Infobox musical artist
Name = Enya
Alias = 'The Invisible Star' [ [http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/article755217.ece The invisible star - Times Online] ] [http://www.vaveeva.com/articles.aspx?cat=7]
'The Silver Lady' [ [http://imdb.com/name/nm0258216/bio Enya on IMDB] ]
Background = khaki
Img_capt = Enya in 2001.
Birth_name = Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin
Born = birth date and age|1961|05|17
Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal, Ireland
Singer, instrumentalist, composer, producer
Instruments = vocals,
Genre = New age, Celtic
Years_active = 1982 - present
Warner Bros. Records
Clannad, Moya Brennan, Brídín Brennan
URL = [http://www.enya.com www.enya.com]
Enya (born Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin [pronounced|ˈɛnʲə pəˈtrɪʃə nʲiː ˈvˠɾˠiːn̪ˠaːnʲ] on
May 17 1961, Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal, Ireland, sometimes presented in the media as Enya Brennan, is an Irish singer, instrumentalistand composer. She is Ireland's best-selling solo artist and is officially the country's second biggest musical export (after U2). [ [http://www.alibris.com/search/music/artist/Enya Enya Music (Used, New, Hard-to-Find) - Alibris] ] Her works have earned her four Grammy Awards and an Academy Awardnomination, and she is also famous for performing in 10 different languages during her lengthy career. "Enya" is an approximate transcription of how "Eithne" is pronounced in her native Irish, in the Donegal dialect. [ [http://fansites.hollywood.com/~enya/enya/ename.html Enya Fan Studio > Enya > Personal > Enya's Name] ]
Musical upbringing and Clannad
Enya was born in
Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal, Ireland in 1961 to a musical family, the sixth of nine children. Her grandparents were in a band that played throughout Ireland, her father was the leader of the Slieve Foy Bandbefore opening a pub, and her mother played in a dance band and later taught music at the Gweedore Comprehensive School. Enya attended Loreto Community School Milford Co. Donegal. Enya has four brothers and four sisters, several of whom formed the band An Clann As Dobhar in 1968. They renamed the band Clannadin the 1970s.
In 1980, Enya worked with
Clannad, the band composed of her siblings Máire (Moya), Pól, and Ciarán and twin uncles Noel and Padraig Duggan. Enya played the keyboard and provided backing vocals on their album " Crann Úll" (1980), although she was not officially a member of the group until the 1981 release " Fuaim", when she appeared on the cover. In 1982, shortly before Clannad became famous for " Theme From Harry's Game," producer and manager Nicky Ryanleft the group and Enya joined him to start her own solo career. Enya then formed her own recording studio, named "Aigle", which is French for "Eagle".
Enya recorded two solo instrumental songs called "An Gaoth Ón Ghrian" ("The Solar Wind") and "Miss Clare Remembers" that were released on the 1983 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. Another early appearance on record followed in 1987, where Enya provided spoken (not sung) vocals on Sinéad O'Connor's debut album, " The Lion and the Cobra". The title of the album is a partial English translation of Enya's Gaelic reading of Psalms91:13 ( KJV: "Thou shalt tread on the lion and the adder . .") on the song "Never Get Old".Enya was contracted to provide music for the soundtrack of the 1986 BBC television documentary" The Celts". The music she produced was featured on her first solo album, "Enya" (1987), but it attracted little attention at the time. The B-Sidesingle "Eclipse" is actually a reversed and modified version of Enya's song "Deireadh An Tuath", from this 1987 album "Enya". [ [http://discography.enya.com/tracks/E02.asp 'Eclipse' reversal referenced on official Enya site] ] The song "Boadicea", also from this album, would later be sampled by The Fugeeson their single "Ready or Not" (1996), causing a brief stir because the group neither sought permission from Enya nor gave her credit initially, and by Mario Winans, who did give her credit (the Winans track, "I Don't Wanna Know" which features a rap by P. Diddyand is officially credited to all three artists, became Enya's highest charting single in the US, when it peaked at #2 on the Hot 100 in 2004).
