Sinéad O'Connor
Sinéad O'Connor
Sinéad Marie Bernadette O'Connor is an Irish singer-songwriter who rose to fame in the late 1980s with her debut album The Lion and the Cobra. O'Connor achieved worldwide success in 1990 with a cover of Prince's song "Nothing Compares 2 U".
Biography
Sinéad O'Connor's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Sinéad O'Connor from around the web
Today in Entertainment: Rihanna named Harvard Humanitarian of the Year; Sinéad O'Connor apologizes to Arsenio Hall for Prince comments
LATimes - 2 days
Today in Entertainment: Rihanna named Harvard Humanitarian of the Year; Sinéad O'Connor apologizes to Arsenio Hall for Prince comments Feb. 23, 2017, 1:14 p.m. With the Oscars around the corner and much of Hollywood still focused on the twists and turns of the presidency of Donald Trump, here's...
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LATimes article
Pussy Riot's 'Straight Outta Vagina' Wants Trump To Remember Where He Came From
Huffington Post - 4 months
“Don’t play stupid / don’t play dumb / vagina’s where you’re really from!*” These glorious words comprise the powerful (and dangerously catchy) chorus to Pussy Riot’s new song “Straight Outta Vagina.” The danceable number, which features Desi Mo and Leikeli47, is the latest from the Russian punk group, whose members spent nearly two years in a Russian prison after criticizing Vladimir Putin in their 2012 performance “Punk Prayer.”  In their newest song, Pussy Riot lodges their message at Putin’s non-best friend Donald Trump, whose history of verbally and physically abusing women is truly sickening.  It’s ironic, Pussy Riot reminds us, that the man who so cavalierly bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy” owes his very existence to it. Although it’s hard to listen to the song without thinking of all that’s at stake in this maddening current political climate, the powerful lyrics are about so much more. “This song could be considered an ...
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Huffington Post article
Prince given a worthy tribute by the BET Awards
LATimes - 8 months
Prince hated tributes. He yanked covers of his music off YouTube, and generally loathed it when people played his songs. How could he not? Excepting Sinead O’Connor, were they ever remotely up to par with the original?  But it’s hard to imagine that he wouldn’t have been pleased on some cosmic...
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LATimes article
Chicago officers told to look out for Sinead O'Connor after Dublin police call
Chicago Times - 8 months
Chicago police were on the lookout for singer Sinead O’Connor Thursday evening after Dublin police contacted them to say that O’Connor had called and said she was going to jump from a bridge in Chicago, police said. Chicago police dispatchers broadcast what’s known as an “all-call” message about...
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Chicago Times article
Madonna And Stevie Wonder Prove No One Compares To Prince At Billboard Music Awards
Huffington Post - 9 months
Madonna took the stage at the Billboard Music Awards on Saturday night to pay tribute to the late, great Prince.  Before she even stepped on stage, the crowd was on their feet as Prince's voice blared over the speakers, reciting the iconic opening lines of "Let's Go Crazy": "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life."  Madge, dressed in "Purple Rain" garb, appeared sitting on a plush purple chair. She broke out into a cover of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U," which was made popular by Sinead O'Connor. Then Stevie Wonder walked onto the stage to sing "Purple Rain" with the Material Girl. The two held hands and belted out the lyrics as the crowd waved their arms (wrapped in purple wristbands) in the air and sang along.  The performance was understated yet moving, and overall, a great tribute to one of music's biggest icons.  Madonna is moving us to tears with her beautiful tribute to Prince. #BBMAs pic.twitter.com/AWJUcodP0P — Sha ...
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Huffington Post article
Don't let the drama around Sinead O'Connor eclipse her art
LATimes - 9 months
Those who have casually followed the Irish singer and songwriter Sinead O'Connor's life in the past few years likely know the basic details of her personal struggles with mental illness, as well as her recent vanishing act in Chicago's north suburbs. If not, details of this non-musical news are...
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LATimes article
UPDATE 4-Sinead O'Connor found safe after going missing in Chicago area
Reuters.com - 9 months
CHICAGO, May 16 (Reuters) - Irish-born singer Sinead O'Connor turned up safe at an undisclosed location on Monday, hours after police in Illinois said she was missing, citing a concerned caller who told authorities she had failed to return from a bicycle ride.
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Reuters.com article
Sinead O'Connor is known as much for her opinions as music
Yahoo News - 9 months
Uncertainty for several hours Monday over the whereabouts of Irish singer Sinead O'Connor — who was found safe by Chicago-area police after a call saying she hadn't been seen since leaving for a bicycle ride Sunday — was only the latest episode involving the talented but troubled musician.
