Sinéad O’Connor, Irish Singer of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U,’ Dies at 56


by Ern Nyren


July  26, 2023

Sinéad O’Connor

Sinéad O’Connor, the Irish singer of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” has died, The Irish Times reports. She was 56.

Her cause of death has yet to be revealed.

O’Connor, who was outspoken about her decades-long struggle with mental illness, wrote on her Facebook page earlier this month that she had moved back to London after 23 years and was finishing an album to be released next year. She also shared plans to tour in Australia and New Zealand in 2024, and in Europe, the United States and other territories in 2025.

O’Connor had a difficult childhood after the separation of her parents when she was eight. The singer claimed from an early age that her mother, who she lived with after the separation, physically abused her, which led to O’Connor’s vocal advocacy for abused children. At 15, O’Connor spent eighteen months at a Magdalene Asylum due to her truancy and shoplifting. Even at an early age, however, O’Connor showed musical talent and, after moving schools, recorded a four-song demo. She eventually formed the band Ton Ton Macoute, dropped out of school, and moved to Dublin.

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  1. This makes me sad. I knew very little about Sinead O’Connor and her music before she ripped up the picture of the Pope on SNL and a few days later got booed at a tribute concert for Bob Dylan. Cancel culture before cancel culture was a thing as she was unable to sing the song she intended and instead recited, over the continued heckling, the Bob Marley song, “War”, the song she sang on SNL.

    But what annoyed me the most wasn’t the booing per se. It was who was booing. A tribute concert for Bob Dylan, the voice of a generation, whose songs were a part of the civil rights struggle, would be filled with fans from the sixties who if not fighting for, at least supported, the fight against injustice. But they shut her up. Yeh, talking ’bout my generation.

    Sinead had been critical of the church and its stance on divorce, abortion, and contraception which she believed led to child abuse. The picture of the Pope belonged to her mother who had abused Sinead as a child. And not long after this incident, the church was awash in the sex abuse scandals that in too many cases had been ignored by the powers of the church.

    Ironically, the song she had chosen to sing, “I Believe in You”, written by Dylan during his born again period when he too was criticized by fans, contains these lines.

    And they look at me and frown
    They’d like to drive me from this town
    They don’t want me around
    Cause I believe in you.

    I wonder how the people who booed her then, feel about her today.


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