Singer-songwiter SinÃ©ad O’Connor died at age 56 on July 26, 2023.
âIt is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved SinÃ©ad,â her family’s statement to various media entities said.
âHer family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.â
Although the circumstances surrounding her death are still unknown, O’Connor was mourning the loss of her 17-year-old son, Shane, who died in January 2022.
Despite being a gifted creative, her talent was often overshadowed by her political activism, outspoken views, and later, sadly, by her struggles with mental health.
Haunting cover of “Nothing Compares 2 U.”
Although O’Connor had released a critically acclaimed album called “The Lion and the Cobra” in 1987, it was a single from her 1990 album âI Do Not Want What I Havenât Got” that catapulted her into worldwide fame.
It featured a haunting cover of the Prince song “Nothing Compares 2 U,â which was a No. 1 hit.
The starkly arresting video featuring a closeup of O’Connor singing became an MTV staple.
Ripping up a photo of the Pope on “Saturday Night Live”
O’Connor’s performance on the NBC sketch show in 1992 caused quite a media uproar.
After ending an Acappella version of Bob Marley’s “War,” the Irish-born singer ripped a photo of Pope John Paul II into bits as a stance against sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. âFight the real enemy,â she said.
The repercussions were swift and severe.
She received a lifetime ban from all NBC shows and was booed off stage during a Bob Dylan tribute concert a few weeks later.
O’Connor even raised the ire of Frank Sinatra who slammed her during one of his shows.
“This must be one stupid broad,” he groused. “I’d kick her ass if she were a guy. She must beat her kids to stay in shape.”
Mental health struggles
In 2007, O’Connor revealed on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that four years earlier she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had attempted to take her own life on her 33rd birthday.
In 2015, she took to Facebook to try and connect with family after an apparent suicide attempt, which she claimed visited while she was unconscious.
âTo my children and family. You came to the hospital to see me on life support. You left before I woke and you havenât been back. Please why are you doing these things to me?? I need you. I need your love,â she wrote.
Two years late, she posted a disturbing video online revealing that she was suicidal and living in a motel âin the arse end of New Jersey.â
âIâm all by myself. And thereâs absolutely nobody in my life except my doctor, my psychiatrist, the sweetest man on earth, who says Iâm his hero, and thatâs about the only thing keeping me alive at the moment â¦ and thatâs kind of pathetic,â O’Connor said while weeping.
Four marriages and four children
O’Connor had four children and was married and divorced four times. She had her first son, Jake, in 1987, with her first husband, music producer, John Reynolds. She then had a daughter, Roisin, with Irish journalist John Waters.
The two waged a lengthy custody battle that ended with Roisin living with her father in Dublin. She had her second son, Jake, in 2004 with musician Donal Lunny followed by another son, Yeshua, in 2006 with Frank Bonadio.
Death of son Shane
Tragically, her third child, Shane, died by suicide in 2022 at the age of 17.
The troubled teenager had escaped suicide watch in an Irish hospital the day before he passed away. He had also been hospitalized for two previous attempts.
In her final tweet earlier this month, O’Connor shared her grief over her late son.
âHe 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.â
She concluded, âI am lost in the bardo without him.â
For more Page Six you love …
Going to rehab
O’Connor postponed a tour at the end of 2020 to enter a year-long program for “trauma and addiction.”
She tweeted that she had gone through “a very traumatic six years and this year was the end of it but now recovery starts.”
The Grammy winner added that she has been addicted to weed for 34 years and âgrew up with a lot of trauma and abuse. I then went straight into the music business. And never learned really how to make a normal life.â
Conversion to Islam
In 2018, O’Connor converted to Islam changing her name to Shuhada â Arabic for âmartyrâ â and later adding the surname âSadaqat,â which means âtruthâ in Urdu. She also came under fire for calling fellow white people “disgusting.
âTruly I never wanna spend time with white people again (if thatâs what non-muslims are called). Not for one moment, for any reason. They are disgusting.â
Later, she apologized for the remarks explaining they were the result of critics sniping about her religious conversion.
âI was triggered as a result of islamophobia dumped on me. I apologize for hurt caused. That was one of many crazy tweets lord knows.â
The post Sinéad O’Connor’s controversial career: Calling out the Pope on SNL and more appeared first on Page Six.