Mickey Joe Harte
|Birth name||Michael Joseph Harte|
|Also known as||MJ|
Lifford, County Donegal, Ireland
|Years active||1993 – present|
|Labels||Swerve Music Ltd.|
Michael Joseph "Mickey Joe" Harte (born 1973), now simply known as Mickey Harte, is an Irish singer-songwriter. Known internationally as a representative of Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest, he has been composing his own music since he was a teenager. He is married and has children.
Harte hails from Lifford, County Donegal. As a teenager during the 1980s Harte had an epiphany - "Because the moment I lifted a guitar and wrote my first song I knew I was creative", he has said. He started playing guitar at the age of 13. His first song, called "Candlelight", was inspired by Operation Desert Storm, the 1991 U.S invasion of Iraq. He later paid for the recording of his first extended play (EP). His mother, a poet, has had her work set to music by her son.
By the mid-1990s Harte, as with countless Irish musicians, was utterly disillusioned by the progress of Boyzone and Louis Walsh in "turn[ing] Ireland more into a country for boy bands". He has described this difficult period, "Yet at times like that I felt I'd never get a break and was desperate because during the boy band era no one wanted singer-songwriters. It would have helped if, say Boyzone, had recorded songs by Irish songwriters, but most of their songs were written by songwriters from abroad, so we didn't even get a chance to have a song covered. If I had, that certainly would have paid the mortgage for a few years! Although, at first, like most Irish singer-songwriters I was totally anti-boy bands until I realised we had to try and work our way through it".
After years of struggle, Harte entered the Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) television show You're a Star. The show set records for Irish TV ratings over the period of November 2002 to March 2003 and Harte came out on top, earning the opportunity to represent Ireland at Eurovision Song Contest 2003 in Riga. In Riga he performed "We've Got the World" (written by Martin Brannigan and Keith Molloy). He finished in a respectable eleventh place in the competition. "We've Got the World" reached number one on the Irish Singles Chart.
In 2003, Harte recorded a cover version of Beyoncé Knowles's "Crazy In Love" for Even Better than the Real Thing Vol. 1, and in 2004 a cover version of Eamon's "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)" (albeit without the "Fuck It" part).
In 2006, Harte released his second studio album, Live and Learn.
He performed at Croke Park during half-time in the 2012 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final between Cork and Donegal. After Donegal won the Sam Maguire Cup the next month, he performed at their homecoming in Donegal.
Harte recorded an interview with the Irish podcasting site "Podcasts.ie" on 29 January 2012 in Ballina. The session will be followed in the coming days by exclusive, unplugged versions of some of his most popular self-penned songs. The podcasts can be found here.
Harte is married to Louise. The couple have four children: Kaleigh, Kyle, Ceola and Christian.
- Jackson, Joe (10 September 2006). "Mickey has lived and learnt". Sunday Independent (Independent News & Media). Retrieved 10 September 2006.
- Barclay, Simon. Eurovision Song Contest - The Complete & Independent Guide 2010. Simon Barclay. pp. 116–. ISBN 978-1-4457-8415-1. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
- "Celebrities". Celebrities Go Wild (Raidió Teilifís Éireann).
|Awards and achievements|
with "Without Your Love"
|Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest
with "If My World Stopped Turning"
|Winner of You're a Star