Maria Doyle Kennedy is an Irish singer, songwriter, and televisionfilm actress. With a singing career that has spanned nearly thirty years and an acting career that has spanned twenty five, she has established herself as one of Irelands most prolific artists and entertainers. As an actress, she is best known for her extensive television roles as Catherine of Aragon on The Tudors, Vera Bates on Downton Abbey, and Siobhn Sadler on Orphan Black. As a musician, she is well known for her world wide hit folk albums Mtter and Sing, as well as for releasing two albums between 1989 and 1992 as part of The Black Velvet Band.
Doyle Kennedy was born in Clontarf, Dublin before moving with her parents, sister, and brother, Feargal, to Enniscorthy, County Wexford for her fathers career as a broker. They eventually settled in Bray, County Wicklow, and she still claims a close, personal connection with the town. She began singing early in life and comes from a family that appreciates party pieces and the tradition of gathering friends together with singing. At the age ofor 10, she would go to a friends house every Sunday evening to listen to the top twenty broadcast on the radio. Her first experience singing in public was at one of her parents parties at the age of 13. She recalls that, as a teenager, her mother was able to gauge her mood according to how much singing she was doing. When she was 14, she was given a Billie Holiday album that was the first piece of music to affect her emotionally. She was then opened up to artists such as Patti Smith, Radiohead, and Low, artists that she still cites as some of h