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About Damian McGinty
Singer Damian McGinty records adult contemporary pop as a solo artist, though he's also known as an on-again, off-again member of Celtic pop quartet Celtic Thunder. He joined the group as a 14-year-old in 2007, only leaving in 2011 after he won the inaugural season of The Glee Project. His prize role of Rory Flanagan on the musical sitcom Glee was extended from 7 to 18 episodes, ending in 2012. That same year, McGinty released his self-titled solo debut EP. He returned to Celtic Thunder in 2015 and remained with the ensemble while recording his second EP, 2018's No More Time.
Born Damian Joseph McGinty, Jr. in Derry, Northern Ireland, in 1992, McGinty found an international stage at the age of 14, when he became part of the original lineup of Celtic Thunder. Originally conceived by Sharon Browne as a contemporary take on Celtic music, their debut was written and arranged by Phil Coulter. McGinty's singing partners were Paul Byrom, George Donaldson, Keith Harkin, and Ryan Kelly, all of whom rotated leads on the project's initial concert. A CD and DVD of the event appeared from Decca in 2008. The quintet's 2009 sophomore effort, Take Me Home, consisted of traditional Irish and Scottish ballads peppered with a handful of pop/rock covers, while 2010's It's Entertainment relied exclusively on commercial pop hits. Celtic Thunder returned to their roots for 2011's Heritage, a meld of new and traditional material. Paul Byrom left before the album was complete and was replaced by Emmet Cahill. Storm, a full theatrical production, arrived that same year. McGinty recorded 2012's Voyage before leaving the group in 2011.
He was still a member of Celtic Thunder when he auditioned for the first season of The Glee Project, an Oxygen network competition series that offered a role on TV's Glee to the winner. It premiered in June 2011 (a month later on Sky One in the U.K.) and resulted in dual winners; McGinty and Samuel Larsen were each awarded a seven-episode run on the third season of the series. McGinty then gave notice to his band and made his debut as Rory Flanagan on the Glee episode "Pot o' Gold" in November 2011. The show extended his stay to 18 episodes. In late 2012, the singer followed his Glee appearances with his solo debut, the Damian McGinty EP. A collection of contemporary pop ballads, it reached number two on the Billboard World Albums chart as well as 13 on the Heatseekers chart.
McGinty appeared on a PBS special by Paul Byrom of Celtic Thunder, then joined him on tour, and did a separate PBS special and tour with Ethan Bortnick before officially rejoining Celtic Thunder in 2015. February 2016 saw the release of Legacy, Vol. 1, which featured Harkin, Kelly, Neil Byrne, Colm Keegan, and Emmett O'Hanlon as well as McGinty. Legacy, Vol. 2, which offered the same lineup and focused on hits and fan favorites, arrived in August of that year. McGinty released the solo holiday album This Christmas Time in October 2016. It reached number two on both the world and holiday albums charts. The Celtic Thunder album Inspirational followed in 2017.
Celebrating ten years of the project, Celtic Thunder X arrived in March 2018 with the lineup of Byrne, Cahill, Kelly, McGinty, and Michael O'Dwyer. That same month, McGinty released his second solo EP, No More Time. A set of more up-tempo pop, it reached the Top 20 of the Heatseekers chart and the Top 50 of Independent Albums.
In March 2019, he released his debut original full-length, Young Forever, which was produced by Cian Sweeney, Matt Weir, and Pete Wallace. McGinty either wrote or co-wrote (with Mark Caplice and Ryan O'Shaughnessy) most of the songs on the album, though the single "Saltwater" was penned by Shevy Smith, Liz Rose, and Kevin Hissink. A compilation of Christmas and Irish traditional songs, Christmas, arrived later that winter. ~ Marcy Donelson & Steve Leggett
- Derry, Northern Ireland
- Sep 9, 1992
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