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Yahoo News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Sinéad O'Connor
    FORTIES
  • 2016
    Age 49
    She is currently writing a memoir due out in March 2016.
    More Details Hide Details On 3 October 1992, O’Connor appeared on Saturday Night Live as a musical guest. She sang an a cappella version of Bob Marley’s "War", intended as a protest against sexual abuse in the Catholic Church—O’Connor referred to child abuse rather than racism. She then presented a photo of Pope John Paul II to the camera while singing the word "evil", after which she tore the photo into pieces, said "Fight the real enemy", and threw the pieces towards the camera. Saturday Night Live had no foreknowledge of O’Connor’s plan; during the dress rehearsal, she held up a photo of a refugee child. NBC Vice-President of Late Night Rick Ludwin recalled that when he saw O’Connor’s action, he "literally jumped out of his chair." SNL writer Paula Pell recalled personnel in the control booth discussing the cameras cutting away from the singer. The audience was completely silent, with no booing or applause; executive producer Lorne Michaels recalled that "the air went out the studio". Michaels ordered that the applause sign not be used.
  • 2015
    Age 48
    In August 2015 she revealed that she was to undergo a hysterectomy after suffering with gynaecological problems for over three years.
    More Details Hide Details In the late 1990s, Bishop Michael Cox of the Irish Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church (an Independent Catholic group not in communion with the Catholic Church) ordained O’Connor as a priest. The Roman Catholic Church considers ordination of women to be invalid and asserts that a person attempting the sacrament of ordination upon a woman incurs excommunication. The bishop had contacted her to offer ordination following her appearance on the RTÉ’s Late Late Show, during which she told the presenter, Gay Byrne, that had she not been a singer, she would have wished to have been a Catholic priest. After her ordination, she indicated that she wished to be called Mother Bernadette Mary. In a July 2007 interview with Christianity Today, O’Connor stated that she considers herself a Christian and that she believes in core Christian concepts about the Trinity and Jesus Christ. She said, "I think God saves everybody whether they want to be saved or not. So when we die, we’re all going home... I don’t think God judges anybody. He loves everybody equally." In an October 2002 interview, she credited her Christian faith in giving her the strength to live through, and then overcome the effects of, her child abuse.
    On 18 July 2015 her first grandson was born to her son Jake Reynolds and his girlfriend Lia.
    More Details Hide Details In a 2000 interview in Curve, O’Connor commented, "I’m a dyke… although I haven’t been very open about that and throughout most of my life I’ve gone out with blokes because I haven’t necessarily been terribly comfortable about being a big lesbian mule. But I actually am a dyke." However, soon after in an interview in The Independent, she stated, "I believe it was overcompensating of me to declare myself a lesbian. It was not a publicity stunt. I was trying to make someone else feel better. And have subsequently caused pain for myself. I am not in a box of any description." In a magazine article and in a programme on RTÉ (Ryan Confidential, broadcast on RTÉ on 29 May 2003), she stated that while most of her sexual relationships had been with men, she has had three relationships with women. In a May 2005 issue of Entertainment Weekly, she stated, "I’m three-quarters heterosexual, a quarter gay. I lean a bit more towards the hairy blokes".
    In March 2015 she revealed that she was going to be a grandmother for the first time.
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  • 2014
    Age 47
    Speaking about her relationship with Prince in an interview with Norwegian station NRK in November 2014 she said, "I did meet him a couple of times.
    More Details Hide Details We didn’t get on at all. In fact we had a punch-up." She continued: "He summoned me to his house after 'Nothing Compares 2U'. I made it without him. I’d never met him.
    In November 2014 O'Connor's management was taken over by music veterans Simon Napier-Bell and Björn de Water.
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    In early June 2014, it was announced that O'Connor's new album had been retitled I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss, with an 11 August release date.
    More Details Hide Details The title derives from the Ban Bossy campaign that took place earlier the same year. The album's first single is entitled "Take Me to Church".
    In February 2014, it was revealed that O'Connor had been recording a new album of original material, titled The Vishnu Room, consisting of romantic love songs.
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  • 2013
    Age 46
    O'Connor resumed touring in 2013, announcing The Crazy Baldhead Tour.
    More Details Hide Details The second single "4th and Vine" was released on 18 February 2013.
  • 2012
    Age 45
    Having planned an extensive tour in support of How About I Be Me (and You Be You)?, O'Connor announced on her website in April 2012 that she was "very unwell" and had suffered a serious breakdown between December 2011 and March 2012.
