Damien Rice (born December 7, 1970) is an Irish musician, born in Celbridge, County Kildare, some 22 kilometres from Dublin, whose album O was an enormous success, quickly adding him to the roster of notable Irish musicians.
Rice was originally the singer for Juniper, a rock band with a notable stage show, which released the singles "The World Is Dead" and "Weatherman". On the eve of recording their first full album for Polygram in 1999, Rice became disenchanted with the commercial direction he felt pushed into by the label, and quit. His Juniper bandmates became Bell X1.
Moving to rural Italy, he lived quietly, until deciding to return to the music business on his own terms. Turning to acoustic guitar and intensely personal songwriting, he busked penniless around Europe until he was able to attract a band and coffeeshop gigs in the Dublin area. Exploiting a lucky connection to David Arnold, his second cousin, Rice was able to record O, for which he won the Shortlist Music Prize in 2003.