Sinéad O’Connor, an activist and musician from Ireland, has passed away at the age of 56.
She was best known for the 1990 single Nothing Compares 2 U, which peaked at number one and made her a household name.
Her family announced the news “with great sadness”, saying “her family and friends are devastated”. The cause of death has not been made public.
Taoiseach (Irish PM) Leo Varadkar said her music “was loved around the world and her talent was unmatched”.
Irish President Michael D Higgins praised O’Connor’s “authenticity” as well as her “beautiful, unique voice”.
“What Ireland has lost at such a relatively young age is one of our greatest and most gifted composers, songwriters and performers of recent decades, one who had a unique talent and extraordinary connection with her audience, all of whom held such love and warmth for her,” he said.
The singer had a challenging upbringing. She was born Sinead Marie Bernadette O’Connor in December 1966 in Glenageary, County Dublin.
She spent her adolescent years in Dublin’s An Grianan Training Centre, which was formerly one of the notorious Magdalene Laundries and was built to house young girls who were believed to be promiscuous.
O’Connor’s musical career began when a nun purchased her a guitar and connected her with a music teacher.
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