Irish singer-songwriter Sinead O’Connor, known for her 1990 global hit, Nothing Compares 2 U, has died at the age of 56.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinead. Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time,” the singer’s family said on Wednesday.
She crashed onto the global music scene at the beginning of the ’90s with her mesmerising version of the song originally written by pop icon Prince, facing directly into the camera for the music video that has subsequently been viewed almost 400 million times on YouTube.
“Nothing Compares 2 U” received three Grammy nominations and was the featured track on her acclaimed album, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, which helped lead Rolling Stone to name her Artist of the Year in 1991.
She received eight Grammy nominations and in 1991 won for best alternative musical performance.
A critic of the Roman Catholic Church well before allegations of sexual abuse were widely reported, O’Connor made headlines in October 1992 when she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II while appearing on NBC’s Saturday Night Live and denounced the church as the enemy.
She said she shaved her head in response to record executives pressuring her to be conventionally glamorous.
O’Connor converted to Islam in 2018 and changed her name to Shuhada Sadaqat, though continued to perform under the name Sinead O’Connor.
As Islamophobia spiked across Europe, she said: “If somebody hates me as a Muslim, I stand a bit taller.”