“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad,” O’Connor’s family said in a statement on Wednesday, July 26, according to reports. “Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
O’Connor’s death comes after her son Shane committed suicide at the age of 17 in January 2022.
“My beautiful son, Nevi’im Nesta Ali Shane O’Connor, the very light of my life, decided to end his earthly struggle today and is now with God,” the “Nothing Compares 2 U” singer tweeted at the time. “May he rest in peace and may no one follow his example. My baby. I love you so much. Please be at peace.”
In addition to sharing Shane with Dónal Lunny, O’Connor shared her eldest child, Jake, with music producer John Reynolds, Roisin with journalist John Waters and Yeshua with Frank Bonadio.
Her cause of death is not currently known but comes after she struggled with mental health problems over the years.
In her 2021 memoir, Rememberings, O’Connor opened up about her abusive mother and how childhood trauma played into her mental health struggles including a breakdown she suffered in 2015. O’Connor lived with her mother, Marie, after her parents divorced when she was a child. She said her mother was “not well” and would beat and kick her daily.
O’Connor went to live with her father when she was 13, while Marie died when the “This Is the Day” singer was 18.
She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, complex post-traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder following years of abuse.
O’Connor hit a low point in 2015 after she underwent a radical hysterectomy to treat endometriosis. Following the procedure, O’Connor posted concerning cries for help on social media.
“I was mental,” she said in a May 2021 interview while reflecting on her struggles with mental illness. “But I don’t regret those ’embarrassing’ videos. I’m quite proud, in a weird way, that I was that open … The nature of a singer is to be emotionally honest. I’ve always been pretty open. And I have no regrets.”
Following the breakdown, O’Connor began attending biweekly check-ins with her medical team to work through her trauma.
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O’Connor had her big break in 1990 when she released the hit “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which was written and composed by Prince. She went on to release 10 albums, with her most recent one being I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss in 2014.
In June 2021, O’Connor announced she was retiring from music and touring. At the time, she explained she had “gotten older” and was “tired.” However, she took back the claim just days later and wrote via Twitter, “I love my job. Making music that is. I don’t like the consequences of being a talented (and outspoken woman) being that I have to wade through walls of prejudice every day to make a living.”
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