Irish-American Musician Dan Kelly Dies

Daniel Kelly, the patriarch of Irish-American folk-pop group the Kelly Family, has died. He was 71. The bushy-bearded Kelly died Monday evening in Berlin after a long illness. No further details or ca

Daniel Kelly, the patriarch of Irish-American folk-pop group the Kelly Family, has died. He was 71. The bushy-bearded Kelly died Monday evening in Berlin after a long illness. No further details or cause of death have been released.

Kelly was considered the driving force behind the Kelly Family, whose six members are his children -- four sons and two daughters -- and which is a pop sensation in Germany. He left the U.S. in 1966 with his wife, Barbara Ann, and their children to settle in Spain. The family began making a living as street musicians in Europe in the 1970s, before progressing to become recording artists. Kelly's wife died in 1982, and Kelly himself suffered a serious stroke in 1990.

The Kelly Family have performed their mixture of bubblegum pop and folk before millions of mostly teenaged fans over the years. The 1994 album "Over the Hump" sold 4.5 million copies in Europe, according to the family's official Web site.

The family lived for years on a houseboat in Cologne's harbor and also has a 30-room castle in Ireland. The group's commercial success enabled the family to buy the Gymnich castle in western Germany in 1998 for some $7.3. million.

The Kelly Family's latest album, "La Patata," was released earlier this year. The group's promoter was unable to confirm a report in Berlin's Tagesspiegel newspaper that Kelly's children plan to go ahead with tour dates planned this month in eastern Germany.

A memorial service will be held Sunday (Aug. 11) in Cologne, and Kelly is to be buried in Ireland.


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