Renowned Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor, known for her iconic song “Nothing Compares 2 U,” has passed away at the age of 56, as reported by The Irish Times. The specific cause of her death has not been disclosed.
In a heartrending statement, her family expressed their profound sadness, announcing the loss of their beloved Sinéad. They have requested privacy during this incredibly difficult time.
Throughout her life, O’Connor courageously shared her ongoing battle with mental illness. Earlier this month, she had revealed on her Facebook page that she had returned to London after 23 years and was in the process of completing an album slated for release next year.
Additionally, she had plans to tour in Australia, New Zealand in 2024, and subsequently in Europe, the United States, and other territories in 2025.
The singer had faced significant challenges during her childhood, especially after her parents separated when she was just eight years old.
O’Connor spoke openly about enduring physical abuse from her mother, with whom she lived after the separation.
These early experiences fueled her advocacy for abused children. At the age of 15, due to truancy and shoplifting, she spent eighteen months at a Magdalene Asylum.
Despite her struggles, O’Connor’s musical talents shone through, leading her to record a four-song demo after changing schools. She later formed the band Ton Ton Macoute, dropped out of school, and relocated to Dublin.
O’Connor’s career began to flourish when she collaborated with former U2 record executive Fachtna O’Ceallaigh.
Her debut album “The Lion and the Cobra,” released in 1987, achieved gold status and earned her a Grammy nomination for the best female vocal rock performance.
However, it was her second album, “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got,” that catapulted her to international stardom.
The album featured her rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” originally written by Prince and released under his side project, the Family.
O’Connor’s version topped the charts in multiple countries, holding the No. 1 spot in Ireland for 11 weeks.
The song garnered her a Grammy nomination for record of the year and another for best female vocal rock performance. The album itself earned her a Grammy for best alternative music performance.
Beyond her music career, O’Connor played the role of Our Lady in Neil Jordan’s 1997 film “The Butcher Boy.” She went on to release eight more albums and received Grammy nominations for her music videos.
Throughout her life, O’Connor remained unafraid to voice her opinions, leading to some controversies.
Notably, in 1993, during a performance on “Saturday Night Live,” she tore a picture of the Pope while singing Bob Marley’s “War” to protest sexual abuse within the church, sparking numerous complaints.
In 2013, she wrote an open letter to Miley Cyrus, addressing Cyrus’ $exually explicit imagery and warning her about the music industry’s treatment of women, urging her not to be exploited by music executives. The letter received mixed responses from the public.
O’Connor was candid about her struggles with mental health, having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2003 and surviving a suicide attempt on her 33rd birthday in 1999.
In 2015, she posted on Facebook that she had taken an overdose following difficulties with her ex-husband, expressing the need for better mental health support.
In August 2017, she shared an emotional video on her Facebook page, revealing her battle with multiple mental illnesses and feeling alone after losing custody of her 13-year-old son Shane. She expressed thoughts of suicide and called attention to the stigma surrounding mental illness.
O’Connor leaves behind her three children, tragically including her 17-year-old son Shane, who died by suicide last year.
On July 17, 2023, in her final Twitter post, O’Connor alluded to her son’s suicide, sharing a “Great Tibetan Compassion Mantra” in a tweet dedicated to “all mothers of Suicided children.”