Chloë Agnew, Máiréad Nesbitt, Lisa Kelly and Lisa Lambe might as well be called superheroes instead of world music stars.
As the four current members of Celtic Woman, the band can credit huge arena shows, chart-topping albums and serenading three U.S. presidents to its name.
Now, the Celtic super group will add its third performance at the Bryce Jordan Center to that list of accomplishments when it takes the stage at 7:30 tonight.
Tickets are still available for $34 or a new event-level price of $45.
Not only has Celtic Woman singer Agnew been a part of the group since its inception, but she’s contributed to its seven straight No. 1 Billboard world music chart-topping albums and has seen the world by the age of 21.
Agnew was just 14 when she was approached to perform in what was originally supposed to be a one-night show for Celtic Woman in 2005.
That was before the group’s performance exploded over American television and she devoted the next six years of her life to what began so humbly.
“We had to pinch ourselves after that,” she said. “We still can’t believe it. When we think it can’t get any bigger and better, it does.”
Agnew said she’s excited to come back to Penn State — the turnout in college towns is usually great.
“They’re always the wildest and rowdiest crowd,” she said. “We’re Irish. We love to hear that.”
Though all the members are Irish, Celtic Woman has attained most of its success here in the U.S. But Agnew said the group is always meeting people at shows who come from Irish backgrounds.
“They’ll tell us they’re one-half Irish or one-thirteenth Irish,” she joked. “Just by coming along to our show they can get a sense of their family and their history, really.”
Bernie Punt, marketing director for the BJC, said Celtic Woman wants to keep coming back because of the rich Celtic, Irish and English heritage in the area. He said the group is even better live than on a recording because the audience can feel the emotion.
“They sound so perfect that you think it’s a recording when it’s live,” he said.
The show will be different than previous BJC performances in 2007 and 2009, Punt said, because of new material, a new group member and a much different live show.
This Celtic Woman tour is in support of the group’s album “Songs from the Heart,” and Agnew said it’s by far the biggest and best production to date.
“Everybody has really upped their game with this live show,” she said. “We’ve had very loyal fans that have followed us since day one that are just blown away by this show.”
With all of the visuals and special affects, Agnew said Celtic Woman shows are very much a team effort with the four principals, the band, the choir and the huge crew all doing their parts. She said she’s had friends from Ireland come over and not really realize the caliber of what she does until they see the live show and the effort that goes into it.
“They think we’re like pop stars — like we’re right up there with Justin Bieber,” she joked.
When the members of Celtic Woman are done with their tours, which usually last several months, they’re right back in the studio. Agnew said it’s become a routine to just keep up her stamina where most musicians would need the time to rest.
“All we know is how to work hard,” she said. “We’re happy to complain that we’re too busy. It’s better than having nothing to do.”
The group recently released its newest album, “Lullaby,” which took No. 1 on the world music charts and No. 3 on the Children’s Album chart. Agnew said the lullaby album was a response to requests from both child and adult fans alike.
“It’s lovely to hear that the little ones like it,” she said. “It’s amazing to be up there with Big Time Rush and Hannah Montana and the like.”
Though her career hasn’t been without hardship, Agnew said she still has a lot of time to invest in the future of Celtic Woman. She said the group plans to continue trying to bring its music to new places all over the world.
Agnew said the group might “change things up eventually,” maybe doing material one might not otherwise expect from Celtic Woman. However, she said this will be a long process that she doesn’t currently know much about.
“If I was in charge, it would be a rock show,” she said.