Celtic Thunder Announces the Passing of Principle Singer George Donaldson
Celtic Thunder is deeply saddened to announce the loss of principal singer George Donaldson, who passed away Wednesday, 12th March 2014, at his home in Glasgow, Scotland. The cause of death was a massive heart attack. Born 1st February 1968, Donaldson was 46 years old. His wife, Carolyn, and his daughter, Sarah, 13, who he described as the “light of my life,” survive him.
Born and raised in Glasgow, George Donaldson was a self-taught musician, accomplished on both guitar and flute, with a lifelong passion for Celtic music inspired by his late father Bernard. One of George’s greatest thrills was performing for his Dad – and 65,000 other fans – at the Celtics opening match of the 2000 season at Celtic Park in Glasgow.
Donaldson joined Celtic Thunder in 2007 after auditioning for the show’s producer Sharon Browne and was invaluable in helping to establish the show’s trademark celebration of Irish and Scottish heritage. Known in Celtic Thunder as the “steadfast” one, Donaldson carried the distinction of being the sole Scotsman in the show, as well as the only married family man of the group. He appeared in all nine Celtic Thunder concert specials and on all of the show’s CDs and DVDs released to date, the most recent being last year’s Mythology. A hugely successful touring act, Donaldson and Celtic Thunder performed to rapturous audiences around the world, with highlights including St. Patrick’s Day parades in Chicago, Boston, and New York City, as well as President and Mrs. Obama’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the White House.
In addition to his beloved work with Celtic Thunder, Donaldson was a well-established artist in his own right, acclaimed as one of the finest singer/songwriters in the ever-vibrant Glasgow folk scene. He won the Irish Music Awards in both 2011 and 2012. His first solo CD, entitled The White Rose, was released to critical acclaim in 2011, as was last year’s follow-up, The World In My Mind.