Sinéad O’Connor dies at 56 - USA Trending Blog

Sinéad O’Connor dies at 56 - USA Trending Blog

Sinéad O’Connor dies at 56 - USA Trending Blog

Sinéad O’Connor, the trailblazing Irish artist and “Nothing Compares 2 U” hitmaker, has died, according to a family statement obtained by the BBC. She was 56.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad," O'Connor's family said in the statement. "Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time."

The vocalist’s cause of death has not yet been revealed. USA TODAY has reached out to O'Connor's representatives for comment.

The news comes more than a year after O’Connor’s 17-year-old son Shane died by suicide in January 2022. The singer posted a series of troubling messages to her Twitter account in the weeks following his death, writing, “I’ve decided to follow my son. There’s no point living without him.” Shane was one of O’Connor’s four children.

O’Connor released her debut album, “The Lion and the Cobra” in 1987, and three years later, shot to worldwide fame with her sophomore effort “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got.” The album was bolstered by lead single “Nothing Compares 2 U,” an aching cover of Prince’s 1985 song.

Her haunting performance of the power ballad spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and was nominated for three Grammy Awards including record of the year. It was accompanied by a now-iconic music video of O’Connor in tight closeup singing directly into the camera.

But her mainstream success was short-lived. The singer endured enormous fallout from her 1992 “Saturday Night Live” appearance, in which she tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II while singing Bob Marley's "War," in protest of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Religious groups burned her albums and radio stations pulled her songs. Joe Pesci, who hosted "SNL" a week later, held up a repaired photo of the Pope during his opening monologue, saying he would've given O'Connor "such a smack" had he been there.

Weeks later, O'Connor was loudly booed at a Bob Dylan tribute concert at New York's Madison Square Garden. She was set to sing Dylan’s “I Believe in You,” but switched to an a cappella version of “War." Despite the backlash, she expressed no regrets about the controversial “SNL” moment, later calling it the “proudest” moment of her career.

"They all thought I should be made a mockery of for throwing my career down the drain,” O'Connor said in “Nothing Compares,” a documentary about her life released last year. “I didn’t say I wanted to be a pop star. It didn’t suit me to be a pop star. So I didn’t throw away any career that I wanted. It didn’t change my attitude.