Sinéad O’Connor Dies: ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ Singer Was 56

Irish singer Sinead O'Connor during the first concert of "THE CRAZY BALDHEAD TOUR" at the Teatro la Fenice and for the first time in Venice. April 02, 2013 in Venice, Italy (Credit: Shutterstock)

Sinéad O’Connor, the Irish singer who topped the charts and later faded from the spotlight amid controversy, has died, the Irish Times reported Wednesday. She was 56.

O’Connor’s family later released a statement to the BBC confirming her death.

“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,” the statement said.

No cause of death was given.

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O’Connor was born in Dublin on Dec. 8, 1966.

She released her debut album The Lion and the Cobra in 1987. The album reached gold status and earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Female Vocal Rock Performance.

Three years later, she rose to global stardom with her striking rendition of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

The emotional ballad, released in 1990 as part of O’Connor’s Grammy-winning studio album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, sold millions of copies and was named the “#1 World Single” at the Billboard Music Awards.

Over the years, O’Connor released 10 studio albums.

But she fell from grace in 1992, after an infamous appearance on Saturday Night Live.

While performing Bob Marley’s “War” on the NBC sketch series, O’Connor tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II in protest against sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

At the end of the performance, O’Connor told the audience, “Fight the real enemy,” and she threw pieces of the photo on the floor. Her actions sparked global condemnation and she was banned from NBC for life. (Watch the performance here.)

O’Connor’s death comes a year after her son Shane, 17, took his life in January 2022. Shane was on suicide watch at a hospital when he went missing and was found dead.

“May he rest in peace and may no one follow his example. My baby. I love you so much. Please be at peace,” O’Connor wrote on Twitter.

The mother-of-four battled her own mental health issues, and revealed that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In a video posted on Facebook in 2017, O’Connor said she was staying alive for the sake of others but if it were up to her, she’d be “gone.”

In 2018, she converted to Islam and said she wanted to be known as Shuhada’ Davitt, which she later changed to Shuhada Sadaqat.

Sinéad O’Connor is survived by her three children.