If you love to hear a variety of different types of music sung by some of the best singers that Ireland has to offer, then check out this list of the 5 best Irish female singers. The Emerald Isle has produced numerous female singers who have specialized in styles of music ranging from classic Irish folk tunes to modern rock. Any best-of list will end up leaving someone off, but there is no denying that these five ladies are some of the best that Ireland has to offer.
- Enya. The queen of New Age music, Enya isn’t only one of the best female Irish singers, she is the best-selling Irish solo artist of all time. Her rise to fame started in the 1980s, but she really came into her own with her 1988 classic album “Watermark.” Her music has appeared in countless films and she has been nominated for an Academy Award, on top of winning four Grammy Awards in the “Best New Age Album” category.
- Moya Brennan. While she has never reached the fame of her younger sister, Enya, Moya Brennan has anchored the family band, Clannad, and has become one of the best female Irish singers in her own right. Moya has released over seventeen albums with Clannad, on top of numerous solo recordings, complilations and songs made for movie soundtracks. To hear her haunting, powerful voice at its best, listen to “Siuil a Run,” from the “Dulaman” album.
- Gemma Hayes. This Irish singer-songwriter has risen through the Indie ranks to become a musical force. While Gemma’s music is often classified as “Dream Pop,” the diversity in her singing and songwriting truly defies any label. Gemma won a Meteor award for best female Irish artist in 2006, and was nominated again in 2009.
- Dolores O’Riordan. As the lead singer of the Cranberries, Dolores O’Riordan may have been the first Irish female singer that many modern rock fans had ever heard. Dolores joined the band in 1990 and then spent the next decade turning heads with her powerful, distinct voice.
- Cara Dillon. Cara Dillon has a voice that was built to sing traditional Irish songs, but she blends in the perfect amount of pop sensibility to create songs that stay with you all day. Cara spent the first part of her career singing with a handful of bands, but she reached success when she went solo in 2001. Cara has won a number of folk and Irish music awards, including the Meteor award for best Irish female vocalist in 2004.