Enya achieved a breakthrough in her career in 1988 with the album "Watermark", which featured the hit song "
Orinoco Flow" (sometimes known as "Sail Away"). "Orinoco Flow", featuring Jay Tyree, reported to be named after Orinoco Studios (now Miloco Studios), where it was conceived (although one of the longest rivers in South America is the Orinoco River, which might be the true origin of its name), topped the charts in the United Kingdom, peaked at number 2 in Germany and the "Watermark" album sold eight million copies.
Three years later, she followed with another hit album, "
Shepherd Moons", which sold ten million copies and earned Enya her first Grammy Award. The songs "On Your Shore" and "Exile" (from "Watermark") and "Epona" (from "Enya") were featured in the 1991 film " L.A. Story". "Ebudae" was also featured on the soundtrack to the Robin Williamsfilm "Toys", while the 1990 film "Green Card" had "River", "Watermark", and "Storms In Africa".cite web|url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099699/soundtrack |title=Soundtracks for Green Card (1990) |accessdate=2007-02-14 |work=IMDb] " 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 Gaelic-language version on all pressings of the Shepherd Moons album from 1993 onwards.
In 1992, a re-mastered version of the "Enya" album was released as "The Celts" including a longer, modified version of "Portrait", which was re-named as "Portrait (Out of the Blue)". Four years after "Shepherd Moons", she released the Grammy-winning "
The Memory of Trees" (1995), another Top Five success in both, the UK and Germany as well as her first Top 10 album in the US. Singles released from the album were " Anywhere Is" and "On My Way Home".In 1997, Enya released her greatest hits collection, "", again a Top Five smash in the UK and Germany, which featured two new songs: "Paint the Sky With Stars" and "Only If..."; "Only If..." later became a single. ("Only If You Want To", is an early version of "Only If...". It appears on a promotional Japanese CD called, "The Best of Enya", and does not include the French lyrics. [http://fansites.hollywood.com/~enya/enya/music_faqs.html Enya FAQ at fansites.hollywood.com] ] ) She was offered the chance to compose the score for James Cameron's 1997 film "Titanic", but declined. The eventual choice of Norwegian vocalist Sissel Kyrkjebø, whose style is similar to Enya's, resulted in work that some sources erroneously credited to Enya, although in interviews, the songs were officially credited as the sound of Clannad. A 1989 recording of Enya singing an Irish Language version of "Silent Night" ("Oíche Chiúin") has been reissued many times over the years, including "The Christmas EP" (which otherwise contained several non-holiday related previously issued recordings by Enya) and the 1997 edition of the charity album " A Very Special Christmas".
Return and 'A Day Without Rain'
Following a five-year break, she released the Grammy winning "
A Day Without Rain" in 2000 featuring 37 minutes of new material (34 minutes on the US version). The album is Enya's most successful to date, peaking at #2 on the US Billboard Album charts. The first single Only Timewas used in the film Sweet November and released to AC radio in late 2000. In May 2001, NBCbegan using "Only Time" in the background of their commercials for their hit show Friends, which helped the song get airplay on top-40 radio. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, "Only Time" was used as a backdrop in many radio and TV reports about the attacksFact|date=July 2008. She initially frowned upon this use, especially when many bootlegged versions of "Only Time" mixed with sound effects from the attack began to appear.
Enya eventually agreed to release a special edition of the song, and a maxi-single was issued on November 20, 2001 featuring a pop mix of the song, with funds going to the families of victims. Some purists objected to this version's additional percussion, which transformed the original from a slow, haunting ballad to almost techno proportions. "Only Time" peaked at #10 on the US Hot 100, #12 on the Pop Chart and hit #1 on the AC and Hot Adult Contemporary charts. Although the terror attacks had been in the US, it was Germany where an even more unbelievable Enya fever was going on: After the
September 11, 2001 attacks, "Only time" sensationally re-entered the German single charts at number 1 [ [http://ki.informatik.uni-wuerzburg.de/~topsi/deu2001/deu_2001t.html INFINITY CHARTS: German Top 20] ] and the album "A day without rain" also topped the charts some weeks later. Enya won the prestigious Echo Award for best selling international single 2001 on the German market and received a second nomination for best selling album. Despite the huge success of this records in both the US and Germany, it was a strange thing that nothing similar happened in the UK or other big markets such as France or Australia.
