Celebrities mourn Sinéad O’Connor: ‘I loved her. Her music. Her life.’

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Celebrities and musicians shared memories of Sinéad O’Connor on Wednesday, shortly after news broke that the Irish singer-songwriter had died. She was 56.

Tributes emphasizing the power of O’Connor’s voice, both as a musician and a political activist, quickly flooded social media, with some recalling the time they spent with the performer.

The artist, whose cause of death was not disclosed, is being remembered as much for her criticism of the Catholic Church as she is for her music career, which began on the streets of Dublin before launching to the international stage in the late 1980s and early ‘90s.

Family members of the singer, whose 17-year-old son, Shane, died by suicide in January last year, shared a statement about her death Wednesday, which was reported by the BBC and RTE.

“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,” the statement said.

O’Connor’s powerful and moving cover of Prince’s ballad “Nothing Compares 2 U” topped the charts worldwide in 1990 and received three Grammy nominations, landing her a feature as Rolling Stone’s Artist of the Year the following year. Even in the spotlight, O’Connor identified as a “troublemaker” and a non-conformist, statements that were symbolized most bluntly by her shaved head, a move she said was a dig at record executives who required artists to have a more conventional look.

In response to the news of O’Connor’s death, actor Jamie Lee Curtis posted an Instagram tribute about the time she heard O’Connor sing in an “empty chapel in Ireland.”

“It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard in my life,” Curtis wrote. “We then went together to see Eminem at a festival. I loved her. Her music. Her life. This is so sad. Watch the NOTHING COMPARES documentary. Brilliant. Heartbreaking. Rest well. Rest in power. Rest in peace.”

On X — formerly known as Twitter — Pulitzer Prize-winning author Joyce Carol Oates recalled O’Connor’s provocative appearance as a musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” in 1992, when the singer ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II while on stage, and cited the church as an enemy.

Rapper Ice T also took to X to commend O’Connor, an artist he said “stood for something… Unlike most people.”

Singer Jason Isbell said he hopes O’Connor has found peace “at last.”

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Emma Glassman-Hughes can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @eglassmanhughes.

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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