Damian Joseph McGinty, Jr. (born 9 September 1992) is an actor and singer from Derry, Northern Ireland. McGinty has been performing for over a decade, and was a member of the group Celtic Thunder for four years starting when he was fourteen. On 21 August 2011, McGinty won the Oxygen reality show The Glee Project, earning him a seven-episode guest-starring role on the hit Fox television show Glee which was later extended to 18 episodes.
McGinty was born into a Catholic family in Derry, Northern Ireland, the son of Damian McGinty, Sr., and Joanne McGinty. Damian has two siblings, Emmett and Gemma, and is an avid Manchester United fan. He has been performing for over a decade, winning his first singing competition when he was just five years old. In 2006, McGinty won another competition and the following year, he made a CD which was recorded for charity. It was then passed along to Celtic Thunder Producer Sharon Browne and Music Director Phil Coulter, who invited McGinty to sing for their first show.
McGinty joined the newly formed Celtic Thunder in 2007 as a boy soprano at 14, and as he aged, developed a rich baritone, while still singing tenor and able to hit the high notes. During the four years he was a member, the group did four tours of the US and Canada, six PBS TV specials, performed at the White House and sold over a million recordings, with McGinty on nine of the concert CDs and DVDs. For three of his four years, Celtic Thunder was named Top World Album by Billboard magazine. In 2015, McGinty returned as the Special Guest in the "Very Best of Celtic Thunder Tour."
The Glee Project:
In 2011, McGinty was selected as one of the top twelve finalists, out of 40,000 contenders in a Myspace audition search, to be on the Oxygen reality show, The Glee Project. The O visa arrived at the last moment, allowing him to compete. He became very popular with viewers due to his humor, talent, and hard work. Although his friend Cameron Mitchell, who quit the show, (thus saving McGinty who was in the bottom three that episode) won the Bing Fan Favorite, they sang Michael Bublé's "Haven't Met You Yet" together for the Bing video. McGinty's rendition of "Beyond the Sea" impressed the judges who selected him as co-winner with Samuel Larsen for a seven episode arc on the third season of the Fox series Glee. He announced that he was leaving Celtic Thunder for Glee.
In the third season of Glee, McGinty played Rory Flanagan, a foreign exchange student staying with Brittany S. Pierce's family and befriended by Finn Hudson. During his first episode "Pot o' Gold" McGinty sang two solos: "Take Care of Yourself" which showcased his "beautiful range" and "Bein' Green" his "simple, clear-voiced ode to being an outsider rang true and was hauntingly beautiful." His initial seven episodes were extended to the end of the third season and he returned for the fourth season Christmas episode (18 episodes). His "smooth and lovely" rendition of "Blue Christmas" was also on the Glee Christmas album, and he sang "Home" as a solo, as well as numerous group and duet songs. McGinty appeared in a humorous sketch about his Irish accent on a MTV "Glee-Cap"
The popular singer has over half a million fans on Twitter.
Let the River Run. Damian McGinty and Máiréad Carlin sang the Derry City of Culture anthem "Let the River Run" at the BBC TV Gala Concert Sons and Daughters. Carly Simon, who felt their rendition of her song was "absolutely stunningly wonderful," released it as a single by her Iris Records and McGinty's Walled City Records company in 2014. She also sang her song with them during the multi-star Oceana Partners Awards Gala in Beverly Hills, Ca.
PBS TV specials. Between 2008 and 2011 McGinty was in five PBS specials as a member of Celtic Thunder: The Show, It's Entertainment, Christmas, Heritage and Storm. In 2013, McGinty appeared in two PBS specials. He joined former Celtic Thunder member Paul Byrom on his This is the Moment show, and later they did a short tour. The other special The Power of Music with Ethan Bortnick was also a 2014 US tour.
National Anthem and solos. McGinty gave a "stunning performance" of the national anthem before the Kansas City Royals vs. Cincinnati Reds baseball game on 19 May 2015. He also has done all sized venues as a solo artist and is currently performing shows.
Recordings. His first EP ("Run," "This Is Your Song," "With or Without You," "Yellow," and "That's What Friends are For") was released in December 2012 and at one point was #3 on the iTunes chart for US, and #1 in Ireland, Mexico, and Peru. Various reviewers made note of his "smooth crooner voice," "rich tones" and his "golden pipes." Recently he has been writing songs for his first album.
Charities. McGinty has lent his support to various charities including Concern Worldwide in a public service video on the need to get the children back to school in Haiti following the earthquake,The Trevor Project, Kids Beating Cancer, Oceana, and local charities.
McGinty served as "Cultural Champion" for Derry, Northern Ireland, when the city was named the UK City of Culture 2013.
Walled City Records & Audio Booth:
McGinty and his childhood friend Oran O'Carroll co-own the music companies Walled City Records and Audio Booth recording company.
Celtic Thunder: The Show
PBS Special; filmed August 2007, released 18 March 2008
Celtic Thunder: It's Entertainment
PBS Special; filmed 1-2 October 2009, released 9 February 2010
Celtic Thunder: Christmas
PBS Special; filmed 17 September 2010, released 12 October 2010
Celtic Thunder: Heritage
PBS Special; filmed 17 September 2010, released 22 February 2011
Celtic Thunder: Storm
PBS Special; filmed 1-2 October 2009, released 20 September 2011
The Glee Project
Winner; Special Appearance on Season 2 (11 episodes)
Recurring role (18 episodes: 17 in Season 3, 1 in Season 4)