Celtic Woman is a female vocal ensemble that performs a mix of Celtic, new age, and adult contemporary music. Often compared to Clannad, Enya, and Loreena McKennitt, Celtic Woman first rose to acclaim with an energetic stage show that had much in common with similarly minded productions like Riverdance (whose music director, David Downes, was the driving force behind Celtic Woman's formation in 2004). The group's first performance was filmed by PBS in 2004 and broadcast one year later, accompanied by a wildly popular CD and DVD. Although intended to be the group's only release, the album climbed to the top of the Billboard World Albums chart and stayed there for a record-setting 81 weeks, thus setting the stage for Celtic Woman's long career.
Celtic Woman began touring heavily, sometimes logging as many as 35 weeks a year on the road. While a series of PBS specials ensured that the women remained on America's TV screens, additional album releases helped them remain on the charts. The holiday-themed A Christmas Celebration appeared in 2006, with A New Journey following in 2007. Both albums topped the World Albums chart, and A New Journey even achieved some crossover success by peaking at number four on the Billboard 200. Meanwhile, several members of Celtic Woman's shifting lineup also delivered their own solo albums. Released in 2008, The Greatest Journey combined material from Celtic Woman's older albums with several new songs. It was followed two years later by Songs from the Heart, which found the group mixing some contemporary covers into its repertoire.
In 2011, Celtic Woman delivered the fittingly titled Lullaby, which featured restful songs, including versions of "Over the Rainbow," "When You Wish Upon a Star," and the traditional folk song "Hush Little Baby." A year later, they delivered Believe, which was the first release to feature new member Lisa Lambe. Lambe also appeared on 2014's Emerald: Musical Gems, after which she left the group to focus on her solo work.
In 2015, Celtic Woman returned with Destiny, their first outing to feature newest members Máiréad Carlin and Éabha McMahon. Well received, the album debuted at number one on the Billboard World Albums chart. The following year, they returned with Voices of Angels, which also showcased Carlin and McMahon, as well as Susan McFadden, fiddler Tara McNeill, and former member Méav Ní Mhaolchatha, who returned as a featured guest. Voices of Angels was the group's tenth consecutive album to debut at number one on the World Albums chart. Following 2017's holiday compilation, The Best of Christmas, Celtic Woman returned in January 2018 with the live CD/DVD set Homecoming: Live from Ireland, which was captured in Dublin during their Voices of Angels tour. 2019's Ancient Land was the long-running ensemble's 13th studio album, and the first Celtic Woman outing for new vocalist Megan Walsh, who'd joined the group the year prior. Also that year, they issued the holiday-themed Magic of Christmas. ~ Matt Collar & Andrew Leahey