Banagher man Colin Kenny celebrated his first number 1 hit on the iTunes Irish country chart this weekend when his debut single, 'Don't Close Your Eyes', claimed the top spot. The singer, who now lives in Borrisokane, where he works as a barber, has been making a name for himself on the Irish entertainment scene over the last few months, opening shows for country star Mike Denver, comedy great Brendan Grace, and international legend Tony Christie.
He found out the good news on Sunday night when a friend text him to reveal 'Don't Close Your Eyes' was at number 5 on the iTunes country chart. "It came as a bit of a shock, to be honest," Colin said. "The song was a little later going up on iTunes than we had originally planned, but these things can happen so you just have to get on with it anyway. So we didn't even know it was on the there at all until we got that message. Naturally enough we were delighted, and excited, too. And after the initial shock we started letting people know it was finally available. And thankfully it was only about an hour after that when it reached the number 1 spot."
Colin continued, "It was a totally surreal moment, seeing the song up there, first of all with artists like Taylor Swift, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Nathan Carter, but then ahead of them! It's a dream come true really, and something I couldn't have imagined this time a year ago. So I just want to say a massive thank you, from the very bottom of my heart, to everyone who's bought the single so far."
The good news didn't stop there for Colin, though, as 'Don't Close Your Eyes' also climbed into the Top 50 of the Irish iTunes All Genre Singles chart by reaching number 44, and remained in the Top 20 of the Irish Country Music Radio Airplay chart, too. The single is a cover of American country music legend Keith Whitley who hit the number 1 spot in the country charts with 'Don't Close Your Eyes' in 1988. Whitley died aged 34 after a battle with alcoholism but his song has lasted and been covered by current American stars like Chris Young.
The latest singer to hit the top of the charts with the hit, Colin Kenny, will be making a guest appearance at the big reunion night for Dave Lawlor and the Nostalgia band in The Well, Moate on February 21, as well as opening for Mike Denver once again in Newbridge on the February 26, before performing at The Townhouse in Tullamore to open for Robert Mizzell at the end of March.
Colin's debut single, the number 1 hit, 'Don't Close Your Eyes', is available to download now from iTunes and all digital platforms. The single is also available in physical form from TRAX, the Bridge Centre, Tullamore.