Singer Sinead O’Connor dies aged 56

Singer Sinead O’Connor dies aged 56

Sinéad O’Connor, the Irish pop star whose single Nothing Compares 2 U became a global number one in 1990, has died aged 56.

The acclaimed songwriter, who was born in Dublin, released 10 albums during her career.

Nothing Compares 2 U earned O’Connor several Grammy Award nominations and, in 1991, she was named artist of the year by Rolling Stone magazine.

A statement from 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.”

It is not known how O’Connor died, but she had been open about her mental health struggles.

Following the death of her 17-year-old son Shane, she was admitted to hospital after posting on social media that she had “decided to follow” his path.

The mother-of-four’s son took his life in January last year after escaping hospital while on suicide watch.

She mourned him in a tweet, writing: “Been living as an 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.”

Among the tributes to the singer, Leo Varadkar, the Irish taoiseach, wrote:

Dara Ó Briain, the Irish comedian and television presenter said: “That’s just very sad news. Poor thing. I hope she realised how much love there was for her.”

Colm O’Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, said: “It is hard to think of an artist who has had the social and cultural impact of Sinéad. What a loss. Heartfelt condolences to her children, her family and all who loved her.”

O’Connor changed her name to Shuhada Sadaqat in 2018 when she converted to Islam.

Born on Dec 8 1966, she had spoken about her traumatic childhood at the hands of her physically and sexually abusive mother.

Placed in corrective school aged 15 after spates of theft, O’Connor’s musical talent was spotted by one of the nuns at Grianán Training Centre, in Dublin, who bought her a guitar and pushed her to have lessons.

She subsequently met Colm Farrelly with whom she formed the band Ton Ton Macoute, which thrust O’Connor onto the global stage.

After signing with Ensign Records she released her first album, The Lion and the Cobra, in 1987, which sold 2.5 million copies.

Her 1990 album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, sold more than seven million.

In March she was presented with the inaugural award for Classic Irish Album at the RTÉ Choice Music Awards.

The singer received a standing ovation as she dedicated the award, for I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, to “each and every member of Ireland’s refugee community”.

She said: “You’re very welcome in Ireland. I love you very much and I wish you happiness.”

O’Connor is survived by her three remaining children.

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