June 17, 2024

Sinéad O’Connor Dead at 56, Family Says

  • Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor has reportedly died. 
  • She was 56 years old. 
  • The Daily Mail reported she passed on Tuesday night. No other details have been revealed. 

Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor has died, according to multiple reports

She was 56 years old. 

The Daily Mail reported that O’Connor passed on Tuesday night, but no other details about her death have been revealed.

“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,” a statement from the family shared with RTE said

O’Connor released her debut album, “The Lion and the Cobra,” in 1987 to moderate acclaim. She became a household name in 1990 with her cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” a single from her second LP, “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got.”

The ballad became a worldwide hit and shot to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. To this day, it’s considered to be O’Connor’s trademark song.

O’Connor went on to release 10 studio albums — concluding with “I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss” in 2014 — and received eight Grammy nominations throughout her life. She won best alternative music performance for “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got” at the 1991 ceremony.

In a defining career moment, O’Connor tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II during a live performance on “SNL” in 1992, as means of protesting abuse in the Catholic Church.

The stunt sparkled intense criticism at the time, including an alleged attack with a “load of eggs” as she was leaving 30 Rock, O’Connor recalled in her 2021 memoir “Rememberings.” Her career also suffered a downturn due to the backlash.

However, O’Connor later said she didn’t regret doing it. Instead, she wrote in her memoir that it made her feel more free.

“The media was making me out to be crazy because I wasn’t acting like a pop star was supposed to act,” she told the New York Times just two years ago. “It seems to me that being a pop star is almost like being in a type of prison. You have to be a good girl.”

However, she also described the aftermath as “traumatizing” because of how she was portrayed as a “crazy bitch.”

“Not because I was famous or anything, but because I was a human being, I had a right to put my hand up and say what I felt,” O’Connor said.

In the decades since, many have concluded that O’Connor was treated too harshly, her actions largely vindicated.

Nearly a decade after her public protest, Pope John Paul II acknowledged systemic abuse in the church and apologized for the “great suffering and spiritual harm” it has caused. A 2020 investigation shed even more light on his corruption and lack of accountability.

O’Connor officially retired from recording music and touring in 2021. She announced in a series of tweets that it was time “to hang up my nipple tassels.”

“It’s not sad news. It’s staggeringly beautiful news,” she wrote. “A wise warrior knows when he or she should retreat.”

However, she later retracted the retirement and promised to honor the shows she had booked through 2022.

In a statement posted on Twitter, she said her initial announcement was “a knee-jerk reaction” to a negative review of her memoir, which triggered memories of “the barbaric physical and sexual abuse I grew up with.”

“Anyway, the dude abides,” she wrote. “I am not gonna retire, I’m gonna keep being fabulous.”

Her final album, “No Veteran Dies Alone,” was slated for release in 2022. But it was indefinitely postponed after her son, Shane, died by suicide last year.

O’Connor is survived by her other three children. 

Representatives for O’Connor did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

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