COUNTRY music legend Daniel O’Donnell has lifted the lid on his retirement plans.
The Donegal singer, 60, told how he was grateful for the life he’s had so far and would count himself lucky to live as long as his beloved mum, who died aged 95.
Daniel has seen massive success throughout his years on stage and was recently the star of a brand new documentary, Daniel at 60, which aired on RTE One in December.
Speaking about his career, the crooner – who released a new album called 60 – said: “I do enjoy it and I think as long as other people enjoy it, and as long as I feel I am able to do it, I will.
“I think the important thing is not to outstay your welcome.
“You know, there will be a time for whatever reason the time is right not to be out there. And I really do want to recognise that, and I will.”
Daniel told the Mirror that his life turned out better than he’d hoped and he feels very “fortunate” to have had the experiences he did.
After celebrating a milestone birthday, the singer said: “You know you are aware that you are 60 and thinking about all you have been allowed to do but I don’t think, ‘God I am running out of time’.
“There’s lots to do and I think, ‘God, my mother lived until 95’, and I think if I’m here another 35 years it will be super.”
With millions of albums sold, dozens of unforgettable music videos and several awards under his belt, it’s easy to forget Daniel came from a modest background.
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Born the youngest of four children in Kincasslagh, Co Donegal, his father Francie passed away when he was just six, leaving his impoverished mother to raise the family alone.
As a youngster, Daniel performed in a local choir, but it was never more than a hobby.
After leaving school, he was intent on forging a career in banking so moved to Galway to study business. But when Daniel joined his sister Margo’s band, he found his true calling — singing a mix of country and Irish folk music.
Fed up of not getting enough mic time however, Daniel decided to go out on his own and in 1983, he travelled to Scotland to perform solo.
Daniel then recorded his first single, Johnny McCauley’s My Donegal Shore, using his own money and followed that up with his first album, The Boy From Donegal in 1984. In 1985, the manager of the Ritz label, Mick Clerkin, saw him perform and introduced him to Sean Reilly, who remains as his manager to this day.
His solo career took off under the management of Reilly and he soon became a household name.
Rocking a mini-mullet and an array of pastel sweaters at the time, Daniel won over the hearts of middle-aged ‘mammies’ and went on to sell over ten million records.
He also became the first singer to have a different album in the British charts every year for 34 consecutive years.
He has since amassed 40 Top 40 albums, including 18 top ten albums, with 16 of them this century – a feat no other artist has ever managed to achieve.