No one has shaped my impression and love of music like Loreena (M)cKennitt. I stumbled upon her music quite by happy accident while working at a veterinary clinic back in 1998. This of course is appropriate when you know that Loreena was on tract to becoming a veterinarian until she discovered her unique musical talent.
We kept the radio tuned to a very "safe" Top 40 channel, you know, one of those that rarely ever change their line-up until a song is at least five years old. Well, surprise, surprise, when I heard the most amazing, strange, unique and beautiful song on that station! It was at least 2 months later -- and several more times hearing "The Mummer's Dance" before I caught the DJ announcing the artist. I went out and bought her newest album that weekend.
I've since followed her career, seen it blossom from traditional Celtic to an amalgam of Celtic and Middle Eastern music. Her skill of fusion is breathtaking and her musicianship, lyrics and storytelling are as close to flawless as I've heard.
Check out her website, click on the YouTube video below and discover her music for yourself. It's not Top 40 but it's beautiful, imaginative and mind broadening!