Music Spotlight: Daniel O’Donnell

Beloved Irish singer Daniel O’Donnell returns to St. John’s on his ‘Back Home Again’ tour


In a recent press release about his upcoming Canadian tour, Daniel O’Donnell said he is excited to perform in both cities he’s yet to visit as well as “some of our old favourites.”

During a phone interview in August, O’Donnell confirmed that Newfoundland does indeed fall within the “old favourites” category.

Feeling at Home

“We enjoy going there so much. We’ve been to Corner Brook once and St. John’s quite a number of times. We just feel very much at home there,” the well known Irish entertainer said. 

When asked about the similarities between Newfoundlanders and people of Ireland, O’Donnell feels the commonalities are in the people as well as the landscapes.

“The terrain (in Newfoundland) is like Ireland and you all sound like Irish people. It’s the same sort of values and family connections. We are very similar,” he said.

According to promotional material about O’Donnell, he made record-breaking chart history earlier this year by becoming the first recording artist in the history of the UK Artist Album Chart to have charted at least one new album every year since 1988, surpassing everyone from Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Madonna and Irish strongholds U2.

“This January, it will be 37 years since I started (performing)… I enjoy it so much… I never felt that I worked. Never. Last night we were up in Belfast and tomorrow night we have a show in Galway,” O’Donnell said of his current Irish tour.

Daniel and Kevin 

In April, O’Donnell was part of the Late Late Show Country Television Special in Dublin which saw legendary country singer Charley Pride flying in from the U.S. to sing his hit Crystal Chandeliers which O’Donnell got to duet with him.

“That was a great thrill. I love Charley singing and the person that is Charley. It’s always nice to meet him and he is so loved in Ireland,” O’Donnell said.

There are not many people who call O’Donnell “Danny.” However, Pride is one of those people.

“I don’t know how he got to call me that. He’ll say, ‘Okay, Danny,’” O’Donnell said lightheartedly.

Just as O’Donnell has admired Pride all his life, Placentia’s Kevin Collins has been an O’Donnell fan for many years.

When I interviewed Collins in 2013 he spoke about how O’Donnell’s mother Julia O’Donnell from Donegal called into a radio phone-in show when she heard him singing during a trip to Ireland.

Julia O’Donnell contacted Collins to let him know how much she enjoyed his music. She invited him to her home for a visit.

Following the visit, she sent him a hat which made its way from Ireland to Newfoundland – thanks to Julia’s son, Daniel.

“Mom loved Kevin. Both Kevin and Rose (Collins’ wife) used to come visit mom,” O’Donnell recalled.

Engaging An Audience 

Collins was so taken by Julia O’Donnell’s kind gesture he wrote a song about the hat.

When people ask me where I’m from 

I stand up proud and tall

I tell them I’m from Newfoundland

But my hat’s from Donegal

“I couldn’t believe it when I first heard it… It’s brilliant,” O’Donnell said of Collins’ song.

O’Donnell said he also loves Collins’ singing From an Island to an Island (which was written by former politician Loyola Hearn).

Anyone who has been to a Daniel O’Donnell concert will know that he is as much a performer as he is singer.

Not one to stand in one place, he engages his audience and makes them feel as if he is singing to them alone.

It’s not uncommon for those who have come to his concerts to sing right along with him.

Fans can also expect to hear a joke or two from the charming Irishman during his performance at Mile One Centre in St. John’s on Sept. 28.

When asked what people can expect from the show, O’Donnell said there will be a mixture of songs.

Familiar Favourites 

The show will be similar to his current concerts in Ireland, he said.

“You’d think that, after travelling for a year, we’d alter it a little. But I just think that the old songs the people know that we’ve recorded,” O’Donnell shared. “I mean, going back to Charley, if I saw Charley Pride 10 nights in a row, I’d want to hear Crystal Chandeliers every night. So that’s what I think about when I’m putting the program together. That I can include the songs that people are familiar with.”

For tickets to O’Donnell’s performance in St. John’s visit or call 709-576-7657.

One thought on “Music Spotlight: Daniel O’Donnell

  1. Maureen Ring
    September 13, 2017

    I would like to see Kevin Collins perform with Daniel in Newfoundland.

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