Birth nameEithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin
Born (1961-05-17) 17 May 1961 (age 58)
Gweedore, County Donegal, Ireland
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • producer
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • keyboards
  • percussion
Years active1976–present
Associated acts

Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin (anglicised as Enya Patricia Brennan (ə/); born 17 May 1961), known professionally as Enya, is an Irish singer, songwriter, record producer and musician. Born into a musical family and raised in the Irish-speaking area of Gweedore in County Donegal in the north of Ireland, Enya began her music career when she joined her family's Celtic band Clannad in 1980 on keyboards and backing vocals. She left in 1982 with their manager and producer Nicky Ryan to pursue a solo career, with Ryan's wife Roma Ryan as her lyricist. Enya developed her sound over the following four years with multitracked vocals and keyboards with elements of new age, Celtic, classical, church, and folk music. She has sung in ten languages.

Enya's first projects as a solo artist included soundtrack work for The Frog Prince (1984) and the 1987 BBC documentary series The Celts, which was released as her debut album, Enya (1987). She signed with Warner Music UK, which granted her artistic freedom and minimal interference from the label. The commercial and critical success of Watermark (1988) propelled her to worldwide fame, helped by the international top-10 hit single "Orinoco Flow". This was followed by the multi-million selling albums Shepherd Moons (1991), The Memory of Trees (1995) and A Day Without Rain (2000). Sales of the latter and its lead single, "Only Time", surged in the United States following its use in the media coverage of the September 11 attacks. Following Amarantine (2005) and And Winter Came... (2008), Enya took an extended break from music; she returned in 2012 and released Dark Sky Island (2015).

Enya is known for her privacy and has never undertaken a concert tour. She is Ireland's bestselling solo artist[3] and bestselling artist behind U2, with a discography that has sold 26.5 million certified albums in the United States[4] and an estimated 80 million records worldwide, making her one of the bestselling music artists of all time.[5] A Day Without Rain (2000) remains the bestselling new-age album, with an estimated 16 million copies sold worldwide.[6] Enya has won awards including seven World Music Awards, four Grammy Awards for Best New Age Album,[7] and an Ivor Novello Award. She was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for "May It Be", written for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).

Early life

Aerial view of Gweedore, County Donegal, Enya's hometown

Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin was born on 17 May 1961 in Dore, within the area of the parish Gaoth Dobhair, in the northwestern county of Donegal, Ireland.[8] It is a Gaeltacht region where Irish is the primary language. Her name is anglicised as Enya Patricia Brennan,[9] where Enya is the phonetic spelling of how Eithne is pronounced in her native Ulster dialect of Irish; "Ní Bhraonáin" translates to "daughter of Brennan".[10] The fifth of nine children, Enya was born into a Roman Catholic family of musicians.[11] Her father Leo Brennan was the leader of the Slieve Foy Band, an Irish showband, and ran Leo's Tavern in Meenaleck; her mother Máire Brennan (née Duggan), whose ancestors settled on Tory Island and had distant Spanish roots,[12] was an amateur musician who played in Leo's band[13][14] and taught music at Gweedore Community School.[15] Enya's maternal grandfather Aodh was the headmaster of the primary school in Dore, and her grandmother was a teacher there. Aodh was also the founder of the Gweedore Theatre company.[16]

Enya described her upbringing as "very quiet and happy."[17] At age three, she took part in her first singing competition at the annual Feis Ceoil music festival.[16] She took part in pantomimes at Gweedore Theatre and sang with her siblings in her mother's choir at St Mary's church in Derrybeg. She learned English at primary school and began piano lessons at age four. "I had to do school work and then travel to a neighbouring town for piano lessons, and then more school work. I ... remember my brothers and sisters playing outside ... and I would be inside playing the piano. This one big book of scales, practising them over and over."[10][18] At eleven, Enya's grandfather paid for her education[16][19] at a strict convent boarding school in Milford[13] run by nuns of the Loreto order,[12] where she developed a taste for classical music, art, Latin and watercolour painting.[12] "It was devastating to be torn away from such a large family, but it was good for my music."[10] Enya left the school at 17 and studied classical music in college for one year[10] with the aim of becoming "a piano teacher sort of person. I never thought of myself composing or being on stage."[20]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Enya
العربية: إنيا
aragonés: Enya
arpetan: Enya
asturianu: Enya
azərbaycanca: Enya
تۆرکجه: انیا
беларуская: Энія
български: Еня
bosanski: Enya
brezhoneg: Enya
català: Enya
čeština: Enya
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Enya
Cymraeg: Enya
dansk: Enya
Deutsch: Enya
eesti: Enya
español: Enya
Esperanto: Enya
euskara: Enya
فارسی: انیا
français: Enya
Gaeilge: Enya
Gàidhlig: Eithne
galego: Enya
한국어: 에냐
hornjoserbsce: Enya
hrvatski: Enya
Ido: Enya
Bahasa Indonesia: Enya
íslenska: Enya
italiano: Enya
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಎನ್ಯಾ
ქართული: ენია
kaszëbsczi: Enya
Kiswahili: Enya
Latina: Enya
latviešu: Enya
Lëtzebuergesch: Enya
lietuvių: Enya
magyar: Enya
македонски: Ења
മലയാളം: എനിയ
Malti: Enya
монгол: Эня
Nāhuatl: Enya
Nederlands: Enya
Nedersaksies: Enya
日本語: エンヤ
norsk: Enya
norsk nynorsk: Enya
occitan: Enya
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Enya
Papiamentu: Enya
Piemontèis: Enya
Plattdüütsch: Enya
polski: Enya
português: Enya
română: Enya
русский: Эния
sardu: Enya
Scots: Enya
shqip: Enya
sicilianu: Enya
සිංහල: එන්යා
Simple English: Enya
slovenčina: Enya
slovenščina: Enya
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Enya
suomi: Enya
svenska: Enya
தமிழ்: என்யா
Taqbaylit: Enya
తెలుగు: ఎన్య
ไทย: เอนยา
Türkçe: Enya
українська: Енія
Tiếng Việt: Enya
Volapük: Enya
粵語: 恩雅
Zazaki: Enya
中文: 恩雅