Dougie MacLean adopted into HebCelt hall of fame

Dougie MacLean has made it onto the HebCelt hall of fame. Picture: TSPL
Dougie MacLean has made it onto the HebCelt hall of fame. Picture: TSPL
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AWARD-WINNING singer songwriter Dougie MacLean has been added to the Hall of Fame by one of Scotland’s leading music festivals.

The musician, most famous for writing Caledonia - regarded as Scotland’s alternative national anthem - has also been invited to become an ambassador for the Hebridean Celtic Festival.

MacLean, 58, marks 40 years as a professional musician next year and in January received the Radio 2 Lifetime Achievement Award.

He has also won a string of other honours, including an OBE, Tartan Clef Awards and a gold disc for sales of over 500,000 for his music used in the film, the Last of the Mohicans.

His association with HebCelt dates from 1996 when he appeared at the first festival.

This year he is one of the headline acts at the 18th event - from 17-20 July in Stornoway - along with Van Morrison, Capercaillie, the Battlefield Band and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

For the last 20 years he has also had a house in Lewis and is a regular visitor to the area when not touring around the world.

HebCelt’s Hall of Fame was established in 2010 to mark its 15th anniversary, and the first inductees were Julie Fowlis, Runrig and the Peatbog Faeries.

Since then it has been opened out to the audience to vote for outstanding performances or contributions to the event and Irish songstress Imelda May, Karen Matheson from Capercaillie and local musician Jane Hepburn have also joined the elite group.

While ambassadors have no formal roles to perform, they help promote HebCelt and the Hebrides at home and abroad.

Caroline MacLennan, the festival director, said: “We have the greatest respect for Dougie as a musician, songwriter and performer. But we are also well aware of his wider support and promotion of the Gaelic language and culture and his strong connection to the area through his adopted home in Lewis.

“I think the induction is timeous, given his forthcoming headlining show at the 18th festival, and the fact he will reach a significant milestone of his own next year.”

MacLean, who runs his own event, Perthshire Amber - The Dougie MacLean Festival, which is in its ninth year and will be held from 25 October- 3 November this year, added: “I am delighted to accept HebCelt’s invitation to join the Hall of Fame and feel honoured to represent such a prestigious event as an ambassador.

“I have a long association with the festival, going back to the inaugural event, and have always supported its efforts to promote and encourage traditional music. This will give me fresh impetus to spread the word on my travels.”

The 18th HebCelt is attracting attention from around the world with tickets having already been snapped up by fans across the UK and Ireland, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America.

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