In 2001, Enya recorded "May It Be", a song from the immensely successful "Fellowship of the Ring", first installment of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Whereas in the UK it hardly reached the Top 50, her new peak of incredible popularity in Germany continued: "May It Be" became the second Enya single in a row to enter the German charts at number 1. The video also showed scenes from the Oscar-nominated
Enya is self-admittedly a slow worker when it comes to composing music. [http://www.thejoyluckclub.com/Ecards/Heartfelt/Card13/enya.htm Enya ecard was brought to you by the Joy Luck Club] ] As a result, fans have had to wait as long as five years between albums. A new song called "Sumiregusa" ("Wild Violet") was set to words from a Japanese poem Roma Ryan had written. In September 2004, the song was unveiled in
Japanas part of an advertising campaign for Panasonic. In announcing the new recording, Warner Music Japan stated that Enya's next album was scheduled for release (in Japan at least) in mid-November. Enya issued a press release on her official Web site on 19 Septemberstating that this was a mistake and no new album was immediately forthcoming.
Amarantine to And Winter Came
In November 2005, a new album, entitled "Amarantine", was released. It reached the Top 10 in both the UK and the US, and peaked at number 3 in Germany. The album won the
Grammy Awardfor "Best New Age Album" for 2007, Enya's fourth.
In 2006, Enya released several
Christmas-themed CDs with newly recorded material. On October 10, 2006, " Sounds of the Season" 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". This CD was released only in the United Statesin an exclusive partnership with the NBCtelevision network and the Target department store chain. Enya was awarded the "World's Best-Selling Irish Act" award at the World Music Awardsin Londonon 19 November, 2006.
In late November, two new editions of "Amarantine" were released. In the UK it was reissued as "Amarantine - Special Christmas Edition" with a second disc containing the four new Christmas songs previously issued on "Sounds of the Season" (the original album already had "Amid the Falling Snow" while "Oíche Chiúin" is a recording dating back to 1988, which had already been featured on numerous collections). The US received a special version of this release ("Amarantine - Deluxe Collector's Edition"), which also included three postcards and a copy of Roma Ryan's book "Water Shows the Hidden Heart", which is referenced on the original album. Canadian fans could choose from the "Special Christmas Edition" of "Amarantine" or an EP entitled "Christmas Secrets", which contained only the four new songs.
Coinciding with these releases was the re-launch of Enya's official website on November 2, 2006. On November 16, 2006, Enya mentioned on ITV1's that she was working on a new album. A month later, in a Japanese interview Enya said that the album would be a complete Christmas album and would be released in 2007 Fact|date=November 2007 which led to widespread fan speculation, such as on the official enya.com forum; ultimately, no release occurred at that time.
By mid-2007, Enya claimed to have sold 70 million albums. An American businessperson has coined the phrase "enyanomics" to explain Enya's ability to sell millions of records without giving any live performances. [http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/article317211.ece Article at news.independent.co.uk] ]
On June 29, 2007, Enya received an honorary doctorate from the
National University of Ireland, Galway. [http://www.johnbreslin.com/blog/2007/06/29/enya-receives-honorary-doctorate-from-the-national-university-of-ireland-galway/ Enya received honorary doctorate from NUI] ] Shortly after, on July 10, 2007, (date also stated at Enya's official website under News) Enya received a second honorary doctorate from the University of Ulster. [ [http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/education/article2751156.ece Enya receives second doctorate] ] [ [http://news.ulster.ac.uk/releases/2007/3306.html UU Honours Musician Enya] ]
On 1 September, 2008, Enya's website launched "The Loxian Games." The competition is a way for fans of Enya to win four grand prizes, which have yet to be revealed. Thirty more prizes will be awarded to runners-up. In past Enya.com Online Competitions, winners were awarded autographed Enya albums. The launch of "The Loxian Games" and a brand new website have recently come out.
