Damien Rice

Shepparton News - - SNVIEWPOINT -

Happy birth­day to­day to Ir­ish mu­si­cian Damien Rice (1973-) Rice has been called the world’s most re­luc­tant pop star, but there is no deny­ing his star power, when names like Ed Sheeran are die-hard fans. Rice was born in Dublin and brought up south of the city in Cel­bridge. He formed rock band Ju­niper in 1991 along with other Sale­sian Col­lege se­condary school stu­dents. He left the band in 1998, moved to Tus­cany and took up farm­ing, be­fore busk­ing around Europe. In 2001, he re­turned to Ire­land and recorded his first al­bum O, which in­cluded Top 40 sin­gle The Blower’s Daugh­ter. Con­fi­dently, he be­lieved it would sell 1000 copies, in­stead it sold close to two mil­lion. His fol­low-up al­bum 9 reached num­ber four in the UK charts and he went on to play ma­jor fes­ti­vals such as Glas­ton­bury. ‘‘I was on paper earn­ing more money and hav­ing more suc­cess than I’d ever had,’’ Rice said. ‘‘And it was also the most mis­er­able I’ve ever been. When those things col­lided I re­alised some­thing was off. That’s when I started pok­ing around to fig­ure out what was wrong.’’ There were eight years be­tween 9 and his third al­bum My Favourite Faded Fan­tasy, as Rice gave him­self time to pur­pose­fully slip off the radar. But even when he was not in the spot­light, his mu­sic was, with Lit­tle Mix cov­er­ing his song Can­non­ball as their X-Fac­tor de­but sin­gle in 2011. This year, he re­turned with 100 Miles Across The Room, although the song was ac­tu­ally writ­ten 10 years ago dur­ing a project where he trav­elled from Dublin to Barcelona. Across 10 days he chal­lenged him­self to write a new song ev­ery day, with him and his friend turn­ing the car into a por­ta­ble record­ing stu­dio.

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