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Letterkenny Accommodation - Daniel O Donnell

Daniel  O’Donnell,  (born December 12, 1961) is a well known Irish singer. He has achieved success in both Europe, Australia and North America with his blend of country, gospel and easy-listening music. O’Donnell primarily appeals to older female audiences, although not exclusively. To date he has sold over 10 million records worldwide.

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Daniel was brought up in Kincasslagh -  a small village on the west coast of County Donegal. He grew up as the youngest in his family, with his parents Julia (née McGonagle) and Francis O’Donnell and his siblings: John (the eldest), Margaret (Margo), Kathleen, and James. He has described his childhood as largely happy, with the exception of the death of his father when Daniel was just six. Daniel attributes this occurrence as the reason why he holds his mother in such high regard today.

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During his school years, Daniel thought about pursuing a career in the bank - but music was always in his blood. As a youngster O’Donnell performed in the local church choir. In 1980 he went to  college in Galway to study Business Studies. However, he never settled down and by Christmas of that year he was in his sister Margo’s band. Margo had already established a very successful career in Ireland.
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Rise to fame
Unable to get many opportunities to perform solos with his sisters band, Daniel decided to record his own record. In February, 1983 he recorded his first single, "My Donegal Shore", with £1,200 of his own money and sold all the copies himself. Later that  same year, he formed his own band, Country Fever. After the group disbanded, he went on to form The Grassroots. In 1985, the manager of the Ritz label, Mick Clerkin, saw him perform, and  later introduced him to Sean Reilly, who remains as his manager to this day.

Under the guidance of Reilly, Daniel started to  have sell-out concerts in England on a regular basis. According to O’Donnell himself, by January, 1992, he had become totally exhausted. After a three month recovery break, he returned to the stage, this time at the Point Theatre, Dublin.

By the mid-1990s, Daniel O’Donnell had become a household-name, not only in his native Donegal, but in the rest of Ireland and throughout the UK also. He appeared on the biggest TV shows on both sides of the Irish Sea, and won numerous awards. Among the honours, Daniel was named ‘‘Donegal Person of the Year’’ in 1989. He won the ‘‘Irish Entertainer of the Year’’ award in 1989, 1992 and 1996. Daniel’s first chart hit single in the UK came in 1992 with ‘‘I Just Want to Dance With You’’ . This led to his first ever appearance on Top of the Pops.

During his long career, Daniel has made friends with his childhood heros, including Cliff Richard and Loretta Lynn. He also established a close professional relationship with the Irish singer Mary Duff, who tours with Daniel on a regular basis

Daniel has had twenty UK Top 40 albums as well as fifteen Top 40 singles and has sold 10 million records to date. He also has achieved considerable success in North America, when he starred in seven concert specials on public television stations (PBS). He has charted  no fewer than 18 albums in the Top 20 of the US Billboard’s ‘‘World Music Album Chart’’ and  has had several entries in the ‘‘Independent Albums Chart’’.

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