On September 12th, 2008, Enya officially announced on her new website that a new album, And Winter Came..., will come out on November 10th, 2008, and in some places it will be on the next day, the 11th. The album is a Christmas and Winter themed album.
On September 29 2008, the BBC Radio 2 show "Wake up to Wogan" was given the world exclusive and aired the new song "Trains And Winter Rains", which will also be Enya's first new studio single accompanying her new album.
Musical style and other projects
Much of her music shows influence of some Irish music and classical music.
As a musical group, "Enya" represents a partnership between three people: Enya herself, who composes and performs the music;
Nicky Ryan, who produces the albums; and Roma Ryan, who writes the lyricsin various languages. [http://www.enya.com/helpdesk/faq.php Enya FAQ at enya.com] ] Enya performs all percussion, instruments, and vocals in her pieces unless specified. Although there are certain pieces where acoustic instruments are featured, almost all sounds of her pieces are created by a synthesizer, specifically the Roland D-50.Fact|date=July 2007 Her trademark sound is achieved by layering her voice as much as eighty times. [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0258216/bio Enya on IMDB] ] She has stated in an interview that she has once dubbed her voice to about five hundred times. The vocals are each performed individually, and are layered together to form a virtual choir, although all the voices are Enya herself. (In Cursum Perficio of the album Watermark, Enya reaches a C an octavebelow middle C. Later in the piece, she sings a high A-flat above the treble clef. She can be classified as a mezzo-soprano.)
On her latest album, "Amarantine", Enya sings in Japanese and
Loxian, a language invented by Roma Ryan. While most of her songs are sung in English, some of Enya's songs are sung entirely in Irish or Latin. Enya has also sung songs written entirely or partially in Welsh, Spanish, French, and even languages created by J. R. R. Tolkien. Enya has performed songs relating to J. R. R. Tolkien's " The Lord of the Rings", including 1991's " Lothlórien" (instrumental), 2001's " May It Be" (sung in English and Quenya), and "Aníron" (in Sindarin)—the last two, which she composed, appearing on the soundtrack of Peter Jackson's movie "".Enya has given several live performances on various television shows, events and ceremonies (her most recent appearance was in Gaoth Dobhairin the summer of 2005, which coincided with a tribute event to the Brennan family that took place in Letterkenny), but she has yet to do a concert. She has said, though, that she would love to do it someday, and would consider it a great challenge.
Although her Grammys were for "Best New Age Album", Enya does not personally classify her music as belonging to the New Age
genre. When asked what genre she would classify her music as belonging to, she would reply, "Enya".
:"For a full listing of albums, singles and chart positions see
Title + US Chart Positions
#"Enya" (1987) 1m sales
#"Watermark" US#25 (1988) 10m sales [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/retrieve_chart_history.do?model.chartFormatGroupName=Albums&model.vnuArtistId=4557&model.vnuAlbumId=744731 Billboard Album Rankings - Enya] ]
Shepherd Moons" US#17 (1991) 11m sales
#"The Celts" (1992) 6.7m sales
The Memory of Trees" US#9 (1995) 9.8m sales
Paint the Sky with Stars" US#30 (1997) 10m sales
A Day Without Rain" US#2 (2000) 15m sales
#"Amarantine" US#6 (2005; expanded edition released 2006) 6.2m sales
#"And Winter Came... (2008) (To be released November 10 2008)
In 2000, Warner Music released "Enya: The Video Collection" on
DVDin Europe, South Africa and Asia, collecting all her videos from "Orinoco Flow" up to and including "Wild Child", except for the video from "Book of Days", which was replaced by a live TV performance due to licensing complications relating to the video's use of footage from the film " Far and Away". This release was a successor to an earlier collection of videos entitled "Moonshadows", which was released on VHSand laserdiscin 1992. The DVD release also included interviews and features on the making of two videos.
