St. Patrick's Day: 5 Irish Artists We Love

On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is a little Irish.

Of course, this is true all year for many people. (Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato, for example, are all a wee Irish thanks to their mothers.)

The land of shamrocks, leprechauns and Guinness has exported a plethora of talented people, including such musical acts as Enya, Bob Geldof, Van Morrison, Sinéad O’Connor, Thin Lizzy and The Corrs.

So, at a time when Irish eyes are smiling everywhere, we recognize five of our favourite Irish artists:

Niall Horan

Those eyes. That chest hair. Of course Niall Horan is Irish! The 23-year-old “This Town” singer who rose to fame as part of One Direction was born in Mullingar, about 80 km outside Dublin. (The local football team is called the Shamrocks.) As a teen, he studied at Coláiste Mhuire, a 160-year-old Catholic boys school. Horan is the only non-British member of One Direction.

Canadian Connection: In interviews, Horan has included B.C. native Michael Bublé among his influences — even calling him an “absolute hero.”

Bono

Born Paul Hewson in Dublin and raised in the suburb of Finglas, Bono is one of two Irish members of U2 (drummer Larry Mullen Jr. is also from Dublin). The band was formed in 1976 in Dublin.

Canadian Connection: In 2010, Bono was a guest editor of The Globe and Mail. He has also famously said: “The world needs more Canada.”

Ronan Keating

The lead singer of Irish boy group Boyzone, Ronan Keating was born and raised in Dublin. He represented Ireland in several track and field tournaments before breaking into music. In addition to Boyzone, Keating has had a successful solo career thanks to hits like “When You Say Nothing At All.”

Canadian Connection: Keating frequently visited the Toronto area while married to first wife Yvonne Connolly, who has relatives there.

Siva Kaneswaran

The only Irish member of now-defunct boy group The Wanted, Siva Kaneswaran grew up in the Dublin suburb of Blanchardstown with his Sri Lankan father and Irish mother. He was discovered through his modelling work and, as a member of The Wanted, released three albums.

Dolores O’Riordan

The lead singer of The Cranberries was born and raised in Ballybricken, a town in County Limerick. She joined the group in 1990 and released six studio albums with hits like “Linger” and “Zombie.”

Canadian Connection: O’Riordan married and had three children with Don Burton, a Canadian who was once tour manager for Duran Duran. The family spent a lot of time at a remote cabin in Buckhorn, Ontario up until her marriage ended in 2013.