A CERTAIN Niall Horan may stake his claim as Mullingar’s most famous export, but he’s not the only star in the town to boast that exclusive “X Factor”.Decades before One Direction broke America, long before U2 achieved world domination and before Westlife were even a twinkle in their parents’ eyes, a legend in a snazzy white suit put us firmly on the map.With his incredible vocal range and his unique “Mullingar mojo”, Joe Dolan was one of the biggest musical icons of his day.And he blazed a trail for Irish acts across the water as the first Irishman to appear on hit music show Top of the Pops in 1969.Now, 10 years after his death on St Stephen’s Day 2007, the much-loved crooner is still pulling in the crowds with a nationwide tribute tour.His enduring appeal puts him in rarified company, as one of only a handful of artists who can still sell concert tickets from beyond the grave.Yet it comes as no surprise to his older brother Ben, who … [Read more...] about Joe Dolan’s brother Ben pays tribute to dance hall king who had the ‘X Factor’ 10 years on from tragic St Stephen’s Day death as he reveals their incredible music tales
1990s country music hits
CHRIS EUBANK JUNIOR has revealed how he was shot at by a gunman in the massacre-hit city of Las Vegas.He was forced to dive for cover while a lone shooter aimed bullets above his head in a shopping mall car park when he lived in the United States as a teenager.And the IBO super-middleweight champion says he also had to hit the deck when a gambler opened fire in a casino on the famous Strip after Floyd Mayweather Jr’s fight with Conor McGregor in August.Eubank Jr instantly sent a message of sympathy after 58 people were murdered by cold-blooded killer Stephen Paddock at the Mandalay Bay resort on Sunday — and his feelings were partly influenced by his own experiences in America’s gambling and boxing capital.He will defend his world title on Saturday against Turkey’s Avni Yildirim in front of a hostile crowd in Stuttgart.But he says no amount of intimidation can unsettle him after the scenes he witnessed in Las Vegas.The city is still reeling in shock after … [Read more...] about Chris Eubank Jr reveals he was SHOT at in massacre-hit city of Las Vegas when he was a teenager
CILLA Black was a star of stage and screen and now her story is being told in a brand new theatrical production touring the country.Cilla the Musical celebrates the life of the much-loved singer and TV presenter and stars Kara Lily Hayworth in the title role.Cilla Black was a popular English TV presenter and actress who celebrated over 50 years in showbiz.She is most known for hosting Blind Date and Surprise Surprise.The much-loved host passed away at her holiday home in Spain in 2015 at the age of 72, with her sons confirming she had died from a stroke after a fall.She married her husband Bobby Willis in 1969 and the couple had three sons together and a daughter who tragically only lived for a few hours.Cilla, who was born Priscilla Maria Veronica White, hosted the popular show in the 1980s and 1990s and it quickly became a Saturday night favourite.The show involved a contestant asking questions to three hidden members of the opposite sex.They would then pick one of the three to … [Read more...] about Who was Cilla Black, when did she host Blind Date and how can I see Cilla The Musical?
POP legend Cher has still got it even at 71 years old.The star wowed the audience at the Billboard Music Awards with a crowd-pleasing performance of two huge hits, Believe and If I Could Turn Back Time, looking and sounding as amazing as ever, before receiving a prestigious Icon Award, recognising her epic career.Cher is an enormously successful recording artist and icon of 1980's and 1990's pop-rock music. Her songs have hit no. 1 in over 20 countries and her music is still beloved by listeners old and young.She was born Cherilyn Sarkisian in 1946 to an Armenian-American father, John, and model and actress mum Georgia Holt.After her parents divorced, Cher moved to California with mum Georgia, who was playing small roles in TV series. Her mother managed to land the star some small roles, but Cher never thought she would be famous. She later said: "I couldn't think of anything that I could do ... I didn't think I'd be a singer or dancer. I just thought, well, I'll be famous. That was my … [Read more...] about How old is Cher, is she Armenian, what’s her net worth, when was she married to Sonny Bono and what are her hit songs?
