You Say It's Your Birthday: Enya and Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor

Today is the birthday of two keyboard maestros, each at

opposite poles of the music industry. Enya, whose given name is the very-Gaelic

Eithne Ni Bhraonain, was born in 1961 in Gweedore, Ireland. Reznor, on the

other hand, was born four years later in 1965 in Mercer, Pennsylvania. While

Enya grew up in a musical family, most of whom went on to form the eclectic

Irish group Clannad (with whom the lily-voiced Enya sang for many years before

embarking on a solo career), Reznor lived an isolated childhood, taking piano

lessons before switching to keyboards and playing in garage bands in his teen

years.

Enya debuted in 1986 with a self-titled record (later re-released

as the soundtrack to a documentary called The Celts), but it wasn't

until 1988's Watermark and an enchanting single, Orinoco Flow,

that she began to gain attention. Her music bridged the gap between

otherworldly Celtic sounds and the ever-fashionable New Age genre. Her third

release, Shepherd Moons, outsold Watermark and went to #17 on the

US charts. Her latest, The Memory of Trees, won a Grammy award for best

New Age album.

Reznor's career was launched in 1989 with the release of

Pretty Hate Machine, an anger-filled open letter to an ex-lover. With

the power of its hit single, "Head Like a Hole," the album has become a classic

of the pre-grunge era. Its depressed, rebellious energy seemed to pave the way

for a genre to come, but Reznor continued to plug along on his own vein,

releasing the Broken and Fixed EPs in 1992 and another

full-length effort, The Downward Spiral, in 1994. Reznor has also

compiled scores for Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers and David

Lynch's Lost Highway, the latter of which spawned a new single for Nine

Inch Nails, "The Perfect Drug." Reznor is currently at work recording his next

album.

Other birthdays: Pervis Jackson (Spinners), Bill Bruford (Yes/King

Crimson/Genesis), George Johnson (Brothers Johnson), Paul Di'Anno (Iron

Maiden), Jordan Knight (NKOTB) and Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo). -- Beth

Winegarner