    More Details Hide Details This resulted in the cancellation of the tour and all other musical activities for the rest of 2012, at least.
    O'Connor announced she was working on recording a new album, titled Home, to be released in the beginning of 2012.
    More Details Hide Details On 10 October 2011 O'Connor announced that the release date for the album, now titled How About I Be Me (and You Be You)?, had been set for 20 February 2012, with the first single being "The Wolf is Getting Married".
    In 2012 the song "Lay Your Head Down", written by Brian Byrne and Glenn Close for the soundtrack of the film Albert Nobbs and performed by O'Connor, was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
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  • 2011
    Age 44
    They wed on 9 December 2011 in Las Vegas, but 17 days later she announced on her website that their marriage had ended, noting that they "lived together for 7 days only".
    More Details Hide Details The following week, on 3 January 2012, O’Connor issued a further string of Internet announcements to the effect that the couple had re-united.
  • 2010
    Age 43
    O'Connor was married a third time on 22 July 2010, to longtime friend and collaborator Steve Cooney, and in late March 2011 made the decision to separate.
    More Details Hide Details Her fourth marriage was to Irish therapist Barry Herridge.
    On 28 March 2010, she had an opinion piece published in the Sunday edition of the Washington Post in which she wrote about the scandal and her time in a Magdalene laundry as a teenager.
    More Details Hide Details Writing for the Sunday Independent she labelled the Vatican as "a nest of devils" and called for the establishment of an "alternative church", opining that "Christ is being murdered by liars" in the Vatican. Shortly after the election of Pope Francis she described the office of the Pope as an "anti-Christian office." O’Connor stated: Asked whether from her point of view, it is therefore irrelevant who is elected to be Pope, O’Connor replied,
    On 26 March 2010, O‘Connor appeared on Anderson Cooper 360° to speak out about the Catholic sexual abuse scandal in Ireland.
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    In January 2010, O'Connor performed a duet with R&B singer Mary J. Blige produced by former A Tribe Called Quest member Ali Shaheed Muhammad of O'Connor's song "This Is To Mother You" (first recorded by O'Connor on her 1997 Gospel Oak EP).
    More Details Hide Details The proceeds of the song's sales were donated to the organisation GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services).
  • 2008
    Age 41
    The performance was released in 2008 as Live at the Sugar Club deluxe CD/DVD package sold exclusively on her website.
    More Details Hide Details O'Connor released two songs from her album Theology to download for free from her official website: "If You Had a Vineyard" and "Jeremiah (Something Beautiful)". The album, a collection of covered and original Rastafari spiritual songs, was released in June 2007. The first single from the album, the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber classic "I Don't Know How to Love Him", was released on 30 April 2007. To promote the album, O'Connor toured extensively in Europe and North America. She also appeared on two tracks of the new Ian Brown album The World Is Yours, including the anti-war single "Illegal Attacks".
  • THIRTIES
  • 2006
    Age 39
    On 8 November 2006, O'Connor performed seven songs from her upcoming album Theology at The Sugar Club in Dublin.
    More Details Hide Details Thirty fans were given the opportunity to win pairs of tickets to attend along with music industry critics.
  • 2005
    Age 38
    Collaborations, a compilation album of guest appearances, was released in 2005—featuring tracks recorded with Peter Gabriel, Massive Attack, Jah Wobble, Terry Hall, Moby, Bomb The Bass, The Edge, U2, and The The.
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  • 2004
    Age 37
    It was based on the Rastafarian culture and lifestyle, O'Connor having spent time in Jamaica in 2004.
    More Details Hide Details She performed the single "Throw Down Your Arms" on The Late Late Show in November. She also made comments critical of the war in Iraq and the role played in it by Ireland's Shannon Airport.
  • 2003
    Age 36
    In 2003, she contributed a track to the Dolly Parton tribute album Just Because I'm a Woman, a cover of Parton's "Dagger Through the Heart".
    More Details Hide Details That same year, she also featured on three songs of Massive Attack's album 100th Window before releasing her double album, She Who Dwells in the Secret Place of the Most High Shall Abide Under the Shadow of the Almighty. This compilation contained one disc of demos and previously unreleased tracks and one disc of a live concert recording. Directly after the album's release, O'Connor announced her retirement from music.
  • 2002
    Age 35
    Her 2002 album, Sean-Nós Nua, marked a departure in that O'Connor interpreted or, in her own words, "sexed up" traditional Irish folk songs, including several in the Irish language.
