French pop star Nolwenn Leroy has returned to America. The singer, who spent a year in small town Ohio as an exchange student, has released her U.S. debut "Nolwenn."

The album, an eclectic collection of standards and Celtic songs, is already a major hit in France where it spent a record seven weeks atop the album chart and has sold over 800,000 copies. The album's lead-off track, a cover of Mike Oldfield's 1983 hit "Moonlight Shadow," is getting its U.S. premiere.

"Shadow" features traditional pipes overlaid with a pulsating beat and Nolwenn's crystal clear voice, which holds a resemblance to Kate Bush (whom she's covered in concert before) and the song's original singer, Maggie Reilly.

Nolwenn discovered the song when she was a little girl. "I've always thought this song was the perfect bridge between pop and celtic music. It inspired me a lot during the recording of 'Bretonne,'" she says, referring to her album's French title. "I also loved Maggie Reilly's voice. This song is definitely a classic."

"Nolwenn" also includes her versions of "Scarborough Fair," "Dirty Old Town" and "Whiskey in the Jar." rom.

"This country has always been in my heart since I spent a year in Hamilton, OH as an exchange student a few years ago," she says. "This year has pretty much determined my future as an artist. It's always been a dream of mine, as a French singer, to have the opportunity to share my music with the American audience."

Celtic Radio Comments:
Nolwenn Loroy has a voice like an angel, although maybe judging my her press photos, a Celtic mermaid! She is very well known in France where she has had 6 very successful CDs. This is her first mostly English language album in which she wishes to bring her talents to the English speaking world. Having stayed in the U.S. in Ohio for 1 year as an exchange student, it is her dream to come back to America. She is the winner of the 2002 Star Academy TV show. Nolwenn has a beautiful and captivating voice and we know that her latest CD with all of it's Celtic tracks will be a hit with our listeners and members alike. 5 Stars from Celtic Radio!