Real-life priests become pop stars

You could call them New Clergymen on the Block: three Roman Catholic priests from Northern Ireland who on occasion swap their rosary beads for microphones and their parishes for studio time.

Fathers Eugene O’Hagan and Martin O’Hagan, who are brothers, and David Delargy have been in the priesthood for some 20 years. But they’ve been singing together since their early teens.

In February they recorded a demo in Belfast which they sent off — as Eugene O’Hagan puts it — to “the powers that be.” Sony BMG responded almost instantly with a very nice offering indeed, a record deal reportedly to the tune of somewhere north of $2 million.

The Priests’ debut album will be released on November 18 and was produced by Mike Hedges, known for his work with U2 and — ironically — Manic Street Preachers (who, of course, are not clergy but punky Welshmen). Some recording took place in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, and the priests maintain they’d like some of the profits from their music endeavors donated to a charity of their choice.

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