    More Details Hide Details In Sean-Nós Nua, she covered a well-known Canadian folk song, Peggy Gordon, interpreted as a song of lesbian, rather than heterosexual, love. In her documentary, Song of Hearts Desire, she stated that her inspiration for the song was her friend, a lesbian who sang the song to lament the loss of her partner.
  • 2001
    Age 34
    In mid-2001, O'Connor wed British journalist Nick Sommerlad; the marriage ended in 2004.
    More Details Hide Details She later had her third child, son Shane, with musician Donal Lunny. On December 19, 2006 she had her fourth child, Yeshua Francis Neil Bonadio, whose father is Frank Bonadio.
  • 1997
    Age 30
    She appeared in Neil Jordan's The Butcher Boy in 1997, playing the Virgin Mary.
    More Details Hide Details Faith and Courage was released in 2000, including the single "No Man's Woman", and featured contributions from Wyclef Jean of the Fugees and Dave Stewart of Eurythmics.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1994
    Age 27
    In 1994, she appeared in A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who, also known as Daltrey Sings Townshend.
    More Details Hide Details This was a two-night concert at Carnegie Hall produced by Roger Daltrey of The Who in celebration of his 50th birthday. A CD and a VHS video of the concert were issued in 1994, followed by a DVD in 1998.
  • 1993
    Age 26
    In an interview with The Guardian published 3 May 1993 she reported that her singing lessons with Merriman were the only therapy she was receiving, describing Merriman as "the most amazing teacher in the universe."
    More Details Hide Details The 1993 soundtrack to the film In the Name of the Father featured "You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart", with significant contributions from U2 frontman Bono. The more conventional Universal Mother (1994) did not succeed in restoring her mass appeal; however the music videos for the first and second singles, "Fire on Babylon" and "Famine", were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video. She toured with Lollapalooza in 1995, but dropped out when she became pregnant. The Gospel Oak EP followed in 1997, and featured songs based in an acoustic setting. It too, did not recapture previous album successes.
  • 1992
    Age 25
    After spending nine years dividing her time between London and Los Angeles, O'Connor returned to her home town of Dublin in late 1992 to live near her sister and focus on raising her son Jake, then six years old.
    More Details Hide Details She spent the following months studying Bel canto singing with teacher Frank Merriman at the Parnell School of Music.
  • 1990
    Age 23
    During late 1990 she held a romance with Red Hot Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis.
    More Details Hide Details The romance was short lived, apparently because of issues with Kiedis. This led to Kiedis writing the song "I Could Have Lied", from the band's 1991 album Blood Sugar Sex Magik.
    Also in 1990, she was criticised after she announced that she would not perform if the United States national anthem was played before one of her concerts.
    More Details Hide Details Frank Sinatra threatened to "kick her ass". After receiving 4 Grammy Award nominations she withdrew her name from consideration.
    In 1990, she contributed a cover of "You Do Something to Me" to the Cole Porter tribute/AIDS fundraising album Red Hot + Blue produced by the Red Hot Organization.
    More Details Hide Details In 1998, she worked again with the Red Hot Organization to co-produce and perform on Red Hot + Rhapsody. Red Hot + Blue was followed by the release of Am I Not Your Girl?, an album of standards and torch songs that she had listened to while growing up. Also in 1992, she contributed backing vocals on the track "Come Talk To Me", and shared vocals on the single "Blood of Eden" from the studio album Us by Peter Gabriel.
    In 1990, she joined many other guests for former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters' massive performance of The Wall in Berlin. (In 1996, she would guest on Broken China, a solo album by Richard Wright of Pink Floyd.) In 1991, her take on Elton John's "Sacrifice" was acclaimed as one of the best efforts on the tribute album Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin.
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    Also in 1990, O'Connor starred in a small independent Irish movie Hush-a-Bye Baby directed in Derry by Margo Harkin.
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  • 1989
    Age 22
    In 1989 O'Connor joined The The frontman Matt Johnson as a guest vocalist on the band's album Mind Bomb, which spawned the duet "Kingdom of Rain".
