The Chieftains Leader Paddy Moloney Dead At 83

The Chieftains Leader Paddy Moloney Dead At 83

Irish musician Paddy Moloney, who co-founded the Grammy-winning traditional folk act the Chieftains, has died. He was 83.

The Irish Traditional Music Archive confirmed the news, writing that Moloney “made an enormous contribution to Irish traditional music, song and dance … Few people can lay claim to having the level of impact Paddy Moloney had on the vibrancy of traditional music throughout the world. What a wonderful musical legacy he has left us.” No cause of death was given at this time.

The band also left a note paying tribute to Moloney on Instagram, where they captioned, “The Chieftains’ family mourns the loss of our Paddy Moloney. Paddy had so much more music to share and stories to tell. We were lucky we had him for as long as we did.”

The Chieftains formed in 1962 with Sean Potts, Michael Tubridy, and Moloney, who played traditional Irish instruments such as the uilleann pipes and bodhrán. Eventually, the group signed to Island Records and would go on to earn 18 Grammy nominations (winning six trophies in total) and collaborating with major contemporary musicians like Mick Jagger and Luciano Pavarotti. The band also contributed to a number of well-known film soundtracks, including Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon and Martin Scorsese’s Gangs Of New York.

Throughout his career, Moloney toured and recorded for nearly six decades as the only remaining original band member. The Chieftains had planned an “Irish Goodbye” tour in 2020, but it was ultimately postponed “until further notice” due to COVID-19. “The health and safety for everyone involved is our greatest priority and we urge everyone to follow the guidelines and recommended protocols put forth by public health officials,” the band wrote.

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