A North American (
Region 1) release of the "Video Collection" DVD was announced on several occasions during 2000-2001, but it did not occur; the reason for which has never been officially stated. At one point it was announced that the release had been delayed in order to allow the inclusion of the video for "May it Be", while the (now defunct) Enya.org fan site reported that a dispute over the sound quality of the release led to it being withdrawn.
As of 2005, "The Collection" was still considered to be "coming soon" by some North American online retailers although bootleg copies from Asia have circulated at the retail level in some parts of Region 1 since 2000. Despite the release of a new CD by Enya in November 2005, the Region 1 edition of the DVD collection remains in limbo and there has been no announcement of an updated DVD release in other parts of the world.
As of 2007, the only official release of an Enya video on DVD in North America has been "May it Be", which was first included on the DVD release of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring".
Enya is a very private person who tries to keep her personal life apart from her musical career, even spending an estimated €250,000 on security measures for her home,
Manderley Castlein Killiney, County Dublin(named after Maxim de Winter's house in her favourite book and black and white movie, "Rebecca"). [cite web
title=Enya.com - The Official Enya Website
accessdate=2007-05-19 ] Despite this, around mid-August 2005, there were two separate security breaches at Enya's home, and she was present on both occasions (her security system includes a
panic room). [cite web
title=Enya's castle invaded by stalker
BBC News Online]
In 1996, an Italian man, who had been seen in
Dublinwearing her photograph around his neck, stabbed himself after being ejected from her parents' pub in Gweedore, County Donegal.
In 2006, Enya made it to the number three spot in the ranks of wealthy UK and Irish entertainers with an estimated fortune of €109 million (i.e., £75 million or US$136 million). This was enough to take her to number 95 in the
Sunday Times Rich List2006 of the 250 Wealthiest Irish People. [ [http://business.timesonline.co.uk/section/0,,29049,00.html] Times Online article - not found on 14 February 2007] She was also Ireland's richest woman at one stage. [ [http://www.showbizireland.com/news/november00/23-enya02.shtml ShowBiz Ireland - Enya, Ireland's richest woman. A Day Without Rain] ]
Enya joins her mother's choir every
Christmasin Gaoth Dobhair, and defines herself as a devout Roman Catholic Church member, having played for the Christmas events in Rome, in the presence of the late Pope John Paul II.Fact|date=March 2008
cats. In an interview published in 1988, when asked about pets, she replied: "I've got a cat. I love cats; at one stage I had 12. It was just bliss. They'd all lie around in the sun and then come up and climb around my neck." ["Number One" magazine, 2 November 1988.]
Enya's favourite classical composer is
Sergei Rachmaninoff. Her hobbies include watching romantic black and white films, collecting artwork, reading, and painting.
Enya has won four Grammy Awards for Best New Age Album to date:
Grammy Awards of 1993, Best New Age Album for Shepherd Moons
Grammy Awards of 1997, Best New Age Album for The Memory of Trees
Grammy Awards of 2002, Best New Age Album for A Day Without Rain
Grammy Awards of 2007, Best New Age Album for Amarantine
Also, "May It Be" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song at the 2002 ceremonies, but it lost to
Randy Newman's "If I Didn't Have You" from " Monsters, Inc.'
* [http://www.enya.com/ Official website]
* [http://discography.enya.com. the Official Discography with Lyrics]
*imdb name | id = 0258216 | name = Enya
* [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/retrieve_chart_history.do?model.vnuArtistId=4557&model.vnuAlbumId=744731 Billboard Singles Rankings - Enya]
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Bhraonáin, Eithne Patricia Ní; Brennan, Enya
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Irish
singer, instrumentalist, composer, producer
DATE OF BIRTH= 1961-05-17
PLACE OF BIRTH=
Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal, Ireland
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=
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