The Most Famous Irish Folk Singer: A Ranking of Notable Figures

Choose the singer you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 18, 2024 08:11
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinions matter and your votes make a difference! We're excited to bring you our latest poll - a true celebration of Irish heritage and soul-stirring melodies. It's time to discover the lilting voices that have captured hearts across the world: "Who is the most famous Irish folk singer?" We've shortlisted a stellar lineup of renowned Irish bards, each with their unique blend of timeless stories and enchanting tunes. But we need your help to crown the ultimate Irish folk icon! Cast your vote now, and if you feel like we've missed a deserving candidate, don't hesitate to suggest an option. Together, let's embark on this musical journey through the rolling hills and misty moors of Ireland, where every note echoes with the rich traditions and captivating spirit of the Emerald Isle.

Who Is the Most Famous Irish Folk Singer?

  1. 1
    Luke Kelly
    Pmk58 · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Luke Kelly is known for his powerful and emotive voice, Kelly is considered one of the greatest Irish folk singers of all time. He was a member of The Dubliners, one of Ireland's most iconic folk bands.
  2. 2
    Christy Moore is a solo artist and former member of Planxty, Moore has been a key figure in Irish music for over five decades. His politically charged lyrics and distinctive voice have earned him a loyal following.
    Christy Moore in other rankings
  3. 3
    Sinead O'Connor
    Pymouss · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Sinead O'Connor

    Sinead O'Connor
    Sinead O'Connor - while she may be better known for her pop hits like "Nothing Compares 2 U," O'Connor has also recorded traditional Irish songs and has been an outspoken advocate for Irish culture and independence.
    Sinead O'Connor is a well-known Irish singer-songwriter and musician. She gained international fame in the late 1980s with her album 'The Lion and the Cobra' and her hit single 'Nothing Compares 2 U'. O'Connor is known for her soulful vocals, emotional performances, and her unique blend of rock, folk, and traditional Irish music.
    • Genre: Rock, folk, Irish
    • Years Active: 1986-present
    • Origin: Dublin, Ireland
    • Debut Album: The Lion and the Cobra (1987)
    • Hit Singles: Nothing Compares 2 U, Mandinka, Troy
    Sinead O'Connor in other rankings
  4. 4
    The Clancy Brothers is this family band was a major force in the Irish folk revival of the 1960s, blending traditional songs with their own unique style.
  5. 5
    Mary Black
    MaxPride (talk) · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Mary Black is a contemporary folk singer, Black has a powerful voice and a gift for interpreting traditional songs in a modern context.
    Mary Black in other rankings
  6. 6
    The Chieftains
    Maelor · Public domain
    The Chieftains - while they are primarily known for their instrumental music, The Chieftains have collaborated with many of the biggest names in Irish and international folk music.
    The Chieftains in other rankings
  7. 7
    Planxty is a band that combined traditional Irish music with elements of rock and jazz, Planxty were hugely influential in the Irish music scene of the 1970s.
  8. 8
    Dolores Keane
    Tony 1212 · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Dolores Keane is a singer with a hauntingly beautiful voice, Keane has recorded both traditional and contemporary songs, and has collaborated with many of the biggest names in Irish music.
  9. 9
    The Dubliners - one of the most iconic Irish folk bands of all time, The Dubliners were known for their rousing performances and their ability to bring traditional songs to life.
    The Dubliners is a legendary Irish folk band known for their traditional Irish music and iconic performances. They were formed in 1962 in Dublin, Ireland and have had a profound influence on the Irish music scene. The band's music resonates with the rich cultural heritage and spirit of Ireland, captivating audiences worldwide.
    • Formed: 1962
    • Genres: Irish folk, ballads
    • Origin: Dublin, Ireland
    • Active Years: 1962-2012
    • Notable Members: Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly, Barney McKenna, Ciarán Bourke, John Sheahan
    The Dubliners in other rankings
  10. 10
    Andy Irvine is a singer and multi-instrumentalist who has been a member of both Planxty and Patrick Street, Irvine has a unique voice and a talent for storytelling through song.

Missing your favorite singer?


Ranking factors for famous singer

  1. Cultural significance and impact
    How influential has the singer been in preserving and promoting Irish folk music, and shaping the culture and identity of Ireland and the Irish diaspora?
  2. Musical talent and innovation
    How skilled is the singer as a performer and songwriter, and how have they contributed to the evolution and development of Irish folk music?
  3. Vocal ability and range
    How distinctive and powerful is the singer's voice, and how well do they convey the emotion and spirit of Irish folk songs?
  4. Recording and performance history
    How prolific and successful is the singer in terms of their recorded output, live performances, and collaborations with other artists?
  5. Legacy and longevity
    How enduring is the singer's influence and popularity, and how have they contributed to the ongoing vitality and relevance of Irish folk music?

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous Irish folk singer. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Singer is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 209 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Singer once every 24 hours. The rank of each Singer is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous irish folk singer

Irish folk music has a rich history and has produced some of the most iconic musicians in the world. When it comes to Irish folk singers, there are many talented artists who have made a name for themselves over the years. From the traditional ballads of the past to the contemporary sounds of today, Irish folk music has evolved over time and continues to captivate audiences around the globe. When it comes to the most famous Irish folk singer, there are several names that come to mind. Legends such as The Dubliners, Christy Moore, and Shane MacGowan have all made significant contributions to the genre and have earned their place in Irish music history. Others like Sinead O'Connor and Enya have brought a modern twist to traditional Irish music, gaining international fame and recognition. Despite the diversity of styles and sounds, Irish folk music remains an integral part of Ireland's cultural identity. It continues to inspire new generations of musicians and fans alike, keeping the tradition alive for years to come. So, who is the most famous Irish folk singer? That's up for debate, but one thing is for sure: Irish folk music will always hold a special place in the hearts of music lovers everywhere.

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