The news of the passing of one of the most prominent Irish artists, Sinéad O’Connor, came a little over a year following her son’s passing. O’Connor’s 17-year-old son died of suicide and she was never able to get over the loss.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad,” her family said in a statement to The Irish Times. “Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
Born in Dublin on December 8, 1966, O’Connor’s upbringing wasn’t an easy one. With a mother who was physically abusive, the singer spent a lifetime being an advocate and raising her voice against children abuse, not wanting a singe child to experience an ordeal similar to what she was forced to endure
Throughout her career, following her huge success which placed her on the pedestal in 1990 with Nothing Compares 2 U, O’Connor raised awareness and spoke openly about her religious journey, activism and mental health struggles.
The controversies surrounding her life started during the time there were rumors of the Catholic Church’s cover-up of sexual abuse cases followed by protests. During an appearance on Saturday Night Live, O’Connor expressed her thoughts over the entire situation in quite a controversial manner, by tearing a photo of Pope John Paul II while singing Bob Marley’s War, telling the audience to “fight the real enemy.”
Her action affected her career, but the singer said she had no regrets. “Everyone wants a pop star, see? But I am a protest singer. I just had stuff to get off my chest. I had no desire for fame,” she wrote in her 2021 memoir Rememberings.
In 2018, O’Connor converted to Islam after practicing Christianity her entire life and even being ordained as a priest in the Irish Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church. She then changed her name to Shuhada’ Davitt.
Shortly before her passing, O’Connor twitted about the heartbreak she experienced because of her son’s passing. Responding to a tweet by the Inspirational Quotes account asking: “Tell me how your life is going using emojis,” the late Irish musician shared 10 crying faces with the hashtag: “lostmy17yrOldSonToSuicidein2022.”
“Been living as undead night creature since,” she wrote in the emotional tweet on July 17. “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.”
She concluded: “I am lost in the bardo without him.”
Rest in peace, Sinéad O’Connor.
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