Date of Birth
23rd April 1979
Place of Birth
Pat and Collette
Brothers & Sisters
2 sisters - Olivia and Patricia
Colour of Eyes
Colour of Hair
|| It could be argued that, within today's media infiltrated circus celebrity has become the new dream for everyone to ascertain. Young people wake up with fantasies of having their name lit up in lights and emulating their hero's. For some, that would mean trying to be the new David Beckham, or Keira Knightly. But for a young Irishman from County Kildare, he dreamed not of being the latest million pound footballer, or the prettiest face for a new generation, but rather to be a fresh and new representative of a more honest time; a time when a good medley and a melodic, sweet-sounding voice was all that seemed to matter. This is the charismatic Michael English and the world of music really is set to become 'Best Of Friends' with the affable young Irishman.
The story all began on 23rd April 1979 in Castledermot, County Kildare, Ireland, where Michael became the youngest of 3 children in a very musical household. Both of his older sisters, Olivia and Patricia, were highly prominent players of the piano and the fiddle, while his mother, Collette, was not only a very good Irish dancer, but also had a strong passion for Irish music. These were all huge influences, with each family member leaving a resonated and lasting effect on the young Michael. However it was Michael's father, Pat, who left the biggest impression.
Pat, like his father before him, was a keen musician and played in a traditional Irish band as an accomplished button-key accordionist. He used to rehearse at home with his band and the young Michael became transfixed by this, eventually joining in the rehearsals with his father by playing the piano. His father and the rest of the band were amazed at the natural talent Michael displayed on the piano and it wasn't too long until Michael's talents got recognised further a field. He was enrolled, at the tender age of nine, at the Hennessy School Of Music, in Carlow.
Whilst at Hennessy School Of Music Michael studied classical music and to this day his fondness for that genre remains. However, throughout the years, Michael was often keen to explore a diverse range of musical stylings, including a liking for such acts as Elton John and Frank Sinatra, through to Barry Manilow and Matt Monro, whilst retaining a fondness for the traditional Irish music that he had grown up with throughout his childhood.
As the time at Hennessy School Of Music went by, Michael became more and more confident and started to successfully entertain local audiences with his music. Encouraged by the reception and the feeling that, even at such an early age, the stage was his destiny, he decided to write to Gay Byrne. Gay was the host of Ireland's long running, and exceedingly popular, 'Late Late Show' and when, after he received an extraordinary letter from an 11 year old boy asking him to appear on his show, Gay found himself simply not being able to resist such a unique opportunity. So there it was that, just a year later, Michael found himself appearing on one of Ireland's most popular national television programmes, performing one of his very own self written songs. He recalls to this day how, before the show, he was 'a huge bag of nerves', but this didn't stop him. He was sensational and went down a storm. It was then that Michael knew that he was born to entertain.
Following his appearance on 'The Late Late Show', Michael continued with his musical studies throughout his teenage years, while still continuing to perform live with various local musical acts in a wide variety of venues throughout Ireland.
Michael eventually left his studies at Hennessy School Of Music, and decided to continue them at The Royal Academy Of Music in Dublin, and it was here where his big break came. It was a rainy night in November 1997 when Michael had missed his bus home. Rather than walking home through the rain he decided to go to a nearby bar and wait an hour for the next bus. Performing at the Braemor Rooms that night was the popular Irish-Country band 'The Mainliners'. During the course of the evening Michael became spellbound by their showmanship and their own particular unique sound. He decided that he had to meet them. He spoke to lead singer Henry McMahon, and Michael confided in Henry how desperate he was to become more involved in music and emulate his hero's, both old and new. Impressed with Michael's enthusiasm Henry handed Michael a song he had written entitled, 'The Nearest To Perfect'.
Michael fell in love with the song immediately and realised that, no matter what, he had to release it. He scrimped and saved every penny he could muster and managed to raise sufficient funds to record, and then release it.
With a modest initial pressing of just 4,000 copies, Michael went about trying to get the song heard. With it's instantaneously catchy appeal it was no surprise that DJ's fell in love with it and gave it extensive airplay. In no time at all the public were clamouring for copies and it soon became apparent that it really was beginning to happen for Michael.
The song became a massive hit and went onto sell in excess of 30,000 copies in Ireland alone. This became enough to attract the attention of Ritz Records, where he was rapidly signed to a recording contract. He went into the studio almost immediately to record his debut album, also entitled 'The Nearest To Perfect', which went onto platinum status in Ireland alone. A second album, 'My World', was released to equal critical acclaim, and Michael set off to take on the world, seeing his fanbase grow ever larger throughout.
He has been away for a couple years, writing and perfecting his sound, so it is with great anticipation that his brand new album 'Best Of Friends' has arrived. Once again recorded in Ireland, 'Best Of Friends' showcases some of Michael's best vocal piano playing work to date, whilst also showing off his increased capabilities as a songwriter, as, not only as he written the track 'Ireland, My People, My Home', but has also co-written the songs, 'A Best Friend In Heaven' and 'My Piano And Me'.
With an increasingly enthusiastic crowd behind him Michael English's continues to go from strength to strength, and, it would be fair say that, at this highly excitable stage in his life, Michael English really is ready to hit the big time.