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The Chieftains are a Grammy-winning Irishmarker musical group founded in 1962, best known for being one of the first bands to make Irish traditional music popular around the world.


The band's name came from the book Death of a Chieftain by Irish author John Montague. Assisted early on by Garech Browne, they signed with his company Claddagh Records. They needed financial success abroad, and succeeded in this, as within a few years their third album's sleeve note section was printed in three languages.


The band has recorded many albums of instrumental Irish folk music, as well as multiple collaborations with popular musicians of many genres, including Country music, Galician traditional music, Cape Breton and Newfoundlandmarker music, and rock and roll. They have performed with Ultravox, Carlos Núñez, Van Morrison, Bela Fleck, Siobhán O'Brien, Moya Brennan, Mark Knopfler, Loreena McKennitt, Mick Jagger, Elvis Costello, Roger Daltrey, Nanci Griffith, Tom Jones, Sinéad O'Connor, James Galway, The Corrs, Art Garfunkel, Sting, Rosanne Cash, Jim White, Tom Partington, Ziggy Marley, Lyle Lovett, Jackson Browne, Eros Ramazzotti, Mike Gordon, and numerous Country-western artists. In May 1986 they performed at Self Aid, a benefit concert held in Dublin that focused on the problem of chronic unemployment which was widespread in Ireland at that time. In 1994 they appeared in Roger Daltrey's production, album and video of A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who.

The front covers of the first four albums were designed by Edward Delaney.

Success and recognition

The group have won six Grammy Awards and have been nominated eighteen times. They have also won an Emmy and a Genie and contributed a couple of tracks, including their highly-praised version of the song Women of Ireland, to Leonard Rosenman's Oscar-winning score for Stanley Kubrick's 1975 film Barry Lyndon. In 2002 they were given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the UKmarker's BBC Radio 2. Two of their singles have been minor hits. Have I Told You Lately (credited to The Chieftains with Van Morrison) reached number 71 in 1995. I Know My Love (credited to The Chieftains featuring The Corrs) reached number 37 in 2002.

Band members

Paddy Moloney is the band's founder and leader, and composes or arranges most of the band's music. While the band's members changed numerous times in the band's early history, the membership solidified in 1979 when Matt Molloy replaced Michael Tubridy. From then until 2002, members included:

Former members



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