Sinead O’Connor dies, aged 56
Tributes to Irish singer Sinead O’Connor are continuing to pour in, in the wake of the Irish singer’s death aged 56.
Thousands of fans, fellow musicians and public figures have shared their love for O’Connor since her family confirmed the Dublin-born musician had died.
And in a letter to The Telegraph, one particularly moving account of her generosity has been resurfaced.
In 1991, a year after her cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” propelled her to worldwide fame, O’Connor called a young woman with terminal cancer, Louise Woolcock, out of the blue.
“Sinéad had heard of Louise’s illness from some source, probably the press, as we were raising funds for our local hospice,” her father, Philip, recalled to the publication. “My daughter was a great admirer of her and loved her music.”
Mr Woolcock recalled how O’Connor invited Louise to London and proceeded to give his daughter “the best week of her short life”, taking her out to dinners, for drinks and dancing.
“During all this time, Sinéad never sought any publicity for these acts of love and compassion,” Mr Woolcock said. “Today my thoughts are with two remarkable women who, I have no doubt, will be somewhere still laughing, dancing and singing.”
Read Sinead O’Connor’s open letter to Miley Cyrus
After the release of her viral music video for her hit single “Wrecking Ball”, Cyrus (then 20 years old) told Rolling Stone magazine that she’d been inspired by the O’Connor’s accompanying visuals for “Nothing Compares 2 U” (1990).
In response, O’Connor wrote to Cyrus “in the spirit of motherliness and with love” and told her that it was not “cool” to be “naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos”.
Annabel Nugent30 July 2023 16:00
What did Sinead O’Connor say about her pope stunt?
During a 1992 appearance on SNL, O’Connor controversially ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II in a protest against the sexual abuse of children by the Catholic Church.
The move led to a huge and lengthy backlash – something O’Connor herself reflected on in her 2021 memoir, Rememberings.
“A lot of people say or think that tearing up the Pope’s photo derailed my career,” she wrote. “That’s not how I feel about it I feel that having a No 1 record derailed my career and my tearing the photo put me back on the right track.”
Annabel Nugent30 July 2023 15:30
Sinead O’Connor covers Nirvana’s ‘All Apologies’
While it is her cover of Prince’s 1985 song “Nothing Compares 2 U” that is the most famous, Sinead O’Connor’s rendition of Nirvana’s grunge anthem “All Apologies” was also hugely popular.
Released just months after Cobain’s death, the song featuers O’Connor’s stunning, hushed vocals.
Annabel Nugent30 July 2023 15:00
Kate Bush remembers the ‘magical presence’ of Sinead O’Connor
Today is Kate Bush’s 65th birthday.
The “Running Up That Hill” singer wrote a lovely tribute to Sinead O’Connor earlier this week in the wake of her death.
“A beacon on a high mountain. Sinead dind’t just move us with her incredibly emotive voice, she stood up with it,” wrote Bush on her website.
“I salute her. We were lucky to have such a magical presence move among us.”
Annabel Nugent30 July 2023 14:30
‘All these tourists were passing by and had no clue who she was’
In her life, O’Connor lived for a while in a cottage in Dalkey, a coastal Dublin suburb where she was able to find some anonymity.
As reported by The Guardian, director Neil Jordan told public broadcaster RTÉ: “I was walking down there and she was sitting outside on the bench, just smoking cigarettes and all these tourists were passing by and had no clue who she was.”
Annabel Nugent30 July 2023 14:00
Sinead O’Connor gave a young woman with terminal cancer ‘O’Connor invited Louise to London and proceeded to give his daughter ‘the best week of her short life’
In the days since Sinead O’Connor’s death, stories of her kindness have surfaced.
One such story comes from Philip Woolcock who recalled how O’Connor had called his daughter, Louise, out of the blue after learning that she had terminal cancer in 1991.
“Sinéad had heard of Louise’s illness from some source, probably the press, as we were raising funds for our local hospice,” Woolcock told The Irish Mirror. “My daughter was a great admirer of her and loved her music.”
O’Connor invited Louise to London and proceeded to give his daughter “the best week of her short life”, taking her out to dinners, for drinks and dancing.
“During all this time, Sinéad never sought any publicity for these acts of love and compassion,” Woolcock said. “Today my thoughts are with two remarkable women who, I have no doubt, will be somewhere still laughing, dancing and singing.”
Annabel Nugent30 July 2023 13:30
Fans praise ‘Nothing Compares’
The award-winning documentary by Kathryn Ferguson has been applauded by fans for its “brilliant” insight into Sinead O’Connor.
While Nothing Compares was originally released in 2022, the film has only recently become available on Sky and NOW over the weekend. The timing of the release is coincidental given that it had been scheduled for months.
Annabel Nugent30 July 2023 13:00
I can’t believe I agree with Morrissey, but he’s right on Sinéad O’Connor
“I don’t often agree with Morrissey, but I thought he put it well when he raged that ‘the cruel play-pen of fame gushes with praise’ for Sinéad O’Connor now she has died, but ‘hadn’t the guts to support her when she was alive and she was looking for you,’” writes Chas Newkey-Burden for The Independent.
Annabel Nugent30 July 2023 12:30
Sinead O’Connor documentary: How to watch late singer’s film ‘Nothing Compares’ in the UK
The film was made available to stream on Sky and NOW over the weekend.
Here’s how you can watch Kathryn Ferguson’s critically acclaimed film about the life and career of Sinead O’Connor…
Annabel Nugent30 July 2023 12:00
Sinead O’Connor shared heartbreaking post about her son Shane days before she died
Sinead O’Connor died 18 months after her son Shane, who was 17 when he died last year by suicide.
On 17 July, O’Connor shared a post on Twitter paying tribute to Shane, and expressing her ongoing grief over his loss.
She wrote: “#lostmy17yrOldSonToSuicidein2022. Been living as undead night creature since. He 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. I am lost in the bardo without him [sic].”
Bardo, in Tibetan Buddhism, is a state of existence between death and rebirth.
O’Connor shared her son Shane with Irish folk musician and producer Donal Lunny. Shane died in January 2022, after escaping a hospital where he was on suicide watch.
Annabel Nugent30 July 2023 11:30