Mary Black

Raised in a musical family, Mary Black went on to become one of Ireland's most popular singers, graduating from a background in folk song to mainstream acceptance. She began singing traditional songs at the age of eight and was soon performing with her brothers Shay, Michael and Martin Black in the Dublin area, while her younger sister Frances also went on to become a singer. In 1975 she joined the band General Humbert, recording two albums with them, before going on to make her self-titled debut solo album with guitarist and producer Declan Sinnott. She achieved international recognition, however, with the great traditional band De Danann, singing with them on the classic Anthem album and becoming closely associated with Phil Colclough's iconic Song For Ireland. Black left De Danann in 1978 to concentrate on her solo career which swiftly moved in a more contemporary, pop-orientated direction, culminating in her mainstream crossover with the album By The Time It Gets Dark. She followed with No Frontiers, a Number 1 album in Ireland, which also established her as a big attraction in America. This was followed by the equally successful The Holy Ground, while Black also became involved in one of the best-selling Irish albums of all time, A Woman's Heart, with other Irish artists like Eleanor McEvoy, Sharon Shannon and her former De Danann colleague, Dolores Keane. She went on to duet with Joan Baez, confirming her place as one of Ireland's most successful singers. Black took a break during the 2000s, returning in 2011 with the album Stories From The Steeples.

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