It’s no surprise that Daniel O’Donnell is one of the best loved artistes of our time, both at home and abroad. He has had a remarkable career. He is the only artist in the world to score a hit in the UK album charts every year for the last 27 YEARS. In doing so, he has outshone everyone from Michael Jackson and Madonna to U2 and the Rolling Stones.
Daniel has also achieved eight number one hits in the UK music video/dvd charts over that period. He makes regular appearances in the Billboard World Music Chart and has been voted Entertainer Of The Year in Ireland three times - to mention but a few of the many accolades that Daniel has been awarded. And after more than 30 years in the spotlight as an engaging entertainer, he is still in love with performing and with audiences the world
Daniel’s new manager once re-launched Johnny Cash in Ireland!
Daniel’s new manager, Kieran Cavanagh, is no stranger to working with major music stars. He once went to the other end of the earth (almost!) to re-launch the career of Country Legend Johnny Cash in Ireland.
“The first big Country act I ever promoted was Johnny Cash. I was only in my late 20’s when I went over to Nashville on a mission to bring Johnny Cash back to Ireland because I saw that he had not toured there in about ten years. Being a huge Country music fan, I understood a lot about the artists and I felt that Johnny should be touring in my country”.
“But when I got to Nashville, they told me that they only booked him domestically in the US from there and his international bookings had to be done with his manager Lou Robin in Los Angeles. So I had to
high-tail it on another flight to LA and when I arrived, it was the day of the big earthquake there and LA was shut down for two days as a result. I had to sit in my hotel room, through the curfew, before
eventually meeting Johnny’s manager. We made the deal and he came to Ireland and sold out every venue. After that, I brought
him back every two years for another eight years, until, for health reasons he could no
longer tour,” says Kieran.
That success opened doors in Nashville for him to all the major acts, and after that, he promoted stars such as Kenny Rogers (first ever tour of Ireland ) Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Buck Owens, Waylon Jennings, Glen Campbell, Mary Chapin Carpenter,
Alison Krauss, Trisha Yearwood,Crystal Gayle and countless others.
“Once I had successfully promoted Johnny Cash, the agents in the US felt I had cut my teeth in the promotion business and I had a huge flow of American Country talent touring for my company for the following 15 years, until some of them unfortunately passed away, or others were no longer
able to tour due to age or health reasons,” he added.
In 1995 the CMA ( Country Music
association of America ) honoured Kieran with an award for “ European promoter of the year”. The award was presented to
Kieran in Nashville’s Convention Centre by the then president of the CMA Tony Conway. In 1999 Kieran formed and produced a
dance show called ‘Rhythm Of The Dance’ which has since toured in 58 countries worldwide and after more than 17 years, it continues to tour for him in all continents.
But he has worked with Daniel promoting his tours in Ireland for even longer than this, as Kieran explains. “I have been promoting Daniel’s concerts in Ireland for 29 years now, but as a working musician myself in younger
years, I knew Daniel long before I started promoting his concerts. I first met him through a friend of mine, Gerry Reynolds, who played in Margo O’Donnell’s Band when Daniel first started out. I first promoted his concerts in 1988 through Sean Reilly who was his then manager, and when he was moving from the dancing scene to the concerts, I took charge of them and our first outing was a full week of concerts in the Gaiety Theatre
in Dublin.” “That was ambitious in 1988, but we sold it out . After that we did about 15-20 concerts annually during Daniel’s summer tours in Ireland, nearly every year to the present time. Apart from Daniel taking one year
off we have never missed a year. We have also done seasons in the INEC in Killarney and we did the 3Arena or The Point in Dublin, as it was known in the past, first selling it out in 1992, which was a big
achievement then. We have also sold out Christmas shows at The Convention Centre in Dublin in recent years with one of those
also becoming a TV special.”
Kieran says he was honoured and delighted to be asked by both Daniel and Sean Reilly to manage him back in 2015 when Sean
“I had managed some Irish country Artists in the past, but I had been out of managing for some years. I also managed the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis for
two years from 1996-1998”.
“I did three or four months of transition sessions with Sean at his office and his home and he was most gracious with his time in handing over the management
role. It was a bit like a smooth transition at The White House,” says Kieran with a laugh.
“I was in Daniel’s musical family anyway since I started doing the tours with him and I knew how Daniel likes to work and how important the fans are to him. The fans are his number one priority and I’ve always known that he cares greatly about them. I’ve taken that approach too in promoting him over the years, as the fans are the important ones, while I’ve also got involved in the other aspects of his career now, such as the recording side and his ever increasing TV work. It has all worked out well and, similar to a long haul plane on a smooth flight, we have now reached cruising altitude and the climb into the role of his manager is now complete for me..
I was also lucky to get Joan O’Neill, who was in Sean Reilly’s office for 15 years, to move with me into the new set-up. Along with Joan, I also have a wonderful support team in my office with Mary Hamilton, Annemarie Carey, Pat Burke and
Ken Cavanagh.” It is a long time since Kieran got involved in the music business himself shortly after doing his Leaving Certificate examination in 1974, in his native Easky in Co. Sligo.