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  • Enya is an Irish singer, instrumentalist, and songwriter who is one of Moya Brennan's

  • younger sisters. Enya began her musical career in 1980, when

  • she briefly joined her family band Clannad before leaving to perform solo. She gained

  • wider recognition for her music in the 1987 BBC series The Celts. Shortly afterwards,

  • her 1988 album Watermark propelled her to further international fame and she became

  • known for her distinctive sound, characterised by voice-layering, folk melodies, synthesised

  • backdrops and ethereal reverberations. She has performed in 10 languages.

  • Enya continued to enjoy steady success during the 1990s and 2000s; her 2000 album A Day

  • Without Rain sold 15 million copies, and became the top selling new age album of the 2000s

  • in the US, according to Nielsen SoundScan. She received the world's best-selling female

  • award at the World Music Awards in 2001. She is Ireland's best-selling solo musician. Her

  • record sales stand at more than 75 million worldwide, including over 26.5 million in

  • album sales in the US, making her one of the world's best-selling artists of all time.

  • Her work has earned her four Grammy Awards and an Academy Award nomination.

  • Life and career 1961–83: Musical upbringing and Clannad

  • Enya was born and raised in Gweedore, County Donegal, in the northwest corner of Ireland.

  • She is part of an Irish-speaking, Catholic musical family, the sixth of nine children.

  • Enya is an approximate transliteration of how Eithne is pronounced in the Donegal dialect

  • of the Irish language, her native tongue. Her grandparents were in a band that played

  • throughout Ireland, her father was the leader of the Slieve Foy Band before opening Leo's

  • Tavern, and her mother played in a dance band and later taught music at Pobalscoil Ghaoth

  • Dobhair. From a young age, Enya appeared in many pantomimes onstage at Gweedore's local

  • theatre and sang with her siblings in her mother's choir at St Mary's Catholic Church,

  • Derrybeg. She attended Loreto Community School in Milford, County Donegal and then moved

  • away to attend college wanting to become a classical pianist, continuing her studies

  • in music and also studying watercolour painting. Enya has four brothers and four sisters, several

  • of whom formed the band An Clann As Dobhar in 1968. They renamed the band Clannad in

  • the 1970s. In 1980, Enya worked with Clannad, the band composed of her siblingsire,

  • Pól, and Ciarán and twin uncles Noel anddraig Duggan. Enya played the keyboard

  • and provided backing vocals on their album Crann Úll, although she was not officially

  • a member of the group until the 1981 release Fuaim, when she appeared on the cover. During

  • that same year, Enya was also a member of Ragairne, the band of Altan front-woman Mairéad

  • Mhaonaigh. In 1982, shortly before Clannad became internationally renowned for "Theme

  • From Harry's Game", producer and manager Nicky Ryan left 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". 1984–87: Career beginnings

  • Enya recorded two solo instrumental pieces called "An Ghaoth Ón Ghrian" and "Miss Clare

  • Remembers" that were released on the 1984 album Touch Travel. She was first credited

  • as Enya 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 vocals in Irish on the song "Never Get Old"

  • on Sinéad O'Connor's debut album, The Lion and the Cobra.

  • Enya was contracted to provide music for the soundtrack of the 1987 BBC television documentary,

  • The Celts. The music she produced was featured on her first solo album, Enya, but it attracted

  • little attention at the time. The B-side single "Eclipse" is actually a reversed and modified

  • version of Enya's song "Deireadh An Tuath" from this 1987 album. The song "Boadicea",

  • also from this album, would be sampled and modified by The Fugees on their single "Ready

  • or Not", causing a brief stir because the group neither sought permission from Enya

  • nor gave her credit initially. Mario Winans' song "I Don't Wanna Know" sampled the Fugees

  • sample, and is officially credited to Winans, Diddy and Enya. The song became Enya's highest

  • charting US single, peaking at No.2 on the Hot 100 in 2004.

  • 1988–91: International breakthrough, Watermark and Shepherd Moons

  • Enya achieved a breakthrough in her career in 1988 with the album Watermark, which featured

  • the hit song "Orinoco Flow". "Orinoco Flow", reported to be named after Orinoco Studios,

  • where it was conceived, topped the charts in the United Kingdom and peaked at number

  • 2 in Germany. The Watermark album sold eleven million copies.

  • Enya was quoted as saying: "The success of Watermark surprised me. I never thought of

  • music as something commercial; it was something very personal to me." Enya also said in an

  • interview paraphrased, "Watermark has in its theme searching, longing, of reaching out

  • for an answer. The ocean is a central image. It is the symbolism of a great journey, which

  • is the way I would describe this album." The surprise success of Watermark actually

  • led to a delay in the completion of Enya's third single, Storms in Africa because she

  • was busy travelling the world to promote the album. Storms in Africa was re-recorded for

  • the single and the deadline was missed. Record company WEA used TV adverts to promote Storms

  • in Africa by reminding audiences of Enya's previous two hits.

  • Three years later she followed with another hit album, Shepherd Moons, which sold twelve

  • million copies and earned Enya her first Grammy Award. Shepherd Moons is also her longest

  • charting album to date, spending 238 weeks on the Billboard 200. The songs "On Your Shore"

  • and "Exile" and "Epona" were featured in the 1991 film L.A. Story. "Ebudæ" is also featured

  • on the soundtrack to the Robin Williams feature film Toys, while the 1990 feature film Green

  • Card features "River", "Watermark", and "Storms in Africa". "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 Irish language version on all pressings of the Shepherd Moons album from 1993 onwards.