    More Details Hide Details The album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got featured Marco Pirroni and Kevin Mooney, of Adam and the Ants fame, and contained her international breakthrough hit "Nothing Compares 2 U", a song written by Prince and originally recorded and released by a side project of his, The Family. Aided by a memorable and well received video by John Maybury which consisted almost solely of O'Connor's face as she performed the song, it became a massive international hit, reaching No. 1 in several countries. In Ireland it hit the top spot in July 1990 and remained there for 11 weeks; it is the eighth most successful single of the decade there. It had similar success in the UK, charting at No. 1 for 4 weeks, and in Germany (No. 1 for 11 weeks). In Australia, it reached No. 1 on the Top 100. It also claimed the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100 chart in the US. She also received Grammy nominations including Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. She eventually won the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Performance, but boycotted the award show.
  • 1988
    Age 21
    In her first US network television appearance, O'Connor sang "Mandinka" on Late Night with David Letterman in 1988.
    More Details Hide Details The single "Troy" was also released as a single in the UK and Ireland. A club mix of "Troy" would become a major US dance hit in 2002. Artists that influenced her at that time were Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Bob Marley, Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Pretenders. Her second album – 1990's I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got – gained considerable attention and mostly positive reviews: it was rated "second best album of the year" by the NME. She was praised for her voice and her original songs. She was also noted for her appearance: her trademark shaved head, often angry expression, and sometimes shapeless or unusual clothing.
  • 1987
    Age 20
    Her first album The Lion and the Cobra was "a sensation" when it was released in 1987 and it reached gold record status and earned a Best Female Rock Vocal Performance Grammy nomination.
    More Details Hide Details The single "Mandinka" was a big college radio hit in the United States, and "I Want Your (Hands on Me)" received both college and urban play in a remixed form that featured rapper MC Lyte.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1985
    Age 18
    On 10 February 1985 O'Connor's mother was killed in a car accident which, despite their strained relationship, devastated her.
    More Details Hide Details Soon afterward she left the band, which stayed together despite O'Connor's statements to the contrary in later interviews, and she moved to London. O'Connor in June 1993 wrote a public letter in The Irish Times which asked people to "stop hurting" her: "If only I can fight off the voices of my parents / and gather a sense of self-esteem / Then I'll be able to REALLY sing " The letter repeated accusations of abuse by her parents as a child which O'Connor had made in interviews. Her brother Joseph defended their father to the newspaper but agreed regarding their mother's "extreme and violent abuse, both emotional and physical". Sinead said that month, "Our family is very messed up. We can't communicate with each other. We are all in agony. I for one am in agony." O'Connor's time as singer for Ton Ton Macoute brought her to the attention of the music industry, and she was eventually signed by Ensign Records. She also acquired an experienced manager, Fachtna O'Ceallaigh, former head of U2's Mother Records. Soon after she was signed, she embarked on her first major assignment, providing the vocals for the song "Heroine", which she co-wrote with U2's guitarist The Edge for the soundtrack to the film Captive. O'Ceallaigh, who had been fired by U2 for complaining about them in an interview, was outspoken with his views on music and politics, and O'Connor adopted the same habits; she defended the actions of the Provisional IRA and said U2's music was "bombastic".
  • 1984
    Age 17
    Through an ad she placed in Hot Press in mid-1984, she met Colm Farrelly.
    More Details Hide Details Together they recruited a few other members and formed a band called Ton Ton Macoute. The band moved to Waterford briefly while O'Connor attended Newtown, but she soon dropped out of school and followed them to Dublin, where their performances received positive reviews. Their sound was inspired by Farrelly's interest in world music, though most observers thought O'Connor's singing and stage presence were the band's strongest features.
  • 1983
    Age 16
    In 1983 her father sent her to Newtown School, an exclusive Quaker boarding school in Waterford, an institution with a much more permissive atmosphere than Grianan.
    More Details Hide Details With the help and encouragement of her Irish language teacher, Joseph Falvey, she recorded a four-song demo, with two covers and two of her own songs which later appeared on her first album.
  • 1979
    Age 12
    In 1979 O'Connor left her mother and went to live with her father and his new wife.
    More Details Hide Details However, at the age of 15, her shoplifting and truancy led to her being placed for eighteen months in a Magdalene Asylum, the Grianán Training Centre run by the Order of Our Lady of Charity. In some ways, she thrived there, especially in the development of her writing and music, but she also chafed under the imposed conformity. Unruly students there were sometimes sent to sleep in the adjoining nursing home, an experience of which she later commented, "I have never—and probably will never—experience such panic and terror and agony over anything." One of the volunteers at Grianán was the sister of Paul Byrne, drummer for the band In Tua Nua, who heard O'Connor singing "Evergreen" by Barbra Streisand. She recorded a song with them called "Take My Hand" but they felt that at 15, she was too young to join the band.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1966
    Born
    Born on December 8, 1966.
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