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Sinead O’Connor’s family ‘devastated’ after singer dies

Irish singer Sinead O’Connor has died aged 56, her family has confirmed.

She was best known for her 1990 song Nothing Compares 2 U – the track made her a global star, partly due to its iconic video.

A family statement said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinead.

“Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”


No cause of death was given.

Live – Tributes to an ‘unmatched talent’

O’Connor performing in Tunis in April 2013

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar tweeted: “Her music was loved around the world and her talent was unmatched and beyond compare.”

Singer Alison Moyet tweeted that O’Connor had an “astounding presence” and a “voice that cracked stone”, while former Stone Roses star Ian Brown said working with her was “a highlight of my musical life”.

Irish UFC star Conor McGregor said Ireland “has lost an iconic voice and one of our absolute finest”.

The singer was known for her outspoken views on subjects such as religion, war and feminism.

She infamously tore up a photo of the Pope on Saturday Night Live in 1992 to protest against abuse in the Catholic Church.

O’Connor converted to Islam in 2018 and changed her name to Shuhada Sadaqat, but still performed under her old name.

She cancelled gigs in 2021 after announcing she was entering a one-year programme for trauma and addiction.

In a series of tweets, she said she’d been through a “traumatic six years” but now “recovery starts”.

The following year her 17-year-old son Shane died by suicide, with O’Connor saying he’d “decided to end his earthly struggle and is now with God”.

She tweeted there was “no point living without him” and was admitted to hospital for a time.

Singer-songwriter Sinead O'Connor performs on stage at Vogue Theatre on February 01, 2020 in Vancouver, Canada
O’Connor on stage in Vancouver in 2020

The singer recorded 10 studio albums and was nominated for eight Grammys, but never topped the huge success of Nothing Compares 2 U – originally written by Prince.

The intense close-up of the singer – and her tear during the video – is instantly recognisable to a generation of fans.

She once said she had shaved her head in response to music bosses pressuring her to be conventionally glamorous.

“Everyone wants a pop star, see?” she wrote in her 2021 memoir. “But I am a protest singer. I just had stuff to get off my chest. I had no desire for fame.”

She was married four times and had four children.


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