Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin (anglicised as Enya Patricia Brennan (/ˈɛnjə/); born 17 May 1961), known professionally as Enya, is an Irish singer, songwriter, record producer and musician. Born into a musical family and raised in the Irish-speaking area of Gweedore in County Donegal, Enya began her music career when she joined her family’s Celtic band Clannad in 1980 on keyboards and backing vocals. She left in 1982 with their manager and producer Nicky Ryan to pursue a solo career, with Ryan’s wife Roma Ryan as her lyricist. Enya developed her sound over the following four years with multitracked vocals and keyboards with elements of new age, Celtic, classical, church, and folk music. She has sung in ten languages.
Enya’s first projects as a solo artist included soundtrack work for The Frog Prince (1984) and the 1987 BBC documentary series The Celts, which was released as her debut album, Enya (1987). She signed with Warner Music UK, which granted her artistic freedom and minimal interference from the label. The commercial and critical success of Watermark (1988) propelled her to worldwide fame, helped by the international top-10 hit single “Orinoco Flow”. This was followed by the multi-million selling albums Shepherd Moons (1991), The Memory of Trees (1995) and A Day Without Rain (2000). Sales of the latter and its lead single, “Only Time”, surged in the United States following its use in the media coverage of the September 11 attacks. Following Amarantine (2005) and And Winter Came… (2008), Enya took an extended break from music; she returned in 2012 and released Dark Sky Island (2015).
Enya is known for her privacy and has never undertaken a concert tour. She is Ireland’s bestselling solo artist and bestselling artist behind U2, with a discography that has sold 26.5 million certified albums in the United States and an estimated 75 million records worldwide, making her one of the bestselling music artists of all time. A Day Without Rain(2000) remains the bestselling new-age album, with an estimated 16 million copies sold worldwide. Enya has won awards including seven World Music Awards, four Grammy Awards for Best New Age Album, and an Ivor Novello Award. She was nominated for an Academy Awardand a Golden Globe Award for “May It Be”, written for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
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