Belfast born singer Brian Kennedy has been picked to sing Ireland's entry for the 2006 Eurovision song contest.
Brian Kennedy is to sing Ireland's Eurovision entry
RTE Television commissioning editor Kevin Linehan said they were delighted to have a singer with his "international reputation and talent".
Brian, 39, grew up on the Falls Road, and has performed with Van Morrison, The Corrs and Tina Turner.
"I believe he will do us proud in Athens and enable us to give it our very best shot," Mr Linehan said.
"He is prolific in a wide range of musical genres and contexts; from traditional Irish songs in intimate venues to international showstoppers on the Riverdance stage."
The Irish state broadcaster has invited songwriters across the length and breadth of the country to submit compositions for the contest, one of which Brian will be performing in Athens in May.
Four songs will be short-listed from those submitted, selected by a committee chaired by two-times Eurovision-winning songwriter and co-writer of You Raise Me Up, Brendan Graham.
These four songs will be performed by Brian and voted upon by the public in a one-hour television special to be broadcast by RTE in early spring.
His search for stardom took him to London at the age of 18 and initially worked in a croissant shop and, briefly, as a Tarzan kissogram.
Brian recorded his first album, The Great War with Words, in 1990 and has had three albums in the Top 30 of the Irish album charts simultaneously.
He also presented Brian Kennedy on song for BBC Northern Ireland, which saw him go on a musical odyssey around Ireland seeking out the stories behind the country's most famous songs.