Celtic Woman is a musical ensemble that has recorded three albums and tours worldwide. Celtic Woman is made up of five female artists: Chloë Agnew, Lynn Hilary, Lisa Kelly, Alex Sharpe and fiddler Máiréad Nesbitt.
Celtic Woman took an unusual route to the top. In 2004, nearly six months before their self-titled debut album was released, they filmed a concert at The Helix in Dublin, Ireland. This performance aired on PBS in March of 2005 and helped send their debut album to the top of the Billboard World Music chart. Their first album stayed there for an amazing 81 weeks. It was knocked into second place by their sophomore effort Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration released in October of 2006.
They continued their relationship with PBS with another special in December of 2006, Celtic Woman: A New Journey. The broadcast preceded their third album, also called Celtic Woman: A New Journey, which dropped in January of 2007. That album debuted at number one on the World Music chart giving them the girls the top three positions.
Two more PBS specials followed. The first in December of 2007, which featured songs from Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration, and another in December of 2009, to support the band's fifth studio album, Celtic Woman: Songs from the Heart. In between, more specifically in October of 2008, the band released Celtic Woman: The Greatest Journey. All albums were released in conjunction with a DVD of the group performing in concert.
Celtic Woman was conceived by composer David Downes who wished to combine America's love for Celtic music with the structure of an all-girl pop group. He originally assembled Chloë Agnew, Órla Fallon, Lisa Kelly,and Méav Ní Mhaolchatha, as well as fiddler Máiréad Nesbitt.
Ní Mhaolchatha left the group in 2005 to have a child and was replaced for touring by Deirdre Shannon. In February of 2006, Ní Mhaolchatha returned in time to appear on their next album. Later that year, Haley Westerbra joined the group to record the "New Journey" album and DVD but alternated with Ní Mhaolchatha when the group went on the road.
In August of 2007, Ní Mhaolchatha left the band for good and was replaced by Lynn Hilary. In December of that year, Kelly went on hiatus to have a baby. Alex Sharpe filled in for her while the band was touring. In 2009, Kelly returned from maternity leave as Fallon left to spend more time with her family. During the shuffle, Sharpre remained as the group's fourth singer. Heading into 2010, Celtic Woman was comprised of singers Agnew, Hilary, Sharpe, Kelly, and fiddler Nesbitt.
Celtic Woman have sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and have delighted fans with their renditions of "Danny Boy," "Orinoco Flow," " Scarborough Fair," and "You Raise Me Up."