Sinéad O’Connor has died. She was 56.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad,” a statement from the Irish singer-songwriter’s family reads. “Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
Born December 8, 1966, in Dublin, O’Connor began her music career in the ’80s. In 1990, she released her sophomore album, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, featuring a rendition of the Prince-written song “Nothing Compares 2 U.”
O’Connor’s version of “Nothing Compares 2 U” became a worldwide hit and was nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammys. I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got won the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Performance, though O’Connor refused to accept the award.
O’Connor garnered further controversy during her performance on Saturday Night Live in 1992, when she ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II while declaring “Fight the real enemy,” which effectively ended her general popularity in the U.S.
Still, O’Connor continued to release new music, putting out a total of 10 studio albums, the most recent of which being 2014’s I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss. In a July Facebook post, O’Connor shared that she was finishing a new record set to be released in 2024. She also released a cover of the theme song to the show Outlander earlier in 2023.
O’Connor long shared her experience with mental health struggles, and she recounted her life in the 2021 memoir Rememberings. A documentary about her titled Nothing Compares was released in 2022.
O’Connor changed her name to Magda Davitt in 2017, and then Shuhada’ Sadaqat in 2018. She was married four times and had four children. Her son Shane died in 2022.
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