Sinéad O’Connor, Irish singer behind ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ and more, has died at 56.
She had changed her name to Shuhada’ Sadaqat, which means “martyr” in Arabic.
A family statement 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.”
O’Connor was found unresponsive in a hotel room in Ireland. A cause of death has not been announced.
O’Connor had recently moved to London. She was completing an album of new music for a 2024 release. She had also shared plans of a concert tour in Australia and New Zealand in 2024, and in Europe and the United States in 2025.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, O’Connor had a difficult childhood. She began her music career in the early 1980s. Her debut album, The Lion and the Cobra, was released in 1987. The album was a critical and commercial success. with two hit singles; the most popular being the Prince-penned “Nothing Compares 2 U.”
In 1990, O’Connor appeared as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live. She tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II in a protest against the Catholic Church’s child abuse scandals. The incident caused a great deal of controversy, and O’Connor was dropped by her record label. Although she had been vilified for the actions at the time, over the past few years there had been a noted shift in public opinion, and she was experiencing a new-found respect for her courage and conviction.
Despite the controversy, O’Connor continued to release music and tour. She released several more albums, including I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990), Universal Mother (1994), and Throw Down Your Arms (2001). She also appeared in several films, including In the Name of the Father (1993) and The End of the World (1999).
In recent years, O’Connor publicly noted her struggles with mental health issues.
A complex and often controversial figure, she was a respected musician and performer, and an important voice for social justice.
She will be remembered for her art, a strong spirit, and a fearless willingness to speak her truth.