  • In 1993, her recording of "Marble Halls" from Shepherd Moons was featured in the Martin

  • Scorsese film, The Age of Innocence. 1992–99: The Celts, The Memory of Trees,

  • and Paint the Sky with Stars In 1992, a re-mastered version of the Enya

  • album was released as The Celts including a longer, modified version of "Portrait",

  • which was renamed "Portrait". Four years after Shepherd Moons she released

  • The Memory of Trees, another Top Five success in both the UK and Germany, as well as her

  • first Top 10 album in the U.S. Singles released from the album were "Anywhere Is" and "On

  • My Way Home". In 1997, Enya released her greatest hits collection,

  • Paint the Sky with Stars: The Best of Enya, 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.. She was offered the chance to compose the score for James Cameron's

  • 1997 feature film Titanic, but she declined. A 1989 recording of Enya singing "Oíche Chiúin",

  • an Irish language version of "Silent Night", has been reissued at least twice: on The Christmas

  • EP and the 1997 edition of the charity album A Very Special Christmas.

  • Ansett Australia extensively used "Storms in Africa" for promotional purposes when the

  • airline re-branded itself in the 1990s. The 1992 film Sleepwalkers features "Boadicea"

  • as the film's signature tune. "Boadicea" has also been sampled in the popular Fugees song

  • "Ready or Not". 2000–04: A Day Without Rain

  • Following a five-year break Enya released the album A Day Without Rain in 2000, featuring

  • 37 minutes of new material. The album is Enya's most successful to date, peaking at number

  • two on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. The first single, "Only Time", was used in the film

  • Sweet November and received U.S. radio airplay in late 2000. In May 2001, NBC began using

  • "Only Time" to accompany commercials for their television series Friends, which helped the

  • song top the Adult Contemporary and Adult Top 40 charts.

  • After the 11 September 2001 attacks "Only Time" was used as a soundtrack in many radio

  • and television reports about the attacks. Enya released a special edition of the song,

  • and a maxi single was issued on 20 November 2001 featuring a pop mix, with proceeds donated

  • to the families of victims. "Only Time" peaked at number 10 on the U.S. Hot 100, number 12

  • on the Pop Chart and hit number one on the Adult Contemporary and Hot Adult Contemporary

  • charts. In Germany, "Only Time" re-entered the German single charts at number 1 and the

  • album A Day Without Rain reached number one some weeks later. Enya won an Echo Award for

  • best selling international single in Germany of 2001, and received a nomination for best

  • selling album. In 2001, Enya recorded "May It Be", which

  • was featured in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, earning her an Academy

  • award nomination for Best Original Song. It was her second consecutive single to enter

  • the German charts at number one. The video features scenes from the Peter Jackson film.

  • Enya also performed the song "Aníron" – a song sung in Tolkien's Elvish language Sindarin

  • for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

  • A new song called "Sumiregusa" was based on a Japanese poem by Roma Ryan. In September

  • 2004, the song was used in Japan as part of an advertising campaign for Panasonic. Warner

  • Music Japan stated that Enya's next album was scheduled for release in Japan in mid-November.

  • Enya issued a press release on her official Web site on 19 September stating that this

  • was a mistake and no new album was immediately forthcoming.

  • 2005–08: Amarantine and 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 Award for Best New Age Album for 2007, Enya's fourth.

  • In 2006, Enya released several Christmas-themed CDs with newly recorded material. On 10 October

  • 2006 Sounds of the Season: The Enya Holiday Collection was released containing six songs:

  • the previously released "Oíche Chiúin" and "Amid the Falling Snow", new recordings of

  • the standards "Adeste Fideles" 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 States in an exclusive partnership with the NBC television network and the Target

  • department store chain. Enya was awarded the World's Best-Selling Irish Act award at the

  • World Music Awards in London on 19 November 2006.

  • In late November two new editions of Amarantine were released. In the UK it was reissued as

  • Christmas Edition: Amarantine with a second disc containing the four new Christmas songs

  • previously issued on Sounds of the Season. The U.S. received a special version of this

  • release, 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. By mid-2007, Enya claimed to have sold 80

  • 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. It is

  • defined as the inexplicable growth in sales of an artist in inverse relation to how much

  • publicity they have. On 29 June 2007, Enya received an honorary

  • doctorate from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Shortly after, on 10 July

  • 2007, Enya received a second honorary doctorate from the University of Ulster.

  • November 2008 saw the release of And Winter Camewith a new video for the song "Trains

  • and Winter Rains". This album follows her passion for the Christmas period. It also

  • features guitar on the track "My! My! Time Flies!" and a chorale version of the previously

  • released "Oíche Chiúin". She promoted the album on morning news shows and performed

  • some songs live. 2009–present: The Very Best of Enya and

  • eighth studio album In March 2009, Warner Music Japan released

  • Enya's first 4 albums in a new format, called SHM-CD. On 23 November 2009 Enya released

  • a new album called The Very Best of Enya. It includes most of her hits from 1987 to

  • 2008, as well as a new version of "Aníron", a song created for "The Lord of the Rings:

  • The Fellowship of the Ring" in 2001. In 2010, singer Rihanna sampled "One By One" on the

  • song "Fading" from her new album Loud. In a May 2011 interview, Enya's manager said

  • that she is working on a new album and will likely tour to support it, with part of the

  • recording taking place in Abbey Road Studios in London. As of June 2014, neither a new

  • studio album release nor a promotional tour has been announced.

  • Enya's single "Only Time" was used by Volvo Trucks for their commercial starring Jean-Claude

  • Van Damme, released in November 2013, in which the action film star executed the splits while

  • suspended between two trucks. Numerous parodies of the commercial appeared online in the weeks

  • following, again using "Only Time". Musical style and other projects