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Born: February 12, 1981
Biography (Wikipedia): Lisa Margaret Hannigan (born 12 February 1981) is an Irish singer, songwriter, and musician. She began her musical career as a member of Damien Rice's band. Since beginning her solo career in 2007 she has released three albums: Sea Sew (2008), Passenger (2011), and At Swim (2016). Hannigan's music has received award nominations both in Ireland and the USA. Hannigan is also the voice actor for the character Blue Diamond in Steven Universe, an American animated television series created by Rebecca Sugar and is the voice of "Bronagh" in the 2014 animated film Song of the Sea.
Hannigan was born in Dublin but grew up in Kilcloon, County Meath, Ireland. She attended primary school at Scoil Oilibhéir Naofa in Kilcloon and secondary school at The King's Hospital in Palmerstown where she sang in the choir. She enrolled at Trinity College, Dublin to study Art History.
While still in college, Hannigan met Damien Rice at a concert in Dublin in early 2001. Rice enlisted Hannigan to sing on his 2002 album O and his later album "9,” featured in the hit "9 Crimes.” She toured with Rice as part of his band during that period, lending vocal support and occasionally playing electric guitar, bass guitar or drums.
In 2007, Hannigan returned to Dublin and began a solo career. Some of Hannigan's live recordings were made available through trading networks radio shows. These recordings included: "Willy" by Joni Mitchell, "Be My Husband" by Nina Simone (from the 1965 album Pastel Blues), "Mercedes Benz" by Janis Joplin and "Love Hurts" by Boudleaux Bryant. Hannigan also performed live with her own band, called The Daisy Okell Quartet and contributed guest vocals to the recordings of Mic Christopher, The Frames and Herbie Hancock.
Lisa Hannigan's debut solo album, titled Sea Sew, was rehearsed in a barn in Thomastown and recorded in Dublin before being released in Ireland in September 2008. The lead single, "Lille", was made available as a free Internet download and other tracks were available for preview on her Myspace page. The sleeve featured needle-work by Hannigan. Some music critics called the recording one of the best Irish albums of the year.
Sea Sew received favourable reviews in the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times. The single "Lille" was released in August 2008 on Irish and American radio stations. Hannigan performed at Electric Picnic 2008. Hannigan was the opening act for singer-songwriter Jason Mraz on his U.S. tour in 2008.
That year she appeared on the charity album Even Better Than the Disco Thing and performed a duet of Mick Flannery's new song "Christmas Past" with Flannery on Tony Fenton's Christmas Special on Today FM. In December 2008, she made her UK solo debut at St Johns Church in London. Hannigan signed with ATO Records in the U.S., where her album was released in February 2009. Sea Sew was nominated for the Choice Music Prize and Best Irish Album at the Meteor Music Awards in January 2009.
That year, Hannigan appeared on the American television shows Jay Leno and The Colbert Report. In 2009, Hannigan also appeared on the BBC's Later... with Jools Holland, performing her song "I Don't Know". Sea Sew rose in the UK charts following this appearance and she performed at the Glastonbury 2009 music festival and went on tour later in the year.
Hannigan performed at Electric Picnic 2009. Later in 2009, she toured the United States with David Gray and performed solo shows in New York, Los Angeles and London. She then began a tour of Ireland to finish the year. Hannigan's song "An Ocean and a Rock" was used in a 2009 Irish video supporting same-sex marriage entitled "Sinéad's Hand.” As part of an advertisement campaign for Oxfam's Make Trade Fair, Hannigan was drenched in melted chocolate and she participated in the Irish musical collective The Cake Sale with lead vocal on the track “Some Surprise,” which was played on the US television series Grey's Anatomy. Hannigan also contributed to the 2009 album Sparks n' Mind, released in aid of the Irish mental health charity Aware.
Hannigan recorded her second album, Passenger, at Bryn Derwen Studios in North Wales with producer Joe Henry and engineer Ryan Freeland. The album was released in the US and Canada on 20 September 2011, and on 7 October in Ireland and the UK. Hannigan performed at the Eurosonic Festival in 2012 when Ireland was the "Spotlight Country.”
Hannigan announced that her third album was produced in collaboration with Aaron Dessner, founding member of American Indie rock band The National. The album entitled At Swim was released on 19 August 2016. On 24 May 2016 Hannigan revealed a short teaser in relation to the album's launch. "Prayer For The Dying" and "Ora" are two tracks which have appeared among promotional material in the lead up to the release. Lisa toured Ireland extensively in the lead up to the album release. "Prayer For The Dying" appeared on digital streaming services in June 2016.
The album was positively received by several newspapers, including the Guardian, which awarded it four out of five stars, commenting on Hannigan's "crystal vocals" and the album's "stunningly pretty songs with quietly powerful undertones", and the Evening Standard, which also awarded four out of five stars and mentioned the "new-found accessibility" the album represented. The Telegraph noted the album to be "subtle and gauzy but loaded with emotion,” and calls Hannigan's voice "an incredible instrument, drawing on both opera and folk, with a softness and intimacy.”