Born in 1989 in Dublin, Ireland, to parents who were accomplished musicians, Agnew got her big break at age 11 recording the song “This Holy Christmas Night” with David Downes, later co-founder and musical director of Celtic Woman, for a charity to aid the children of Afghanistan.
At 12 she was signed to a recording contract and made her first album, titled “Chloe.” Her second album, “Chloe: Walking in the Air” followed in 2004, and shortly after its release she became a part of Celtic Woman.
What was meant to be a one-night concert performance by Celtic Woman has blossomed into a well-established career that includes several best-selling albums and PBS specials/DVDs, singing for three U.S. presidents, sold-out concerts around the globe, as well as a devoted following of fans who have helped the group earn Billboard Magazine's World Music Artist of the Year award on seven occasions.
Celtic Woman has earned a place as one of the top-selling world music acts and has toured extensively in the U.S., which, along with the exposure on PBS, has garnered the group a special place in the hearts of American fans.
While every tour Celtic Woman has done has been well-received by fans, Agnew says this current show has added some new twists and old favorites that have been getting great responses from audiences.
“We've changed things up a little bit and introduced some new elements, which we've never really experimented before with Celtic Woman,” Agnew said in a telephone interview.
The lineup includes classic Irish songs such as “Orinoco Flow,” “You Raise Me Up” and “She Moved Thru' the Fair.”
“If anyone has seen it before they'll know that there's absolutely something there for everyone,” Agnew said.“We kind of hope that when we see people come into the theater and they lose themselves in this music and they really just let go of their worries and their troubles ... if we can make people leave feeling better than when they came into the theater then that's our job done well,” she said.
A high point in Agnew's career with Celtic Woman came this past New Year's when the group played a show before an audience of more than 1 billion in Beijing. Agnew says it was a huge honor to participate, but it was nerve-wracking as well.
Agnew, a multitalented performer who studies piano, guitar and recorder and sings not only in English but also in Irish, Latin, Italian and German, says that with all the success Celtic Woman has achieved one of the things she enjoys most is the friendships that she's developed with her fellow performers.
“To me the most important things I've gotten out of Celtic Woman are certainly the friendships that I've made. And the very special familylike relationships we've made with each other here on the road. It's really, really special because we spend so much time with each other.”
Celtic WomanWhat: An all-female Irish musical ensemble performs in concert.
When: 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: Embassy Theatre, 121 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Cost: $42, $62, $102; tickets are available at the Embassy Theatre box office 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000.
Audio interview with Chloe Agnew of Celtic Woman