On-Air Highlights

Celtic Thunder Announces the Passing of Principal Singer George Donaldson

Written by Celtic Thunder | Mar 18, 2014 12:56 PM
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Photo by Celtic Thunder

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

Celtic Thunder request that their fans respect the family’s devastation and privacy at this time and restrict their comments and messages for the family to the website here - http://bit.ly/O7zfbk

Information regarding changes to future tour dates has not been released.

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Comments: 7

  • Zina Wiegand img 2014-03-20 19:44

    I am so sorry to get the news of George's passing. I never had the honor of meeting him in person, but having the chance to listen to his music was an honor all it's own. I always watch Celtic Thunder when it is on PBS, along with my daughter and 1 year old granddaughter. They are all great, but George was secretly my favorite. May God be with you all in this time of great sadness. My prayers are with George's family as well as his music family. Peace be with you all.

  • sandra-mel img 2014-03-20 21:30

    What a great lost to the family and little girl who will never see her father again ,and the boys of Celtic thunder. George is now the principal singer in a higher group now and will sing for always. we will always have the great memories that he has left behind.

  • Regina Zagaria img 2014-03-31 19:09

    we all love celtic thunder I went to concert at westbury there r no words how moving and beautiful it was Georege was an inspiration to all I love "My boy" all of them he will be missed so much and never forgotten and our prayers are with his daughter and wife thank you for everything you gave us

  • Regina Zagaria img 2014-03-31 19:13

    we saw celtiv thunder at westbury ny it was so inspirational George will be so missed and I loved "My Boy" he was everything and more and our prayers are with his wife and daughter and he will never b forgotton and thank him for everything he gave us

  • Sherrie Code img 2014-04-05 21:40

    I am so saddened to hear about George. He had a beautiful voice. He will be missed by many. My heartfelt sympathy to all his family especially his wife and daughter. Also to his friends and his colleagues; my heart goes out to them as well.

  • Sherrie Code img 2014-04-05 21:42

    I am so saddened to hear about George. He had a beautiful voice. He will be missed by many. My heartfelt sympathy to all his family especially his wife and daughter. Also to his friends and his colleagues; my heart goes out to them as well.

  • Sherrie Code img 2014-04-05 21:47

    I am saddened by the passing of George. My heartfelt sympathy to his family especially his wife and daughter. Also my heart goes out to his colleagues. George will be missed greatly by all who ever knew him or heard him sing.