Dublin native Chloë Agnew believes she's the "luckiest 17-year-old in the world." And she just might be. Agnew is part of the hit sensation Celtic Woman, an all-female music ensemble comprised of five Irish artists and and one New Zealander. Coming from a variety of musical traditions, vocalists Agnew, Órla Fallon, Lisa Kelly, Méav Ní Mhaolchatha, Hayley Westenra, and violinist Máiréad Nesbitt make up what Agnew calls "the quintessential Irish woman."

Their debut album "Celtic Woman" reached #1 on Billboard's World Music Chart and stayed there for an astounding 81 weeks. Since then they've released two additonal albums--"A Christmas Celebration" and their latest, "A New Journey"--all of which have reached the #1 spot on that chart, only to be bumped down a spot by the group's newer  albums. Agnew, the youngest member of the group, recently spoke to Beliefnet about the inherent spirituality of Celtic music and the world's interest in Celtic culture.

Celtic Woman is from left to right: Órla Fallon, Chloë Agnew, Lisa Kelly, violinist Máiréad Nesbitt, Hayley Westenra, and Méav Ní Mhaolchatha.

 Watch Celtic Woman Perform "The Sky and the Dawn and the Sun" off of "A New Journey: Live at Slane Castle Ireland." 

What is the significance of your group's name, Celtic Woman? It sounds really empowering.

It is. A lot of people say, "How come you only went for the singular?" "Why not Celtic Women?" We try to bring something different to the table. The five of us are so different in what we do.  Máiréad Nesbitt is in a field of her own because she's a fiddler--but the other four singers are so different on stage and off.

Each of us brings something so different to the show that [together] we make up today’s modern Irish woman. I think that's what we were going for--the quintessential Irish woman [who is part] classical and traditional, and also part contemporary and modern.

Do you think there's something inherently spiritual about Celtic music?


Yes. Our audiences in

Japan--we were on a tour there last October--called the music spiritual. They actually referred to it as healing. That's very beautiful to hear. You never expect that when you record, sing, or perform a piece that you love, that to somebody else it may be healing, or music for the soul. That, in itself, is a very special and rare gift.

What is lovely for us is that the songs we perform in the show are, 99.9 percent of the time, songs that have a very special meaning to us individually. I know growing up Órla Fallon learned a lot of the songs that she sings on the first DVD, like "Isle of Innisfree," and on the second DVD, like "Newgrange" and "Carrickfergus," from her grandmother. And now, her getting to perform [them] in the show is something fantastic.

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