Sinead O’Connor, Beloved Irish Singer, Dies At 56

Irish singer Sinead O’Connor has died at the age of 56. The “Nothing Compares 2 U” artist’s family confirmed the news on Wednesday, July 26, though few details surrounding her passing have been made public.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinead,” a statement from O’Connor’s family read. “Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”

O’Connor has always been vocal about her struggles with mental health, and she has admittedly found it tough to cope after her 17-year-old son, Shane, died by suicide in January 2022. However, there has been no confirmation that these struggles played a part in her death.

The Dublin-born singer released 10 studio albums over her 30-year career. Here are some other things you may not know about Sinead O’Connor.

  1. She had a difficult upbringing. Sinead Marie Bernadette O’Connor was born in Genageary, Ireland on December 8, 1966. Her family upbringing was turbulent, to say the least. Her parents divorced when she was young and she had little contact with her father after that time. Her mother was physically abusive toward Sinead and her siblings and she spent time in a Magdalene Asylum as a young person.
  2. Sinead O’Connor shot to international fame with her second album, “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got,” which was released in 1990. Her cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” appeared on that album and went on to become her best-known song.
  3. In the ‘90s, O’Connor was known for her willingness to be outspoken on sexual abuse cases in the Catholic Church. In one of her most memorable moments, she ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II during a performance on “Saturday Night Live.” She has remained an activist for this and other political and social issues throughout her career.
  4. Sinead O’Connor has legally changed her name multiple times and has also been known as Magda Davitt and Shuhada Sadaqat. The latter name was chosen after she converted to Islam.
  5. In 2020, O’Connor announced her retirement from music. She claimed that she made the decision because the music industry treats artists poorly and she did not want to continue.

O’Connor’s death has come as a terrible and tragic shock to her many fans and fellow artists, many of whom took to social media to voice their reactions.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill