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reunited Celtic Woman's Chloe Agnew reveals what it was like to hit the big time with the group at 15

'How cool is it that our group is big enough now that Saturday Night Live would take the p*ss out of it!'


Celtic Woman

Celtic Woman

Celtic Woman

SINGER Chloe Agnew was just 15 when she hit the big time with Ireland's most successful all-female group, Celtic Woman.

The worldwide sensations went on to notch up 1.8 billion global streams, sell four million concert tickets and land a Grammy nomination for best world music album.

Chloe then dropped out of Celtic Woman after a decade and built her solo career in America - but now she has reunited with the group for their latest album, Postcards from Ireland.

It features a stunning DVD aimed primarily at the North American market and in which the quintet, which also features Susan McFadden, Megan Walsh, Tara McNeill and Muirgen O'Mahony, perform at 14 scenic locations around the country.

"None of us expected the group to become what it is today," Chloe tells Shuffle. "Saturday Night Live in America did a skit on Celtic Woman for their season finale, which we thought was one of the funniest things we'd seen. How cool is it that our group is big enough now that Saturday Night Live would take the p*ss out of it!

"Celtic Woman was a big part of my life for almost 10 years and then I moved on to do my own thing, and I hustled hard for a couple of years to try to establish my name aside from my parents (dad David Agnew of the RTE Concert Orchestra, and mum Adele King, aka Twink).

"I built up a busy solo career in America working with artists such as John Driskell Hopkins from the Zac Brown Band, the Atlanta Pops Orchestra and Nathan Carter on his US tours.

"Now I'm very thankful to be coming back into Celtic Woman with a new sense of experience and sense of self as a woman both on stage and off."


Celtic Woman

Celtic Woman

Celtic Woman

Chloe had around 130 shows lined up in both her solo career and with Celtic Woman when the pandemic hit.

"It was brutal," she says of the lockdown. "I'm one of so many people who would say that it was the hardest period of my life, both personally and professionally.

"In January of last year I came back to Ireland to rehearse with Celtic Woman, and then we got 12 shows into the tour before being sent home when the world turned upside down. It took its toll mentally as much as it did everything else.

"Anyone who is in the entertainment industry knows that it's a constant graft from one gig and one project to the next. But when all of that is taken away from you, it certainly makes you question your purpose and what you have dedicated your life to.

"Mentally I definitely struggled, like everybody else. I'm quite a private person, so I would have kept all of that offline. You don't want to be one of many other people who are moaning."

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However, Chloe reveals that she enjoyed the first lockdown, which she spent with her mother, Adele, and sister Naomi in the family's Dublin home.

"Myself, Naomi and my mam were in a cocoon bubble for a long time," she says. "We did really wholesome things like jigsaws and cooking together, movie nights, art… wonderful bonding things. I have never had that quality time with the family over the years. Of course, like everyone, we had our challenges too, but we came out the other end without killing each other."

Chloe says she got a new lease of life when the idea for a new Celtic Woman album came up.

"It took us around 14 different locations in Ireland, and the blessing of being able to do it in Covid times allowed us to film on the island of Ireland with nobody around. So we were capturing this natural raw imagery of how beautiful our country is to show to our fans all over the world."

CELTIC Woman's album and DVD, Postcards from Ireland, is out now.

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