Ever since she first appeared as a solo artiste on the music scene in the early 1990s, best-selling Irish singer Frances Black has enjoyed an enduring popularity that is as much attributable to her enchanting personality as to her beautiful voice. When she walks into a room or onto a stage, she radiates a blend of warmth, humour, self-deprecation and emotional honesty that illuminates her surroundings.
Frances was born in Dublin and her musical career began at 17, when she began singing with the Black Family; which consisted of her older musical siblings, brothers Shay, Michael and Martin, and sister Mary, a very well-known singer in her own right.
She gained confidence in her singing abilities and enhanced her performing skills through joining the band Arcady in 1988, in addition to her subsequent successful collaboration with acclaimed Newry singer-songwriter Kieran Goss. However, it was her involvement in the “Woman's Heart” albums and tours that placed Frances firmly in the public eye, and led to the release of her first solo album, “Talk to Me,” which was the number one best-selling album in Ireland for ten weeks.
Frances has since released seven best-selling solo albums, including her critically acclaimed newly released album “How High the Moon,” a wonderful tapestry of beautiful melodies and stirring lyrics all delivered with huge passion and feeling. “This album is really special to me and all of the songs on it are very personal to me and to where I am at this stage of my life” she reveals. She also made her debut as a songwriter on two tracks on this album in collaboration with renowned Irish singer-songwriter Don Mescall.
The extent of Frances’s popularity and talent has been reflected in the awards and accolades she has received for her albums and live performances. She has twice been the recipient of one of the highest honours in Irish music, the prestigious Irish Recorded Music Association’s, Best Irish Female Award.
It is quite a challenge to reconcile the vision of this charming and confident performer on stage with the knowledge that she has fought a huge personal battle to overcome the shyness and insecurity that were the hallmarks of her childhood and early adulthood. Frances sings with a passion and depth of emotion that reflects the inner strength and spirit that has helped her come through a series of personal difficulties, including alcohol addiction. She recently embarked on a college course to become an addiction counsellor, in the hope that she can use her past experiences to help others struggling with addiction.
It is vitally important to Frances to connect with her audience during a performance, and the ease with which she achieves this is borne out by the reaction of audiences worldwide. She may be petite and ethereal-looking on stage, but all of her songs are delivered with an enormous amount of passion and emotion. It is this amazing connection and honest communication with her audience that led to Frances being bestowed with a National Entertainment ”Personality of the Year” Award.
Frances and the Black Family recently made a welcome return to the spotlight with the release of their long-awaited third album, “Our Time Together,” which showcases their sublime musical abilities and amazing harmonies.
Frances Black has been one of Ireland’s best-loved and most talented vocalists for the past decade and the extent of her popularity will ensure that she remains so for many years to come. With tours already planned in Holland, Scotland and England, as well as a series of concert dates in Ireland and other countries, this very successful singer looks set to have a very busy and successful 2005.
You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.
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