Dancing all the way from Donegal
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Irish singer and entertainer
Known for his dedicated fan base and international following, Irish folk and country singer Daniel O’Donnell has sold over 10 million albums globally. He has rocked around the world, but can he rock the Strictly dance floor?
I don't have the six-pack for those open-chested shirts!Daniel O'Donnell
Born and raised in the village of Kincasslagh, in County Donegal, Daniel was the youngest of five children. His first taste of showbiz came in his early twenties when Daniel left college to join his sister Margo’s band. A few months later he decided to branch out alone using his own savings to record his first singles – releasing My Donegal Shore and Beside Me in 1983.
A cultural icon in Ireland, Daniel has notched up twenty UK Top 40 albums and 15 singles in the Top 40. In 2012, he became the first artist to have a different album in the British charts every year for 25 consecutive years. He has also won an array of awards, including Donegal Person of the Year and is the three-time winner of Irish Entertainer of the Year. In 2002, he was awarded an Honorary MBE for his services to the music industry.
Mirroring his native chart success, he has charted 18 albums in the Top 20 of the U.S. Billboard’s World Music Album Chart. His musical successes were also recognised with a RTÉ Christmas Day special, Daniel at 50, in 2011 to mark his 50th birthday.
Throughout his musical career, Daniel has forged an incredibly close relationship with his fan base and even hosts a tea party for his fans outside his childhood home every year. Will Daniel’s dancing earn him a place in Strictly fan’s hearts?
Unexperienced in the world of dance, except for the occasional Ceilidh in his teenage years, Daniel is happy he will finally learn how to dance properly. As well as mastering some formal steps, Strictly may present some more first-time experiences for Daniel… especially the infamous spray tan!
Daniel lives with his wife Marjella, with whom he recently filmed an Irish travel show for a new six-party series called Daniel and Marjella’s B&B Road Trip.
Beyond singing, Daniel enjoys playing cards and golf – but will he ace it to become king of the dance floor?