It's no surprise that Daniel O'Donnell is one of the best loved artistes of our time, both at home and abroad.
He has had a remarkable career. He is the only artist in the world to score a hit in the UK album charts every year since 1988, an unprecedented and unbroken 30 year span and in doing so, he has outshone everyone from Michael Jackson and Madonna to U2 and the Rolling Stones. He accomplished this with his latest album 'Christmas With Daniel O'Donnell', released in November 2017, it entered the UK Artist Albums Chart at No. 19.
In total, Daniel has now reached the UK Artist Albums Chart with more than 38 albums and has now amassed THIRTY TWO Top 30 albums over the course of his career. Daniel has also achieved eight number one hits in the UK music video/dvd charts over that period.
He makes regular appearances in the Billboard World Music Chart, received an honorary MBE from Queen Elizabeth, appeared on Top of the Pops, had his life celebrated on This Is Your Life and received multiple Entertainer of the Year/Person of the Year Awards in Ireland and the UK - to mention but a few of the many accolades that Daniel has been awarded. And after more than 30 years in the spotlight as an engaging entertainer, he is still in love with performing and with audiences the world over.
He enjoyed recording the reality TV series called 'Daniel and Majella's B&B Road Trip for UTV Ireland during the summer of 2015 - touring the B&B guest houses of Ireland with his wife, Majella. "The B&B was a lot of fun because we were on the road together," Daniel says, adding that he got to see and experience many places in Ireland for the first time. "While I've travelled the length and breadth of Ireland touring with the band, I never got to stop and really see the places and meet the locals," he points out. "We got a tremendous welcome in every B&B and I hope the show will convey to people how wonderful it is to stay in people's homes and to enjoy the Irish hospitality". The second series of the B&B Road Trip aired just recently and again was a huge success with the Irish viewers.
There were charity shows and surprise guest performances, including serenading the 2015 Rose of Tralee live on TV and appearing on the 'Mary From Dungloe' Finale which was broadcast live for the first time in its 48 years on Irish TV, Sky Channel 191 and of course, the recording of that years album release - a tribute to the American country legend that was Hank Williams.
The absolute icing on the cake though for Daniel was the offer to be a contestant in the 2015 series of Strictly Come Dancing, one of the BBC's top rated shows and one of Daniel's all-time favourite TV shows. "When the email came in I just couldn't believe it," he says. "As luck or fate would have it, this is the only year that I could have done it because normally I'm performing in Branson at that time of the year. "I was absolutely thrilled to get the chance to dance on Strictly," It's such a huge show and the BBC have their pick of people, so I'm flattered that they asked me. It took me out of my comfort zone, but I had a lot of fun doing it."
Daniel's 2015 album release, The Hank Williams Songbook (Release in Oct that year), was also a personal favourite. "I've always been a fan of Hank Williams", he says "The songs I chose for the album were my own personal favourites". He says: "Hank Williams was incredibly talented. When I was recording the songs and listening closely to him singing them himself, I found it hard to believe that he did all of that before the age of 29 when he died of heart failure. You'd think they were the work of somebody who had lived a long life and had all the experiences that go with that. I know he had a very hard life, and sometimes it's out of those backgrounds that great songs are created."
In 2016, 'The Best of Music And Memories', released in February charted on the midweek chart at No. 7, the third highest new entry on that weeks' UK Artist Albums Chart. In October 2016, "I Have A Dream" reached no 12 and then early in 2017, "Back Home Again" reached no 10 in the Charts.
As for the future, Daniel is back touring again with a revamped band. He says "We've introduced some new musicians and some different instruments into the band because I thought it was time for a change and I'm really excited with the new lineup and show".
Daniel's concert shows around the world sell out on a regular basis. His five shows in Killarney in Aug 2016 sold out in record time as did the Killarney shows in 2014 & 2012. He preformed his revitalized show to over 12,000 enthusiastic fans. Such is Daniel's popularity that fans came from as far away as the USA and Australia to see him in his 'Welcome Back' concerts.
Daniel's two 'White Christmas' shows in the iconic and luxurious Dublin Convention Centre in Dec 2016, sold out in 20 mins and a third show added sold out in less than two days. The concerts were a festive celebration of Christmas standards from the man himself and his very special guests, Mary Duff, Aled Jones, The Billy Barry Troupe, The Kilkenny Presentation School Choir, The Rathdowney Choir and The RTE Weather Girls, and all backed by Daniel's very talented band and a string quartet. The shows were also recorded by RTE 1 Television for airing on Christmas Eve night.
In between the Irish shows mentioned above, Daniel completed a very successful tour of the UK and also as short tour of the East coast in the USA. On both tours, his fans were blown away by his new show.
Daniel continued to blow his fans away at his shows throughout 2017 and looks forward to doing the same again in 2018.
There is no doubt but that Daniel intends to continue touring around the globe with his unique, life affirming shows of music, song and laughter, for a long time to come.