Legendary Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor has passed away at the age of 56, her family confirmed in a statement. The cause of death was not disclosed.
O’Connor rose to fame in 1990 with her cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which became a number one hit worldwide. She released 10 studio albums over her decades-long career and was renowned for her powerful vocals and raw emotional delivery.
Beyond her music, O’Connor frequently made headlines for her activism and bold protests against the Catholic church’s handling of child abuse scandals. Her defiant tearing up of a photo of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live in 1992 remains one of the show’s most controversial moments.
Just last year, O’Connor mourned the loss of her 17-year-old son Shane, who died by suicide.
Figures across music and entertainment paid tribute to O’Connor’s singular talent and courageous spirit. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar tweeted: “Really sorry to hear of the passing of Sinéad O’Connor. Her music was loved around the world and her talent was unmatched and beyond compare. Condolences to her family, her friends and all who loved her music.”
Though she courted controversy throughout her life, O’Connor’s dedication to her art and principles commanded deep respect from fans and critics alike. She leaves behind a towering musical legacy and tireless advocacy for justice that will not be forgotten. O’Connor was a one-of-a-kind artist who never shied away from speaking her truth.
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