Celtic Thunder fans the world over are in mourning today after hearing the announcement that the principal singer of the internationally successful singing group, George Donaldson, passed away this past Wednesday March 12 at his home in Scotland. It has been reported that the cause behind his death was from a massive heart attack. Donaldson was a self-taught musician who joined the group nearly seven years ago after he performed for producer Sharon Browne. He had been considered the group’s principal singer ever since that time and was one of the original members.
Donaldson was also remembered as a talented guitar and flute player whose deep love of Celtic music came to him from his late father Bernard. George had stated that one of his utmost achievements in life was getting to play for the elder Donaldson at the Celtics opening football match back at the beginning of the 2000 season at Celtic Park which is also located in Scotland.
Although George’s inspirations came mostly from his homeland, he also found much appreciation in different sources and styles of music. At one time, on his personal website, there had been a paragraph or two written that stated he had a great love and affection for meeting people all around the world. He loved to find out what their life stories were and he enjoyed talking with them. He believed there was a song in everybody that he met. On George’s numerous musical journeys all around Europe he found that he had a great affection for Germany, the culture and also the people living there. While he spent many nights there in discussions with the locals after shows were over, he had found himself becoming an eternal struggling student trying to learn the German language.
Donaldson helped take Celtic Thunder to international fame. The group had sold-out shows all over Europe, and the United States. They had played in venues such as the St. Patrick’s Day parades in New York City, Chicago and Boston. The group had also performed for the President and First Lady Michelle Obama at one of the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations which were held at the White House.
However, George’s work was not restricted to only Celtic Thunder. He also had an extremely successful solo career and had won numerous Irish Music Awards in both 2011 and also 2012. When the news of his death hit the Internet, fans from around the world were at first stunned and grief-strickened, but then began to show an outburst of support and sympathy toward his family.
Donaldson was in the midst of making plans to join the rest of Celtic Thunder in a tour of Australia in May. That was something he was very excited about and was looking forward to. Because of this, Celtic Thunder has decided to respect their principal singer’s wishes and will go forward with their pledge to tour Australia. Celtic Thunder will be paying homage all through the tour to George with their fans as they do the tour. They acknowledge it will be the hardest thing any of them have ever done but know that Donaldson would want them to go on.
George leaves behind a wife, Carolyn, and also one daughter, Sarah, age 13.
Celtic Thunder fans the world over are in mourning after hearing the announcement that the lead singer of the internationally successful singing group, George Donaldson, died this past Wednesday March 12 at his home in Glasgow, Scotland.
By Kimberly Ruble