Dermot Kennedy

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Dermot Kennedy
Birth nameDermot Joseph Kennedy
Born (1991-12-13) 13 December 1991 (age 27)
OriginRathcoole, County Dublin, Ireland
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter
Years active2009–present

Dermot Joseph Kennedy[1] (born 13 December 1991)[2] is an Irish singer-songwriter and musician. He is best known for his 2019 single "Outnumbered". He is signed to Interscope Records,[3][4] and released a collection of previously released songs, Dermot Kennedy, on 4 January 2019 through Riggins Recording Limited. His debut major-label, studio album, Without Fear, was released on 4 October 2019.

Early life and family[edit]

Kennedy grew up in a suburb of Dublin called Crumlin,[5] in County Dublin, Ireland. An avid football fan and player,[6][7][8] Kennedy started playing guitar at age 10, and started songwriting at age 14, however he states that he didn't begin to take music "seriously" until the age of 17.[9] His parents were supportive of his musical study, and he credits his father for frequently driving him into Dublin to perform at open mic nights when he was underage.[10] His mother applied for his position to study classical music at university. He remained at university for three years. He is currently engaged to long time girlfriend, Aisling Finnegan, past winner of the Dublin Rose.


Kennedy developed his sound while busking in multiple cities, including Dublin, Ireland and Boston in the United States.[6]

Several breakthroughs led to him developing an offline following. The most significant of his breakthroughs came in winning a local talent competition. He was the 1st-place winner of The South County Song contest, run by St. Finian's GAA club.[11] The competition, widely recognized as a breeding ground for new talent is frequently attended by many industry professionals looking to find the next new sound.[12] The year Dermot won, he had to beat the reclusive, underground band The Roast Potatoes. The audience wanted the Roast Potatoes to win but the critics gave the victory to Dermot, catapulting him on a trajectory to stardom. One time Dermot was invited to join Glen Hansard on stage. He had previously met Glen busking in Dublin and stayed in touch via text message.[6]

His online viral streaming success was enabled by Spotify Discover Weekly after it was launched in early 2016. For several years, he self-published his material on the platform, and that of his then-band, Shadows and Dust. They have been streamed over 300 million times as of October 2018.

In 2018 and 2019, he toured the United States, Australia and Europe to sold-out audiences. His first festivals were Bonnaroo Music Festival in 2017; Lollapalooza,[13] South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) [14] and Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL)[15] in 2018. He played Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival both weekends in 2019.[16][17] In 2018, he was voted by listeners as NPR Slingshot's Best New Artist of The Year,[18] appeared on NPR's Music Tiny Desk Concert in a 14-minute live acoustic session,[19] on WGBH's Fraser performance studio in a 20-minute live session.[20] He made the BBC's Sound of 2019 Longlist.[21] As of June 7, 2019, his single "Power Over Me" is the best-selling Irish Homegrown song according to Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) and Irish Official Charts.[22]

Style and influences[edit]

GQ magazine described Kennedy as a "singer with a rich, reverbant voice, [with] epically emotive songwriting skills (think Ed Sheeran, but darker, more melancholy)."[5] The New York Times, of his 2018 SXSW performance, said he has "a grainy, melancholy voice that can crest with a howling rasp..."[23]

He cites Ray LaMontagne, David Gray, Damien Rice and Glen Hansard as inspirations for his folk style. His recent work has included hip-hop influences, reflected notably in his collaborative work with Mike Dean on the EP Mike Dean Presents: Dermot Kennedy, which Kennedy has also described as a "mix tape".[13][24]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Sales

Without Fear
  • Released: 4 October 2019[35]
  • Label: Island (UK), Interscope (US)
  • Formats: CD, vinyl, cassette, digital download, streaming
37 10 11 11 27 23 48 1 18

Compilation albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
Dermot Kennedy[38] 4


  • 2017: Doves & Ravens
  • 2018: Mike Dean Presents: Dermot Kennedy


Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album




"An Evening I Will Not Forget"[A] 2015 Dermot Kennedy
"Shelter" 2016
"After Rain"
"Moments Passed"[B] 2017 79
"Young & Free" 2018 82
"Power Over Me"[C] 10 10 73 88 21 5
"For Island Fires and Family" 2019 36
"Lost" 26 45 Without Fear
"Outnumbered"[44] 2 8 32 6 8 9

Other charted songs[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Glory"[D] 2019 84 Dermot Kennedy
"All My Friends" 89 Without Fear
"What Have I Done" 6
"Rome" 5


  1. ^ "An Evening I Will Not Forget" also appears on Without Fear and the Mike Dean Presents: Dermot Kennedy EP.
  2. ^ "Moments Passed" also appears on Without Fear and the Mike Dean Presents: Dermot Kennedy EP.
  3. ^ "Power Over Me" also appears on Without Fear.
  4. ^ "Glory" also appears on Doves & Ravens - EP


