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Singer Sinéad O’Connor Dies, Aged 56

Singer Sinéad O’Connor Dies, Aged 56

Sinéad O’Connor
Brill/ullstein bild via Getty Images

The controversial singer recently lost of her son Shane.

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Singer Sinéad O’Connor has reportedly died. The “Nothing Compares To You “ singer was 56.

No cause of death has been reported.

O’Connor, who has long been a controversial figure in the music industry, and who has been outspoken about her mental health struggles, offered fans an exciting update earlier this month. She had reportedly finished an album that was set to be released next year and was planning a world tour.

This was hearting news for the singer, who had only recently grieved the loss of her son Shane, who died by suicide in 2022 at age 17.

O’Connor was born in Dublin on December 8, 1966, and rose to fame in the late 1980s with her breakthrough album The Lion and the Cobra followed by the massive hit “Nothing Compares To You” in 1990. She became a political and social lighting rod in 1992 when, during a live performance on Saturday Night Live, she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II to bring attention to the issue of child abuse in the Catholic Church.1


In the years since, the singer opened up about her troubled childhood, which led to delinquent behavior and ultimately to being institutionalized as a teenager at one of Ireland’s so-called “Magdalene Laundries” for over a year. Music proved to be her savior; although it didn’t prepare her for the onslaught of criticism that would come her way when she was a young, outspoken woman, speaking her truth to power, unapologetically.

In 2018, she converted to Islam and changed her name to Shuhada Sadaqa, though she continued to use Sinead professionally.

Like many things about O’Connor, her sexuality was complicated. In June 2000, the singer appeared in Curve Magazine. “I haven’t been very open about that, and throughout my life, I’ve mostly gone out with blokes because I haven’t necessarily been terribly comfortable about being a lesbian. But actually I’m a lesbian,” she revealed.

The singer walked that back in 2005, telling Entertainment Weekly, “I’m three-quarters heterosexual, a quarter gay. I lean a bit more towards the hairy blokes,” although she eschewed the bisexual label.

But again in 2014, she professed her love for women on her own blog, writing, “Having no joy anyway in the dating department. Dating site has thrown up f**k all. I’m not exactly a great prospect once they’ve googled me. I changed my ‘I am seeking a to ‘woman’. Just to see if I have any better luck. I notice at shows and generally life it’s women who want to marry me and or ‘do’ me etc. I was thinking for a few years anyway it ain’t really working out with men. So we’ll see what happens.”

Regardless of her sexuality, there’s no question that O’Connor was one of a kind and someone whose voice will be sorely missed.

O’Connor is survived by her three living children.

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Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.