RYAN KELLY - SOLOIST
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 performed alongside hit bands such as Westlife, Girls Aloud and Simply Red at a televised “Children In Need” Charity Concert. He also released his solo debut album In Time in October 2011 to great critical acclaim and won an Irish Music Award that same year. He is also nominated for an Irish Music Award in 2014. Ryan’s love of musical theatre has led him to perform the lead role 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 he has recently completed his first half marathon. 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 as well. He is a lifelong supporter of the Boston Celtics and was in the stands for Game 6 when his Celtics became World Champions in 2008. 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. In 2014 he traveled to Australia with the Mythology tour, performed on the 2nd Celtic Thunder Cruise in the Caribbean and toured the USA with Celtic Thunder Symphony tour in the fall.