Celtic Woman is an all-female musical ensemble conceived and assembled by David Downes, a former Musical Director of the Irish stage show Riverdance. His concept was to tap into the American marketplace's taste for Celtic music and culture by creating a group that blended the Irish elements of music and dance which Michael Flatley had successfully exploited with the structure of all-girl pop groups such as Spice Girls and Pussycat Dolls.
To accomplish this, he recruited an aggregate of five Irish female artists who had not previously performed together: vocalists Chloë Agnew, Lynn Hilary, Lisa Kelly, and Alex Sharpe and fiddler Máiréad Nesbitt. All of these became the first representatives of the Celtic woman, as he perceived it. Downes proposed a repertoire that would range from traditional Celtic tunes to modern songs.
To date, five albums have been released under the name "Celtic Woman": Celtic Woman, Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration, Celtic Woman: A New Journey, Celtic Woman: The Greatest Journey, and Celtic Woman: Songs from the Heart. The group has undertaken a number of world tours. Cumulatively, albums by Celtic Woman have sold over 50 million records worldwide, making it currently one of the most commercially successful musical acts in the world.