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The Chieftains

The Chieftains are a Grammy-winning Irish musical group founded in 1962, best known for being the first band to make Irish traditional music popular around the world.

The band's name came from the book Death of a Chieftain by Irish author John Montague.

The word chieftain itself derives from the English language translation of the Irish Gaelic word taoiseach, meaning a clan chief or leader.

Some historians suggest that in ancient Ireland (whence these terms originate), a taoiseach was a minor king.

Assisted early on by Garech Browne, they signed with his company Claddagh Records.

They needed financial success abroad, and succeeded in this, as within a few years their third album's sleeve note section was printed in three languages.

The band has recorded many albums of instrumental Irish folk music, as well as multiple collaborations with popular musicians of many genres, including Country music, Galician traditional music, Cape Breton and Newfoundland music, and rock and roll.

They have performed with Carlos Núñez, Van Morrison, Moya Brennan, Mark Knopfler, Loreena McKennitt, Mick Jagger, Elvis Costello, Roger Daltrey, Nanci Griffith, Tom Jones, Sinéad O'Connor, James Galway, The Corrs, Art Garfunkel, Sting, Rosanne Cash, Jim White, Tom Partington, Ziggy Marley, Lyle Lovett, Jackson Browne, and numerous Country-western artists.

In May 1986 they performed at Self Aid, a benefit concert held in Dublin that focused on the problem of chronic unemployment which was widespread in Ireland at that time.

In 1994 they appeared in Roger Daltrey's production, album and video of A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who.

The group have won six Grammy Awards and have been nominated eighteen times.

They have also won an Emmy and a Genie and contributed a couple of tracks, including their highly-praised version of the song Women of Ireland, to Leonard Rosenman's Oscar-winning score for Stanley Kubrick's 1975 film Barry Lyndon.

In 2002 they were given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the UK's BBC Radio 2.

Two of their singles have been minor hits.

Have I Told You Lately reached number 71 in 1995.

I Know My Love (credited to The Chieftains featuring The Corrs) reached number 37 in 2002.

The front covers of the first four albums were designed by Edward Delaney.

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