artist and vocalist. He is credited with co-founding popular bands, such as The Pogues and Shane MacGowan and the Popes. He is also known for his collaboration with artists like Sinéad O'Connor, Kirsty MacColl, and Nick Cave. In 2018, he was honored with the Ivor Novello Inspiration Award for creating inspiring music.
Irish singer, songwriter, and guitarist Allie Sherlock came into the limelight in 2017 after a YouTube cover of hers went viral. Even though she had been uploading her music on YouTube since 2014, it was only in 2017 that she gained widespread attention. Since then, she has appeared in a few TV shows as well.
13 Aphex Twin
Richard D. James, better known as Aphex Twin is regarded as one of the finest electronic musicians of all time. He is known for his signature grin, which has graced the covers of many of his albums, and his surreal videos, such as Come to Daddy, which look more like horror movies.
Once the face of Irish boy band Westlife, Brian McFadden later went solo. Starting his career with live pop-RnB gigs in Dublin clubs, he later mastered soft rock, too. He was a judge on Australia's Got Talent and also participated in shows such as Dancing on Ice and The Jump.
Irish singer and musician Siobhan Fahey is best known as a founding member of the British/Irish girl group Bananarama. As part of the group, she delivered several top 10 hits. Later, she formed the musical act, Shakespears Sister, which went on to win an Ivor Novello Award. In her 60s now, she continues to be active in the music scene.
16 Nadine Coyle
Part of the award-winning girl band Girls Aloud, Irish singer-actor Nadine Coyle began her career with the show Popstars and later launched a solo career, with songs such as Go To Work. She has also been a model and has launched an Irish pub, which was later run by her family.
Irish singer Stephen Gately, who soared to fame in the 1990s with the globally popular band Boyzone, was born to working-class parents in Dublin. He later revealed he was gay, when a friend black-mailed he would reveal Gately’s sexuality. He died of a heart condition at age 33.
Irish singer and actor Maria Doyle Kennedy is best known for her role as Catherine of Aragon in The Tudors. She has also been part of films such as The Conjuring 2 and The Commitments. Once part of the Black Velvet Band, she has also released several solo albums.
19 Andrea Corr
Andrea Corr is an Irish singer, musician, songwriter, actress, and author. She is part of the popular Celtic pop-rock and folk-rock group The Corrs, where she plays the ukulele, piano, and tin whistle apart from being the lead singer. Also a humanitarian, Andrea Corr takes part in several charitable activities to raise money for various causes.
Born in Chicago, Irish-origin entertainer Michael Flatley took to dancing inspired by his step dancer mother and music-loving father. Initially a gambler and stockbroker, he later performed with The Chieftains and then choreographed the globally renowned show Riverdance. He later launched shows such as Lord of the Dance and Celtic Tiger.
Grammy-winning U2 drummer and co-founder Larry Mullen Jr. gained fans for his signature spiked hair. Fans also loved his skull earring on his right ear and his cross earring on his left. He had joined U2 at 14 and continued to be with the band through tragedies such as his mother’s death at 17.
24 Shane Filan
Once a global sensation as part of the globally successful Irish boy band Westlife, Shane Filan later launched a solo career with tracks such as Everything to Me. He has also scripted history as one of the Irish singers with the most number-one hits on the UK Singles chart.
28 Nicky Byrne
Once part of the popular Irish boy band Westlife, Nicky Byrne was initially a professional football player who was part of the Republic of Ireland junior team and the FA Youth Cup-winning team of Leeds United. He later also participated in shows such as Strictly Come Dancing.
Best known for his chartbusting singles such as Lost and Outnumbered, Irish singer Dermot Kennedy started his career with open mic shows in Dublin. Starting to play the guitar at age 10, he later studied classical music. He first major album, Without Fear, topped the UK charts.
31 Una Healy
Una Healy initially rose to fame as part of the 5-member girl group The Saturdays. The Irish singer is the niece of country music star Declan Nerney. A talented swimmer, she gave up the sport at 13 to switch to music. She has also scored solo hits such as Stay My Love.
32 Imelda May
Irish singer Imelda May, who has released chart-topping albums such as Love Tattoo, is also a talented multi-instrumentalist, well-versed in a wide range of instruments such as the guitar, the bodhrán, the tambourine. She also became a published poet with her volume A Lick and a Promise.
33 Kian Egan
35 Sharon Corr
Best known as part of the Irish family band The Corrs, singer Sharon Corr is equally talented in instruments such as the violin and the guitar. Born to musician parents, she began playing for orchestras as a child. She opened up about her social anxiety disorder through her solo album.
38 Luke Kelly
39 Damien Rice
42 Thomas Moore
Irish author Thomas Moore was chiefly branded a Whig ally. It is believed he had a role in burning the memoirs of his friend Lord Byron, an act now considered a literary crime. His iconic Irish Melodies contained his most popular works, such as The Last Rose of Summer.
44 Keith Duffy
Keith Duffy is an Irish singer-songwriter, drummer, television and radio presenter, and actor. He is best known for his association with the now-defunct Irish boy band, Boyzone. Apart from being a celebrity, Keith Duffy has also been an awareness campaigner for autism. He also organizes fundraising events to benefit a charity organization called Irish Autism Action.
45 Johnny Logan
46 Janet Devlin
47 Annie Mac
Popular Irish DJ and presenter Annie Mac made headlines when she quit BBC Radio 1 after a 17-year stint to take care of her children and focus on writing and podcasting. Known for hosting shows such as BBC Switch, she later also curated a music festival and wrote the bestselling book Mother Mother.