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Ireland's Rising Female Stars

Lisa Hannigan

For many years the backing singer to tree-hugging warbler Damien Rice, Dunshaughlin's Lisa Hannigan stepped out of his shadow with her 2008 album Sea Sew, and was duly nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.

Expect her profile to rise further still when her second album is released later this month.

Cathy Davey

The daughter of composer Shaun Davey was a victim of too much early hype -- but bounced back in style with 2007's Tales of Silversleeve and last year's The Nameless, a bleak account of her break-up with her fiance.

Imelda May

Raised in the Liberties and based in London, May's sassy rockabilly music has proved hugely successful. She has filled The O2, she sang for Barack Obama and recently had two albums in the top 10.

Julie Feeney

Classically trained Feeney started off as a purveyor of quirky chamber music, featuring violins and her little girl lost voice -- and duly earned a swooning review in the New York Times.

She has since sought to reinvent herself as a kind of Irish Bjork, with a kookier image and a more eccentric approach to songwriting.

Irish Independent