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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
I hope there’s peace for Sinéad at last pic.twitter.com/9EpvfA3EVb
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) July 26, 2023
Respect to Sinead….. She stood for something… Unlike most people…. Rest Easy..🙏🏽 https://t.co/3nbO3w22zv
— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) July 26, 2023
RIP Sinéad O'Connor pic.twitter.com/M66LfYIUxh
— William Patrick Corgan (@Billy) July 26, 2023
Sinead O'Connor and Terry Hall do Dana- singing 'All Kinds Of Everything'.
Don’t know why they did it but it’s both magical and heartbreaking. #ripsineadoconnor
— Deirdre Heenan (@deirdreheenan) July 26, 2023
This statement by Sinéad O'Connor about the consequences of tearing the picture of the Pope: pic.twitter.com/NEHq3Lr0xG
— Sinead O'Shea (@SineadEOShea) July 26, 2023
Sinead O’Connor just died. She was heavily criticized in 1992 for tearing up a picture of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live, condemning of paedophilia in the Catholic Church. She was right all along.
— 🅹🅾️🅴🆈աrecκ ☭ (@joeywreck) July 26, 2023
Irish music legend Sinéad O’Connor has sadly passed away at 56. pic.twitter.com/AkJBrF2rnU
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 26, 2023
Nothing Compares 2 U. Heart broken hearing the news of the passing of Sinéad O’Connor, such an inspiration pic.twitter.com/bZVm4HXt0r
— Patrick Dexter (@patrickdextervc) July 26, 2023
Sinéad O'Connor was brilliant, smart and courageous as fuck. I hope she’s remembered for her sense of humour, too.
Here she is attending an anti-Sinéad O'Connor demonstration in disguise. Truly one of a kind 🖤 pic.twitter.com/6OLBrMncxR
— James (@DrJamesJBailey) July 26, 2023
A great Irish poet and singer left us today.
She was beautiful, courageous and wore her heart on her sleeve. She was before her time.
Nothing will ever compare to Sinéad O’Connor.
Rest easy Sinéad. pic.twitter.com/wBpRjV2Eol
— Seamus Heaney (@HeaneyDaily) July 26, 2023
Really sorry to hear of the passing of Sinéad O’Connor.
Her music was loved around the world and her talent was unmatched and beyond compare.
Condolences to her family, her friends and all who loved her music.
Ar dheis Dé go Raibh a hAnam. https://t.co/JVHxz7Kv2Z
— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) July 26, 2023