Irish singer Daniel O’Donnell will receive the Høstfest Humanitarian Award for his great compassion for his fellow human beings and his philanthropic work, most notably with the Romanian Challenge Appeal, an effort aimed at helping assimilate into society thousands of young people famously left to languish in that country's orphanages in the 1980s and 1990s. O’Donnell has used his fame to raise the profile of the Appeal and is also well known for his usually close relationship with his fan base. John E. Harris III, president and CEO of Prairie Public Broadcasting will present that award.
For Daniel O’Donnell, love and concern for others takes many forms. From his compassionate and heartfelt interactions with fans at his sold-out shows, to his financial support for a half-million young people orphaned by communist rule in Romania, O’Donnell is a humanitarian to be admired.
O'Donnell became a household name in the US in 2002 with his first ever PBS special, The Daniel O’Donnell Show. Twelve more specials followed over the years, including the most recent, Stand Beside Me. It reflects O’Donnell’s belief that his fans' standing beside him made his career a success. Indeed, O’Donnell is well known for his close relationship with his fan base, signing every autograph, smiling for every photo, and has even been known to invite fans to his home for tea.
O'Donnell's humanitarian side reveals itself on the global stage as well, most notably through his support of the Romanian Challenge Appeal, an effort aimed at helping nurture, educate and assimilate into society thousands of young people left to languish in that country's orphanages in the 1980s and 1990s. In addition to personal contribution, through his fan base O’Donnell has publicly raised the profile of the Appeal’s work.
Given his combination of charisma, compassion and talent, it's no surprise that the Irish singer is one of the best-loved artists of our time. O’Donnell is the only artist in the history of the UK Artist Album Chart to have charted at least one new album every year since 1988. In doing so he surpassed everyone from Michael Jackson and Madonna to U2 and the Rolling Stones. He's a regular on the Billboard World Music Chart, received an honorary MBE from Queen Elizabeth, and has received numerous Entertainer of the Year/Person of the Year Awards in Ireland and the UK.
But through all of the fame and accolades, Daniel O’Donnell has remained true to his belief in the importance of human connections near and far.