Brian Kennedy (singer)

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Brian Kennedy
Birth name Brian Edward Patrick Kennedy
Born (1966-10-12) 12 October 1966 (age 51)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, author
Instruments Vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist
Associated acts Van Morrison
Website Brian Kennedy official site

Brian Edward Patrick Kennedy (born 12 October 1966, Belfast, Northern Ireland) is an Irish singer-songwriter and author, who is known for his ballads, and has represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006. He is the younger brother of the late musician Bap Kennedy.

Personal life

Kennedy was born and grew up on the Falls Road in Belfast. As a child he suffered from Osgood–Schlatter disease in each leg.[1] He has described in public the violence of The Troubles, during his childhood and teen years.[2] He once described seeing a young man being chased and then shot dead by a British soldier a few feet away from him. He also would harmonise with police, ambulance and fire engine sirens. Kennedy revealed in 2016 that he has been battling rectal cancer.[3]

Kennedy came out as gay in 2009.[4][5]

Music career

Kennedy came to prominence with the masses as one of Van Morrison's backing singers, appearing on a string of recordings including A Night in San Francisco, Days Like This, The Healing Game and Back on Top and live in concert, frequently alongside Georgie Fame.[3] He had a minor UK radio airplay hit with the title track from his 2001 album Get on With Your Short Life.[citation needed]

Kennedy was chosen as the Irish competitor for the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest in Athens, where he sang the self-penned "Every Song is a Cry for Love". His performance in the contest's semi-finals marked the 1000th song[6] to feature in the history of the Eurovision competition. Following qualification, Kennedy finished tenth in the finals on 20 May, with 93 points.[7]

He performed on the original Secret Garden version of the song "You Raise Me Up", which has been recorded by more than a hundred other artists, such as Josh Groban and Westlife; he also sang this song at the funeral of the footballer, George Best.[8]

Kennedy performed at the opening of new studios for his local station Belfast CityBeat in 2006. In July 2008, he joined the judging panel of the Citybeat Young Star Search, Northern Ireland's biggest kids talent search.[citation needed]

On 23 August 2010, Kennedy played a version of 'Christopher Street' on a small Balcony overlooking Dame Street, Dublin for the music viral show BalconyTV.[9]



  • The Great War of Words (1990) – UK No. 64
  • A Better Man (1996) – UK No. 19[10]
  • Now That I Know What I Want (1999)
  • Won't You Take Me Home (2000)
  • Get on With Your Short Life (2001)
  • On Song (2003)
  • Live in Belfast (2004)
  • On Song 2: Red Sails in the Sunset (2005)
  • Homebird (2006)
  • Interpretations (2008)
  • The Very Best Of Brian Kennedy (2010)
  • Voice (2012)
  • A Love Letter To Joni (2013)
  • Essential (2016) - re-recordings of previous material
  • "Hollow" (1990)
  • "Captured" (1990)
  • "Believe It" (1990)
  • "A Better Man" (1996) – UK No. 28[10]
  • "Life Love And Happiness" (1996) – UK No. 27[10]
  • "Put The Message in the Box" (1997) – World Party cover – UK No. 37[10]
  • "Get on With Your Short Life" (2002)
  • "George Best – A Tribute" (2005) – UK No. 4[10]
  • "If You Don't Believe in Me" (2006)
  • "Destination" (2006)
  • "Every Song Is A Cry For Love" (2006)
  • "Tandeming Ports of MCO" (2013)
Other Songs


In Sweetmouth, Kennedy was joined by Mark Nevin, formerly of Fairground Attraction; their album, Goodbye to Songtown (August 1991), featured the songs written by Nevin for a second Fairground Attraction album, which was never realized.[citation needed]


Kennedy was a coach on the first series of The Voice of Ireland.[11]


  • The Arrival of Fergal Flynn (Hodder, 2004), a novel
  • Roman Song (Hodder, 2005), a novel

See also


  1. ^ Jarlath Regan (30 December 2017). "Brian Kennedy". An Irishman Abroad (Podcast) (224 ed.). SoundCloud. Retrieved 8 January 2018. 
  2. ^ RTE Radio On Playback, 19 April 2008.
  3. ^ a b Biography Brian Kennedy
  4. ^ "Brian Kennedy reveals his coming-out torment". Belfast Telegraph. Independent News & Media. 1 September 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "At Home with Katherine McArdle". Hot Press. 11 December 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2009. 
  6. ^ "Eurovision 2011: 18 bizarre facts about the contest", The Telegraph, 13 May 2011.
  7. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 2006". The Diggiloo Thrush. Retrieved 8 January 2018. 
  8. ^ "Final farewell to football legend"". BBC News. 3 December 2005. Archived from the original on 27 April 2006. Retrieved 8 January 2018. 
  9. ^ "BRIAN KENNEDY – Video Archive". Balcony TV. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 299. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  11. ^ Finn, Melanie (28 October 2011). "Bressie's in the hotseat in search for the Voice". Evening Herald. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 

External links

  • The Brighter Life of Brian The Age
  • Brian Kennedy on Twitter
  • Brian Kennedy Youtube Channel
  • Brian Kennedy on Itunes
  • Brian Kennedy Live in the Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Donna & Joe
with "Love?"
Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
with "They Can't Stop The Spring"
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