IRELAND’S most famous female musician Sinead O’Connor turns 50 today.The Nothing Compares 2 U star was propelled to world fame in 1990 by a Prince cover.But her celebrity status was something that never sat comfortably with the Dubliner — all she wanted to do was sing and tell the truth.Until her arrival, no one had ever been as brutally frank about music, men, or the Catholic Church.She was years ahead of her time, drawing attention to clerical child abuse as she ripped up a picture of Pope John Paul II on US show Saturday Night Live in October 1992.She has been hailed as one of the most influential female stars ever. Here are some of her best moments.SINEAD’S BIG BREAK (1982)IN 1982, a teacher asked the then 15-year-old to sing at her wedding.So blown away was wedding guest Paul Byrne that he invited her to join his band In Tua Nua. Later Sinead co-wrote the band’s first single, Take My Hand. For a time, there was talk of her touring with the band, but … [Read more...] about Sinead O’Connor’s highs and lows – a look back as Irish music icon turns 50
Cologne's Festival of Early Music, which began on March 17 and comes to an end on April 2, had an interesting theme this year: Greatest Hits. We think of hits as things that come and go, but hit music long predates the charts, classical or otherwise. Motifs, melodies and complete compositions we call "classical" are enduring, and when performed in a different setting or restored to the original sound, they continue to engage the imagination and the spirit. After all, their sheer familiarity gives them a head start. We've been inspired to make our own selection, narrowing down the original list from 50, then to 25, and now 11. And we hope, in the process, to get lots of responses to the tune of, "How could you have ever forgotten (fill in the blank)?" Bach: Air It's hard to pick an all-time favorite by this composer. Would it be the thundering Toccata in D Minor for organ? Or the inextinguishable "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," whose lilting refrains are so captivating that, … [Read more...] about Classical music’s greatest hits – a completely subjective selection
The 20-year-old DJ Felix Jaehn has made it to the very top of the US charts with a song produced in Germany. The last time that happened was 26 years ago - with a single by Milli Vanilli. The young DJ from Hamburg conquered the charts in more than 20 countries by remixing the song "Cheerleader" by the Jamaican singer OMI in electro pop style. Along with this German success comes a long list of influential musical exports over the last 40 years. Electronic music vs. mainstream In the 1970s, the world of pop music is characterized by eclecticism. On the charts during those years, disco queens line up with glam rock stars. Bands like Genesis or Pink Floyd turn into legends. Punk culture is spreading around the globe while artists like Abba, Elton John or Fleetwood Mac produce some of the most successful pop hits. Some musicians from Germany are following their very own path. West Berlin becomes a meeting ground for artists experimenting with the possibilities of synthesizers in their … [Read more...] about Music made in Germany
It can make you chuckle, just as it can make you sob. It is both the soundtrack to triumph and to otherwise inexpressible sorrow. It has been used and abused by despotic regimes, and it has voiced the emotions of collective liberation. Indeed, few art forms synthesize the mood of a nation quite like music. "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything," Plato wrote. Indeed, beyond the seemingly superfluous year-on-year pop culture trends, the ability of music to both channel and alter our mood has been exhaustingly documented, from the faculties of neuroscience to those of musicology, psychology and anthropology. Our music tastes reveal a great deal about us as individuals, as they do about us collectively as a people and nation. For more than 55 years, the German Music Charts - the Offizielle Deutsche Charts - have been a barometer of the country's emotional state, its cares and, at times, carelessness. This month, the charts … [Read more...] about Charting a nation: What Germany’s music charts say about its soul
Pakistani musicians and singers have long been popular in India and Bollywood, as well as in their homeland. Among the greats is the singer Ghulam Ali, whose ghazals (a form of Urdu verse) became hugely popular in India during the early 1980s, when he sang for a Bollywood movie called "Nikah." Ali, who chose to steer clear of lip-sync singing roles, was among the first few Pakistani artists who made it big in Bollywood. Before Ali, it was another ghazal maestro, Mehdi Hasan, who became a household name in India. Hasan, whose success had more to do with his private concerts than his singing in the movies, inspired a host of other ghazal singers who also sang for Bollywood. Later, in the 1990s, Bollywood became obsessed with another Pakistani artist, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who was known for singing qawwalis - a type of mystical poetry. Being different Hasan, Ali, and Khan are widely considered extraordinary singers who became popular in India and Bollywood … [Read more...] about Pakistani singers hit right note with Bollywood
Over the last five years, acts like Lady Gaga, Red Hot Chili Peppers or The xx have visited Lithuania for the first time and were greeted by sold-out crowds. Lithuania has put itself on the map for the Western music market since breaking free from the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. This may not have happened without the advertising money from international beer companies targeting young music fans - ads that Parliament voted to ban on Thursday in Vilnius. "We wouldn't be able to bring artists like Ellie Goulding, Moderat or Nicolas Jaar to Vilnius without corporate sponsors. And beer companies were the only ones willing to invest in contemporary music," says Victor Diawara, a musician and director of Loftas, one of the busiest music clubs in Vilnius. The club also hosts its own music festival. Beer and live music traditionally go hand in hand, not only culturally, but also financially. The leading music festivals in Europe, such as Rock am Ring in Germany, which opens on Friday, or … [Read more...] about Music festivals with less alcohol? Lithuania leads the way