  1. ^ "Shelter lyrics - Dermot Kennedy". Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  2. ^ "Dermot Kennedy on Instagram: "Yesterday was my birthday, and so today I've been thinking about this year and everything that's happened. I've toured the world multiple..."". Instagram. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  3. ^ "Dermott Kennedy Artist Bio". Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  4. ^ Henry, Keryce Chelsi. "Acoustic Singer Dermot Kennedy On His Hip-Hop And 'Def Poetry Jam' Inspirations". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  5. ^ a b Johnston, Kathleen. "Could Dermot Kennedy be Ireland's answer to Ed Sheeran?". British GQ. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  6. ^ a b c "Dermot Kennedy busks his way from Dublin streets to the mainstream". RIFF Magazine. 2018-10-29. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  7. ^ Kennedy, Dermot (2016-06-07). "Crumlin United. What a club..last game tonight to wrap up the league for the 4th year in a row. Love it". @dermotkennedy. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  8. ^ "Crumlin United Football Club Official". Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  9. ^ "YouTube Music's Dermot Kennedy on FaceTiming Travis Scott". Metro. 2018-12-21. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  10. ^ "Dermot Kennedy, NPR Slingshot's Best New Artist". Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  11. ^ "St Finians GAA Newcastle". St Finians GAA Newcastle. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  12. ^ "South County Song Contest". Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  13. ^ a b "Dermot Kennedy On Mike Dean Collaboration". 2018-09-11. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  14. ^ "Dermot Kennedy On World Cafe". Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  15. ^ Austin City Limits Radio, 93 Seconds with Dermot Kennedy [Interview] | Austin City Limits Radio, retrieved 2019-01-18
  16. ^ emicom666 (2019-04-27), Dermot Kennedy (live) @ Gobi stage Coachella Palm Springs Los Angeles USA 21 April 2019, retrieved 2019-05-22
  17. ^ "Dermot Kennedy to play 'dream come true' Coachella gig". RTÉ.ie. 2019-01-03.
  18. ^ "Dermot Kennedy, NPR Slingshot's Best New Artist". 17 December 2018. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  19. ^ "Dermot Kennedy: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert". 31 August 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Dermot Kennedy – live in studio". WGBH Music. 4 September 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  21. ^ "BBC - Sound of 2019 Live". BBC. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  22. ^ Charts, Official Irish (2019-05-31). "To celebrate the launch of the new Irish Homegrown Top 20 chart, we've revealed Ireland's biggest homegrown songs of 2019 so far - @DermotKennedy tops the list with Power Over Me". @irishcharts. Retrieved 2019-06-08. External link in |title= (help)
  23. ^ Pareles, Jon (2018-03-18). "South by Southwest Music Festival: 17 Acts That Stood Out". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  24. ^ "You Should Know... Dermot Kennedy". Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  25. ^ a b c d "Discography Dermot Kennedy". Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  26. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 14 October 2019. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  27. ^ a b "Discographie Dermot Kennedy". Ultratop. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  28. ^ "City and Colour, Les Cowboys Fringants' Debut At #s 1 and 3". FYIMusicNews. 14 October 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  29. ^ "Discographie von Dermot Kennedy". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  30. ^ "Discografie Dermot Kennedy". Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  31. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 14 October 2019. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  32. ^ "Veckolista Album, vecka 41". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  33. ^ a b c d "DERMOT KENNEDY - full Official Chart History". Official Charts. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  34. ^ @billboardcharts (14 October 2019). "Debuts on this week's #Billboard200 (1/3)" (Tweet). Retrieved 15 October 2019 – via Twitter.
  35. ^ "Dermot Kennedy on Instagram: "Hey guys, Bit of an announcement to make. My debut album is being pushed back by one week until October 4th. No big drama, just something..."". Retrieved 2019-09-11 – via Instagram.
  36. ^ a b "IRMA – Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  37. ^ "Dermot Kennedy scores Ireland's fastest-selling album of 2019". Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  38. ^ "Dermot Kennedy on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved 2019-09-06.
  39. ^ " - Discographie Dermot Kennedy". Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  40. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 12 August 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  41. ^ "Hot Rock Songs: Week of March 30, 2019". Billboard. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  42. ^ "Adult Alternative Songs: Week of 12 April 2019". Billboard. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  43. ^ "Gold/Platinum". Music Canada. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  44. ^ "IRMA – Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  45. ^ "British single certifications – Dermoy Kennedy". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 27 September 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Type Dermoy Kennedy in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  46. ^ "IRMA – Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 12 October 2019.

External links[edit]