Loreena Isabel Irene McKennitt, CM OM (born February 17, 1957) is a Canadian musician, composer, harpist, accordionist and pianist who writes, records and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes. McKennitt is known for her refined and clear dramatic soprano vocals. She has sold more than 14 million records worldwide.
McKennitt was born in Morden, Manitoba, of Irish and Scottish descent to parents Jack (died 1992) and Irene McKennitt (1931–2011). In 1981, she moved to Stratford, Ontario, where she still resides.
When she was young McKennitt wanted to become a veterinarian; she would later state that music chose her rather than she it. Developing a passion for Celtic music, she learned to play the Celtic harp and began busking at various places, including St. Lawrence Market in Toronto in order to earn money to record her first album.