HITS Daily Double


Irish singer/songwriter Dermot Kennedy is UMG U.K.’s breakout star of 2020 after spending the year building on the success of his #1 debut. To date, he’s reached 1 billion streams globally, has two multiplatinum singles and has shifted more than 300k tickets for sold-out shows worldwide.

Even with the lack of touring this year, Kennedy’s live story has continued. In July he sold 30k tickets for his pay-per-view livestream from the Natural History Museum in London (featuring a guest appearance by the star of hit BBC show Normal People, Paul Mescal, who shook up the standard gig format by singing a duet with Kennedy, reading poetry, performing spoken word and acting).

In addition to hitting the top of the U.K. and Irish album chart in October last year with Without Fear (Island), which reached the Top 20 in the U.S., BRIT Award nominee Kennedy has two Top 20 singles; “Outnumbered” hit #6 in the U.K. in 2019—it was one of 2019’s longest-running tracks on the BBC Radio 1 playlist, where it stayed for 14 weeks—and his latest single, “Giants,” has been on a steady climb up the U.K. singles chart, reaching #16 at press time. Both “Outnumbered” and 2019 single “Power Over Me” have hit multiplatinum status across the U.K., Europe and Canada. “Power Over Me” was a #1 airplay record in France, Belgium and Germany.

Kennedy’s most recent tour included two dates at London’s 3.5k-capacity Eventim Apollo, and he’s due to play two dates at the 10.4k-capacity Alexandra Palace as part of a rescheduled 2020 tour. His TV story extends to performances on Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

Island U.K. President Louis Bloom, who signed Kennedy three years ago, says he’s “redefined the singer/songwriter genre by merging classic songwriting with a deep love of hip-hop,” adding, “He does the unexpected and constantly takes creative risks. And that’s before you consider the poetry in his lyrics and his astonishing voice. He’s the complete package. Plus, he works so hard. The chart success shows he's a cross-genre act, which has helped across DSP playlisting because he's able to straddle multiple genre lists, and this speaks to a new generation.”

Going forward, Bloom, along with Kennedy’s management at TaP and U.S. label Interscope, intends to continue the momentum and reach new fans by releasing more new music while touring is still on hiatus. “We want to move swiftly with a follow-up to Without Fear,” he says. “The great news is, with all Dermot has achieved so far, including a #1 album, we know there is so much more to come from this special artist.”

Kennedy’s team includes Bloom, Ed Millet and Hannah Neaves at TaP Management and live agent Paul Wilson at CAA.