Michael Flatley received a lifetime achievement award from IrishCentral's sister publication Irish America magazine on December 3, at the 30th annual Business 100 Awards Luncheon at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan.
Flatley, who in addition to being one of the most famous Irish dancers, is also a Golden Gloves-winning boxer and world-class flutist, received the award for his contributions to Irish dance music and cultural diplomacy.
He is currently performing on Broadway with his show Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games. It his both Flatley's Broadway debut and his final engagement before he retires from the dance world.
Flatley “is truly a renaissance man,” Irish America co-founder and editor-in-chief Patricia Harty said. “Whatever he has done, he has pushed himself to excel, whether it’s art or business.”
Harty presented Flatley with the House of Waterford Crystal Cliffs of Moher Vase.
“I’ve been in my business for 20 years now and I think we’ve had the ups and downs in equal measure,” Flatley said in his acceptance speech, referring to the long tenure of Irish America magazine and the success of Riverdance.
“There are sometimes I’ve wondered, ‘Can I get through this?’ But I think all of us, being Irish, understand you just somehow find a way,” he said.
Flatley also performed two flute numbers, bookending the event with song.
Flatley, who was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame in 2011, is now 57. Read his most recent interview with the magazine here.
Jim Clerkin, president and CEO of Moët Hennessy North America, received the Keynote Speaker award and delivered the main address at the Business 100.
For more coverage of the event, click here, and for more photos, click here. ICON, Plc. the Dublin-based medical research company, was the lead sponsor of the 30th Annual Irish America Business 100 Awards Luncheon.