Enya has one of the most well-known voices in the world but she never performs live. Here’s why

Irish singer Enya’s career began as a Celtic musician in the folk band Clannad.

Then, in the early ’80s, Enya – who was born Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin – left the band to become a solo artist.

And what a solo career it was!

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After her debut album Enya, the singer wrote her first UK number one hit Orinoco Flow in 1988, which catapulted her into worldwide fame.

Her hit song was followed by three multi-million-dollar selling albums.

The Orinoco Flow (Sail Away) singer was the second biggest Irish artist in history, behind the band U2, but the notoriously private Enya preferred to stay out of the limelight.

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Despite her global success, Enya has never toured and very rarely performs her music live.

After amassing an estimated net worth of $158 million, the 62-year-old has remained somewhat reclusive.

She lives alone in the impressive Manderley Castle – formerly known as Victoria Castle and Ayesha Castle, and named by Enya after the house in Rebecca – in Killiney, Dublin, with only her cats for company.

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“We don’t see much of her. She lives like a queen. She is a recluse,” her uncle Noel Duggan told The Sun in 2016.

Enya herself has admitted she has no interest being in the public eye.

“My private lifestyle bothers a lot of people,” she told The Guardian back in 2000. “I love the music to be known, but I’m not after fame for myself.”

Enya’s last album was released in 2015, but she still makes millions from her popular songs.

In 2001, the Irish vocalist recorded the song May It Be for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

And her music has featured 71 times in films, according to IMDb – that’s a lot of royalties!

Does Enya still perform live?

It’s understood that Enya’s decision to not officially tour or perform live is due to the fact that her unique sound is difficult to replicate to the right quality on stage.

The rare television performances she has done have been accomplished by either lip-syncing or singing along to her original recording.

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Enya’s last public performance was in 2016, for her single Echoes In Rain. She has, however, performed at exclusive events.

In 1995, she performed Anywhere Is at a Vatican City Christmas concert with Pope John Paul II, who later met and thanked her for performing, in attendance. 

Months later, in April 1996, Enya performed Anywhere Is during a surprise appearance at superfan King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden‘s 50th birthday party.

It’s understood that every year, Enya travels to County Donegal to perform with her family as part of their parish’s choir at the annual Christmas Eve midnight Mass.

Per the Boston Globe, Enya has said: “The music is what sells. Not me, or what I stand for… that’s the way I’ve always wanted it.”

What is Enya doing now?

Enya has been vocal about how she prefers to be alone in her Irish castle.

She never had children and prefers the role of an aunt to her eight siblings’ children, as well as to the children of business and recording partner Nicky Ryan and his lyricist wife Roma Ryan, with whom Enya lives.

“I’m afraid of marriage because I’m afraid someone might want me because of who I am instead of because they loved me,” Enya said in a 1991 interview with Irish music magazine Hot Press.

“I wouldn’t go rushing into anything unexpected, but I do think a great deal about this.”

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In an interview with The Belfast Telegraph in 2015, Enya admitted she never set out to be an “enigma”.

“I have just always been a very independent person,” she said.

She also claimed her perpetual single status is because men find her fame and success to be a deterrent.

“I am single, yes,” she revealed.

“It’s quite hard to have someone accept that – well, not that they are second to the music, but that I do need a certain amount of space for it.”

She added: “And even though the person will understand that at the beginning, there is something like jealousy towards the music after a while.”

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