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Ronnie Drew - Musician, Singer and Actor

Ronnie Drew (1934-2008) was an Irish folk musician, singer, and actor, best known as the founding member of the iconic Irish folk band The Dubliners. Born in Dublin, Ireland, on September 16, 1934, as Joseph Ronald Drew, he grew up in a working-class family. Drew's passion for music, particularly traditional Irish folk songs, was evident from an early age.

In the late 1950s, Drew began playing music with Luke Kelly, Ciarán Bourke, and Barney McKenna. The group initially formed as a duo between Drew and Kelly, but they soon expanded, and in 1962, they officially became The Dubliners. The band's name was inspired by James Joyce's collection of short stories, "Dubliners," reflecting their deep connection to their hometown.

The Dubliners achieved both national and international acclaim during their career, which spanned over five decades. They were known for their lively performances, raw talent, and commitment to preserving Irish culture and tradition. With Ronnie Drew's unmistakable gravelly voice and distinctive beard, he became the face of the band, contributing to its unique sound and unmistakable presence.

The band's repertoire included traditional Irish songs, ballads, and instrumentals. They were known for their powerful storytelling and ability to captivate audiences, which earned them a loyal following. Some of their most famous songs include "Whiskey in the Jar," "The Wild Rover," "Seven Drunken Nights," and "The Auld Triangle."

Ronnie Drew left The Dubliners in 1974 to pursue a solo career, although he would later rejoin the group in 1979. During his solo years, Drew released several albums and worked on various projects, including collaborations with other musicians, acting roles in film and television, and even a stint as a voice-over artist. He left The Dubliners for the second time in 1995 but continued to perform and record music independently.

Drew's contributions to Irish culture and music were widely recognised, and he was held in high regard by fellow musicians and fans alike. He collaborated with several well-known Irish artists, such as Christy Moore, The Pogues, and U2. In 2008, several Irish musicians, including Bono, Sinéad O'Connor, and Shane MacGowan, came together to record a tribute song titled "The Ballad of Ronnie Drew," with proceeds going to the Irish Cancer Society.

In 2006, Ronnie Drew was diagnosed with throat cancer, which ultimately claimed his life on August 16, 2008. Despite his passing, Drew's legacy and the impact of The Dubliners on Irish music and culture remain strong. His distinctive voice and passion for traditional Irish music have left a lasting impression on generations of fans and musicians, ensuring that his memory and contributions to the world of music will not be forgotten.

Information on the origin of the Drew Surname.

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