Singer Sinead O'Connor, famous for songs such as "Nothing Compares 2 U" and "The Emperor's New Clothes" has died at age 56, according to Variety.
Struggling with mental illness for the last few decades, O'Connor had just moved back to London to work on a new album, which she had planned to release in 2024. She also had plans for a tour that would span 2024–2025 and would include Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and the United States. She was a true talent whose future contributions will be greatly missed. The cause of her death hasn't been disclosed.
Sinéad O'Connor, the Irish singer of "Nothing Compares 2 U," has died, The Irish Times reports. She was 56.
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.
O'Connor's career progressed after she began working with ex-U2 record head Fachtna O'Ceallaigh and she found early success with the 1987 release of her debut album "The Lion and the Cobra," which achieved gold status and earned her a Grammy nomination for best female vocal rock performance.
Her international breakthrough came with the release of her second album, "I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got," which included O'Connor's new arrangement of "Nothing Compares 2 U," a song originally written by Prince and released under his side project, the Family. O'Connor's rendition reached No. 1 in several countries, and remained atop the charts in Ireland for 11 weeks. The song earned her a Grammy nom for record of the year, as well as another best female vocal rock performance nod. The album won her a Grammy for best alternative music performance.
Throughout her career, O'Connor has gained notoriety for her outspoken nature and several controversies that have surrounded her. In 1993, O'Connor ripped a picture of the Pope into pieces while singing an a capella version of Bob Marley's "War" on "Saturday Night Live" as a protest against sexual abuse within the church; NBC received over 4,400 complaint calls as a result.
O'Connor's 17-year-old son, Shane, died by suicide last year. She is survived by her other three children.