The impassioned Irish vocalist released ten studio albums but gained iconic status with her 1990 rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U”
Iconic Irish vocal powerhouse and accomplished songwriter Sinead O’Connor has passed away at the age of 56. In the wake of her tragic passing, her family issued the following statemment, “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad. Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
Over the course of her career, O’Connor released ten studio albums and became synonymous with being an outspoken voice for political and social reform and spoke candidly about her own personal struggle with mental wellness.
While the success of 1990’s I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got would thrust her into the global spotlight, it was her 1992 appearance on Saturday Night Live that drew divisive acclaim and ire. While performing a rendition of Bob Marley’s powerful protest song “War,” O’Connor emphatically stared down a live television camera and ripped a photo of then Pope John Paul II.
The fallout from her protest would follow O’Connor throughout her remaining career. In a 2021 interview with The New York Times, O’Connor recalled of the turbulent time, “I’m not sorry I did it. It was brilliant,” she said in protest of the Catholic Church’s sex abuse cover-up scandal. “But it was very traumatizing,” O’Connor added. “It was open season on treating me like a crazy bitch.”
In 2007, in a candid interview with Oprah Winfrey, O’Connor confided that her struggle to balance fame, her own mental wellness and the scrutiny of the public drove her to attempt suicide at 33.
O’Connor again battled significant trauma just last year, when it was reported that her 17 year old son Shane had committed suicide in January.
Last year, director Kathryn Ferguson released her acclaimed documentary, Nothing Compares, which chronicled the life, career and accomplishments of a true icon that personified the music’s rebellious spirit.