Sinéad O'Connor, the acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter, has died aged 56.

Content warning: This post includes discussion of suicide that may be distressing to some readers.

Sinéad O'Connor, the acclaimed Irish singer known for her chart-topping 1990 song 'Nothing Compares 2 U', has passed away.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad," the singer's family said in a statement quoted by Irish broadcaster RTE

"Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time."

O'Connor was 56. A cause of death has not been confirmed.

Watch the trailer for the Nothing Compares documentary on O'Connor's life. Post continues below. 

Video via Showtime. 

The Irish singer-songwriter crashed onto the global music scene in the '90s. 

Her 1990 album, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, included 'Nothing Compares 2 U'. Written by Prince, the song reached number one around the world.

O'Connor was also vocal in her social and political views.

In 1992, after going off-script in a segment on NBC weekly staple Saturday Night Live, O'Connor was banned from the show – and the network – for life.


After performing a rendition of Bob Marley's 'War' on the SNL stage, O'Connor ripped up a photograph of the Pope as she declared, "Fight the real enemy".

The outrage was swift, all-encompassing and unforgiving.

In her 2021 memoir Rememberings, O'Connor said she had no regrets over her actions. 

"A lot of people say or think that tearing up the Pope's photo derailed my career. That's not how I feel about it. I feel that having a number-one record derailed my career and my tearing the photo put me back on the right track," she wrote.

"Everyone wants a pop star, see? But I am a protest singer. I just had stuff to get off my chest. I had no desire for fame."

Image: NBC/Getty/Mamamia.


In recent years, O'Connor converted to Islam and changed her name to Shuhada Sadaqat, although she continued to perform under the name Sinéad O'Connor.

In January 2022, her 17-year-old son died by suicide.

"My beautiful son, Nevi'im Nesta Ali Shane O'Connor, the very light of my life, decided to end his earthly struggle today and is now with God," she wrote. 

"May he rest in peace and may no one follow his example. My baby. I love you so much. Please be at peace."

In the wake of her death, countless tributes have come in. 

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar posted on Twitter, sharing his condolences with "all who loved her music", adding: "Her music was loved around the world and her talent was unmatched and beyond compare."

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, 24-hour support is available through Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

Feature Image: Getty.