Irish music legend, Sinead O’Connor has died at the age of 56 after years of mental health battles.
In a statement, the singer’s family said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad. Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
Her sudden death comes a year after her son Shane, 17, took his life in January 2022 after escaping the hospital while on suicide watch.
At the time of her death, the musician, who changed her name to Shuhada’ Sadaqat in 2018 when she converted to Islam, was thought to be spending her time between Co Roscommon, Ireland, and London.
In her last Tweet, O’Connor posted a photo of Shane and said: ‘Been living as undead night creature since. He was the love of my life, the lamp of my soul.
‘We were one soul in two halves. He was the only person who ever loved me unconditionally.
‘I am lost in the bardo without him.’
The mother-of-four also posted a series of Spotify links to relatively sad and heart breaking songs, including one she dedicated to ‘all mothers of Suicided children’.
O’Connor broke through in 1990 with her No. 1 hit “Nothing Compares 2 U,” a song written and composed by Prince. Prior to her death, she’d released 10 albums, most recently 2014’s I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss.
Though the song was nominated for four Grammy Awards in 1991, she boycotted that year’s ceremony, writing in an open letter that the Academy “acknowledge[s] mostly the commercial side of art.”
Two years after her massive hit, O’Connor made headlines once more with an infamous appearance on Saturday Night Live, during which she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II after performing an a cappella version of “War” by Bob Marley. She then told the audience to “Fight the real enemy.”
The stunt sparked serious backlash toward O’Connor, though she has since said she has no regrets (“A lot of people say or think that tearing up the pope’s photo derailed my career. That’s not how I feel about it,” she wrote in her 2021 book Rememberings. “I feel that having a number-one record derailed my career and my tearing the photo put me back on the right track”).
Ms. O’Connor is survived by her three children. Her son, Shane, died last year aged 17.