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Thursday 18 July 2019

Stars line up to sing the praises of Dubliners legend Ronnie

Patricia McDonagh

HE has the "greatest voice in the world" and led a folk band that now makes "Nirvana look like girls".

Praise indeed from the leader of the world's top rock band, Bono, for Dublin's greatest trouper Ronnie Drew, the once bearded supremo of Irish music who watched as his peers in the industry paid homage to him and his legacy last night.

A firmament of stars, including Andrea Corr, Shane MacGowan, Sinead O'Connor and U2 took to the stage on the Late Late Show to sing their hearts out in a one-off performance.

Dressed in a sober black suit, with a red patterned scarf around his neck, the beloved founder of the Dubliners said the performance was "great" and "magnificent".

"I'm speechless. I am really knocked out and honoured and grateful. I don't think I deserve it" he told Pat Kenny.

Mr Drew, who has just finished his latest bout of treatment for throat cancer at St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, said that ever since the song was written he feels stronger.

"I feel stronger and my hair is even growing back," he joked.

The song, entitled 'The Ballad of Ronnie Drew' was composed by Robert Hunter, Bono, The Edge and Simon Carmody and was recorded at Windmill Lane on January 14 and 15.

Wearing his trademark wraparound tinted sunglasses, U2 frontman Bono paid tribute to the "most powerful male voice in the world".

"He is a prime fighter and a fighter always fights harder when the crowd is cheering. That is why we did this," said the rock legend.

'The Ballad of Ronnie Drew' is due to be released in March.

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