Brian Edward Patrick Kennedy (born 12 October 1966, Belfast, Northern Ireland) is an Northern Irish singer-songwriter and author, known for his ballads, and has represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006. He is the younger brother of musician Bap Kennedy.


 [hide*1 Personal life

Personal life[edit]Edit

Kennedy was born and grew up on the Falls Road in Belfast. He has described in public the violence of The Troubles, during his childhood and teen years.[1] He once described seeing a young man being chased and then shot dead by a British soldier a few feet away from him. He also would harmonise with police, ambulance and fire engine sirens.[2]

Kennedy came out as gay in 2009.[3] He is a long-term friend of Katharine Sullivan McArdle.[4]

Music career[edit]Edit

Kennedy came to prominence with the masses as one of Van Morrison's backing singers, appearing on a string of recordings including A Night in San FranciscoDays Like ThisThe Healing Game andBack on Top and live in concert, frequently alongside Georgie Fame.[2] He had a minor UK radio airplay hit with the title track from his 2001 album Get on With Your Short Life.

Kennedy was chosen as the Irish competitor for the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest in Athens, where he sang the self-penned "Every Song is a Cry for Love". Kennedy's performance in the contest's semi-finals marked the 1000th song[5] to feature in the history of the Eurovision competition. Following qualification, Kennedy finished tenth in the finals on 20 May, with 93 points.

He performed on the original Secret Garden version of the song "You Raise Me Up", which has been recorded by more than a hundred other artists, such as Josh Groban and Westlife; he also sang this song at the funeral of the footballerGeorge Best.

Kennedy performed at the opening of new studios for his local station Belfast CityBeat in 2006. In July 2008, he joined the judging panel of the Citybeat Young Star Search, Northern Ireland's biggest kids talent search.

On 23 August 2010, Brian Kennedy played a version of 'Christopher Street' on a small Balcony overlooking Dame Street, Dublin for the music viral show BalconyTV.[6]



  • The Great War of Words (1990) – UK No. 64
  • A Better Man (1996) – UK No. 19[7]
  • Now That I Know What I Want (1999)
  • Won't You Take Me Home (2000)
  • Get on With Your Short Life (2001)
  • On Song (2003)
  • Live in Belfast (2004)
  • On Song 2: Red Sails in the Sunset (2005)
  • Homebird (2006)
  • Interpretations (2008)
  • The Very Best Of Brian Kennedy (2010)
  • Voice (2012)
  • A Love Letter To Joni (2013)
  • "Hollow" (1990)
  • "Captured" (1990)
  • "Believe It" (1990)
  • "A Better Man" (1996) – UK No. 28[7]
  • "Life Love And Happiness" (1996) – UK No. 27[7]
  • "Put The Message in the Box" (1997) – World Party cover – UK No. 37[7]
  • "Get on With Your Short Life" (2002)
  • "George Best – A Tribute" (2005) – UK No. 4[7]
  • "If You Don't Believe in Me" (2006)
  • "Destination" (2006)
  • "Every Song Is A Cry For Love" (2006)
  • "Tandeming Ports of MCO" (2013)
Other Songs


In Sweetmouth, Kennedy was joined by Mark Nevin, formerly of Fairground Attraction; their album, Goodbye to Songtown (August 1991), featured the songs written by Nevin for a second Fairground Attractionalbum, which was never realized.


Kennedy was a coach on the first series of The Voice of Ireland.[8]


  • The Arrival of Fergal Flynn (Hodder, 2004), a novel
  • Roman Song (Hodder, 2005), a novel
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