Ronnie Drew (16 September 1934 - 16 August 2008) was an Irish folk singer and founding member of the iconic Irish folk band, The Dubliners. Drew's famously gravelly voice was very recognizable.
Born in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Ronnie Drew emigrated to Spain in the 1950s to teach English and while there, mastered the Flamengo. By 1962 he had returned to Ireland and formed the Ronnie Drew group with Luke Kelly, Barney McKenna and Ciaran Bourke. This group soon developed a flavour of its own and changed their name to 'The Dubliners' as time went on. Originally a pub group known for their hard living and hard drinking, the Dubliners became famous worldwide for their original Dublin twang. They toured throughout Europe, Australia, Canada and the USA, appealing mainly to Irish emigré's, but also developed a following among other nationalities. Among their most famous renditions include The auld triangle, Dublin in the rare auld times, The wild rover, Dicey Riley and The town I loved so well. As folk artists, the Dubliners and Ronnie Drew specialised in bringing back to life old songs that most had forgotten.
In September 2006 Ronnie was diagnosed with throat cancer. He fought the illness with well celebrated conviction and dignity, but the death of his wife, Deirdre Drew in June 2007 initiated Ronnies steady deterioration. His son (Pheilim) and daughter (Cliodhna) believed that her death was a massive blow to the ailing musician. He died finally in St. Vincent's hospital on the 16th of August, 2008.