Sinéad O’Connor: ‘beloved’ Irish singer dies aged 56

Sinéad O’Connor smiling on stage.

Irish music legend and activist Sinéad O’Connor has died at the age of 56, her family has announced.

Family members wrote in a statement on Wednesday (26 July): “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.”

Best known for her 1990 single Nothing Compares 2 U, which shot to number one worldwide upon release, the Dublin singer also won a number of awards for her album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got.

Her first album, the Lion and the Cobra, was released in 1987 and reached the top 40 charts in the UK and US.

She was outspoken in her social and political views, which involved campaigning against child abuse, supporting anti-racist movements and fighting for women’s rights.

While she mentioned not believing in “labels of any kind” when referring to her sexuality, she had previously said: “I am actually a dyke” before backtracking a year later, saying it was “overcompensating of me to declare myself a lesbian.”

O’Connor later said she was “three-quarters heterosexual, a quarter gay” while adding that it was not accurate to call her “bisexual.”

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar paid tribute to her in a statement, saying her music was “loved around the world” and that her talent “was unmatched and beyond compare.”

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