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In 2000, he had a number one single in Denmark, a cover of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, and released two further albums but without much fanfare.He has also had little joy on the acting front, calling a 2008 audition to play Shrek on Broadway “a disaster”.She released a debut album, Precious Soul, in 2010, and a second eponymously titled album last year.“I want,” she says, “to be rocking it like my granny when I’m 88.” * Angeline Ball, 44 Played: Imelda Quirke, backing singer The Commitments opened doors for Ball in Hollywood and she was soon in Los Angeles, auditioning for more blonde-bombshell roles.With his powerful, raspy voice, 17-year-old Strong was The Commitments’ standout performer, and a glittering career seemed to beckon.
The band enjoyed success in Ireland in the early 2000s, but Hansard’s life changed substantially in 2006, when his low-budget musical film about an Irish busker who falls in love with a Czech immigrant became a worldwide hit.
However, sales of his debut album Strong, which featured original material, were anything but, and the label dropped him.
He continued to tour, basing himself first in Los Angeles and then New York before moving to Copenhagen where he lived with a Danish girlfriend for 10 years.
* Maria Doyle Kennedy, 49 Played: Natalie Murphy, backing singer Despite disappearing from public view in the years following The Commitments’ success, Kennedy, like her fellow backing singer Bronagh Gallagher (Bernie, see below), has recently found herself much in demand as a miniseries actress.
She played Henry VIII’s wife Catherine of Aragon in BBC Two’s The Tudors, a nanny to Dexter Morgan’s son Harrison in the fifth series of hit American drama Dexter, and can currently be seen in the BBC Three science fiction drama Orphan Black.