Sinéad O’Connor dead: Irish singer mourned by friends, fans

Tributes honoring singer-songwriter Sinéad O’Connor poured in Wednesday from all corners, following news of the Irish artist’s death. Celebrities from across the entertainment world and political figures praised O’Connor’s musical talent and her knack for calling out injustices.

“Really sorry to hear of the passing of Sinéad O’Connor,” tweeted Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s taoiseach, or prime minister. “Her music was loved around the world and her talent was unmatched and beyond compare. Condolences to her family, her friends and all who loved her music.”

Irish mixed martial artist Conor McGregor recalled the relationship he had with the vocalist, who sang the intro song for the fighter’s entrance at UFC 189 in 2015.

“The world has lost an artist with the voice of an Angel,” McGregor wrote. “Ireland has lost an iconic voice and one of our absolute finest, by a long shot. And I have lost a friend. Sinéad’s music will live on and continue to inspire!”

“I hope Sinéad O’Connor finds the peace she’s been seeking,” country singer Margo Price tweeted. “I’ll never forget watching her rip up a photograph of Pope on SNL in an act of protest against sex abuse in the Catholic Church and thinking, what a badass. Way ahead of her time and gone too soon.”

Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell shared his condolences, writing, “I hope there’s peace for Sinéad at last.”

“Respect to Sinead….. She stood for something… Unlike most people…. Rest Easy,” rapper Ice-T tweeted.

Musician Melissa Etheridge remembered a personal interaction she had with O’Connor.

“This is such a tragedy. What a loss. She was haunted all her life. What a talent,” she recounted. “I remember my first Grammy show meeting this small shy Irish girl.”

“That insanely beautiful voice that could carry all the emotions in one line. Her bravery. Sinéad was so loved by so many of us but she was also not treated well at all,” penned Irish actor Sharon Horgan. “I’m just feeling so angry about how she was treated. But over all just heart breakingly sad for her and her family.”

The world was rocked Wednesday by the news of the O’Connor’s death. She was 56.

The singer rose to prominence with her version of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” and made international headlines when she unexpectedly shredded a picture of then-Pope John Paul II on “Saturday Night Live” in 1992.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad. Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time,” a family statement said. No cause of death was given.

Born Dec. 8, 1966, in the Dublin suburb of Glenageary, O’Connor was the third of five children. She became an international sensation after the release of her 1990 album, “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got.” Her cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” was her first No. 1 hit, and she was nominated for four Grammy Awards in 1991.

Also paying tribute on social media were Diane Warren, Billy Corgan, Michael Stipe, Perfume Genius and Sky Ferreira. See more tributes below.

Times staff writer Nardine Saad contributed to this report.

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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