Enya

Eithne Ni Bhraonain, better known as Enya, was born 37 years ago today

in Gweedore, Ireland, to musician parents. Enya's lilting New Age albums

have sold millions despite her almost complete lack of self-promotion.

She is one of the biggest-selling musical artists in the world today.

Enya was classically trained on the piano as a youth and used this to

her advantage in Clannad, a band -- composed of some of her siblings -- in

which she was a member in the

early '80s. After two years in the band, Enya departed to compose music

for "The Celts," a BBC-TV

documentary, with producer Nicky Ryan and lyricist Roma Ryan. The

soundtrack for the series, which was released in 1986 as Enya's debut

album, resulted in her being signed by WEA, where she continued to work

with the Ryans to make 1988's Watermark. That album featured Enya's

folk melodies and classical motifs, highlighted by Celtic-tinged

synthesizers. With its unique music, coupled with Enya's

multi-tracked, hypnotic vocals, Watermark sold 4 million copies

worldwide and made her an international phenomenon. The album's first

single,

HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Enya/Orinoco_Flow.ram">"Orinoco

Flow" (RealAudio excerpt), hit the top of the U.K. charts and made a

big

impression in the U.S.

Following this massive success, Enya made an

appearance on Sinead O'Connor's hit album I Do Not Want

What I Haven't Got (1990). Enya's next album, Shepherd

Moons, wasn't released until 1991, but her fans were ready with open

arms. It debuted in the U.S. in the top 20 and went on to sell more

than 10 million copies globally. She then spent four years working on

her next album, Memory of Trees, which was issued at the tail end

of 1995. Though the music hardly changed from her previous efforts,

Enya still continued to be a potent commercial force. In 1997, she released

a best-of compilation, Paint The Sky With Stars. A limited-edition

box set, A Box of Dreams, was also released in 1997 in the U.K.

Other birthdays: Bill Bruford (Yes/King Crimson/Genesis), 50; George

Johnson (Brothers Johnson), 45; Paul Di'Anno (Iron Maiden), 39; Dave

Abbruzzese (ex-Pearl Jam), 34; and Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), 33.