Daily Mail reports that Sinead O’Connor passed away last night at the age of 56. Today, the music community at large is in a state of shock and grieving now that the news has made its way around the world. Though no cause of death has been announced, O’Connor’s passing occurred just 18 months after the passing of her 17-year-old son, Shane, who committed suicide in January 2022.
The controversial Irish singer Sinead O’Connor, who became a household name with her hit “Nothing Compares 2 U,” has died.
In one of her last Tweets, Sinead O’Connor shared a picture of herself and her son Shane, stating that she’s “been living as [an] undead night creature since” his passing. Shortly after this Tweet was posted, O’Connor posted a series of Spotify links to a number of heartbreaking songs by Al Green and Curtis Mayfield to express her grief.
Though we’ve seen an outpouring of love and adoration that celebrate Sinead O’Connor’s life and accomplishments, her family and close friends have requested privacy during their time of mourning.
Sinead O’Connor started her music career in 1987, and released 10 studio albums between then and 2014. The Irish singer saw her real breakthrough, and became internationally famous when 1990’s I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got graced the our radios and television sets for the first time. O’Connor became a household name when her cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” topped the charts, and dominated the airwaves.
Nine years after the incident, Pope John Paul II acknowledged these problems, and she remained outspoken in her crusade to condemn the church for not offering “a sincere reconciliation.”
Despite her sudden world-wide success, Sinead O’Connor’s career garnered quite a bit of controversy almost immediately after her ascension to super-stardom. She received a staggering amount of backlash after her 1992 Saturday Night Live performance in which she ripped up a picture of Pope John Paul II, and urged the audience to “fight the real enemy.”
Though the backlash from this incident overshadowed her music career in many ways, hindsight and retrospect showed us that Sinead O’Connor didn’t just have a beautiful voice and uncanny ability to carry a tune, but also a heavy heart that was primed for protest.
Though Sinead O’Connor’s SNL incident was controversial at the time, she selflessly used her platform to expose the problem of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, which was unheard of at the time. Nine years after the incident, Pope John Paul II acknowledged these problems, and she remained outspoken in her crusade to condemn the church for not offering “a sincere reconciliation.”
Sinead O’Connor will not only be remembered for her musical legacy, but for her fearless activism. Twitter user @LLamedos77 laments the loss of the pop-icon, stating “she was fearless, outspoken, brave,” and he’s not the only person to mourn her loss in such a way.
Other Twitter users expressed their admiration for Sinead O’Connor, stating that she paid dearly for the SNL incident, but was right all along.
Sinead O’Connor’s Legacy
Today we mourn the loss of Sinead O’Connor, and the undeniable legacy she left behind. But for years, and decades to come, we will continue to celebrate her music, and more importantly, her unwavering conviction to advocate for those who have suffered trauma, mental health issues, abuse, and marginalization. Though her life was troubled in many ways, we can only hope that she finds the peace she fought so hard for throughout her legendary career.