RYAN KELLYSOLO ARTIST
Ryan comes from The Moy in Co. Tyrone in Northern Ireland. Although he studied accountancy at Queens University, Belfast and is a qualified Chartered Accountant by trade, music and theater have always been Ryan’s true passion. He first began singing in public at the age of seven and has won many accolades and awards for his performances, including SCOR 2007, a national Irish Singing Competition and the BBC’s “Country Cool” competition in 2003. In his solo career, Ryan has released two World Billboard chart-topping self-penned solo albums, “In Time” in October 2011 and “Life” in December 2013 to great critical acclaim and has won several Irish Music Awards – including “Top Solo Performer in a Concert” in 2011 and 2014. Ryan’s love of musical theatre has led him to perform the lead role of Mickey in the Willie Russell musical “Blood Brothers” and the role of Judas Iscariot in “Jesus Christ Superstar”.
Ryan is a fanatical sports fan and has played Gaelic football and basketball at national level. When he’s not on the road, Ryan can still be found training with his local GAA football club and playing basketball as often as possible. He is also an avid runner, he spends his mornings on tour running through different cities and has completed several 10Ks and half marathons. Regardless of whether he is out on the road touring, or at home in The Moy, Ryan can usually be found catching up on his favorite sports on television and online. He is a lifelong supporter of the Boston Celtics. He mentions the opportunity to stand alongside his Celtic Thunder cast mates in TD Garden in Boston and sing the US National Anthem at the opening of a Celtics game as one of the highlights of his Celtic Thunder journey so far.
One of the original members of Celtic Thunder, Ryan was between banking jobs when his brother told him about the audition for “an Irish touring band of America”. Celtic Thunder Producer Sharon Browne was looking for someone who could “sing like they had a mean streak” and when Ryan sang as Judas Iscariot from Jesus Christ Superstar, it all came together. Ryan’s love for drama made him the perfect pick for the role of the “rogue” or “Dark Destroyer” in Celtic Thunder Shows. Celtic Thunder fans enthusiasm for his performances ensure that he enjoys every moment onstage – “It’s clichéd, but music is my life. It’s what makes me happy and I feel blessed to be able to call this my job.”
Ryan has toured the US, Canada and Australia with Celtic Thunder since 2008. 2016 saw is his fourth tour “Down Under” with Celtic Thunder and also toured the country twice with Neil Byrne with their acoustic “Byrne and Kelly” shows. He notes that Australia will always have a special meaning for him as his aunt and uncle emigrated to Newcastle, New South Wales over fifty years ago and made Australia their home ever since. “It’s great to be able to come out here and sing songs that I’ve grown up singing from home to a lot of people who have strong connections to Ireland and its culture – including my own family.”
Ryan also featured in Celtic Thunder’s 72 North American LEGACY Tour in Fall 2016, the Celtic Thunder 10th Anniversary Cruise out of Miami Nov 6th-11th 2017 followed by the 2017 Symphony Tour.
2018 is looking to be a big year for Ryan, starting off with his Byrne & Kelly world tour followed by the much anticipated Celtic Thunder 10th Anniversary show aptly named Celtic Thunder ‘X’.
Celtic Thunder ‘X’ will be released March 2nd and will be aired throughout the USA on PBS. Followed by a 75 city tour of the US and Canada.