Gradam Ceoil TG4
Dolores Keane – Lifetime Achievement Award
Dolores Keane is a traditional singer and an early member of the folk group De Dannan. She grew up in Sylane, a small village in Co. Galway, and was raised by her aunts Rita and Sarah Keane, who were well-known sean-nós singers. Keane was singing from a young age due to the influence of her aunts and began her professional singing career in 1975 when she joined De Danann. She toured internationally with the band in the late 1970s and featured on their self-titled debut album in 1975 before leaving the band to pursue a solo career. In 1978, she recorded her first solo album There Was a Maid, followed by Broken Hearted I’ll Wander (1979) and Farewell to Eirinn (1980). She later re-joined De Dannan and recorded albums Anthem (1985) and Ballroom (1987).
In 1991, she contributed to the RTÉ/BBC television programme Bringing It All Back Home where she performed in Nashville, Tennessee, with Emmylou Harris and Richard Thompson. Keane was one of several female Irish singers to collaborate on the album A Woman’s Heart (1992), which also featured Eleanor McEvoy, Mary Black, Frances Black, Sharon Shannon and Maura O’Connell. The album featured Keane singing works such as ‘Caledonia’ and ‘The Island’, and became the best-selling record in Irish history at the time. The group released a second album, A Woman’s Heart Vol. 2 in 1994. She released her final solo album Night Owl in 1998, and has toured globally since, both solo and with De Dannan.