The Irish singer died at the age of 56 on Wednesday, July 26. While her cause of death has not yet been revealed, Metropolitan Police said in a statement on Thursday, July 27, that they have no reason to believe foul play was involved.
O’Connor’s family confirmed that she died on July 26. “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad,” they said in a statement. “Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
She had her big break in 1990 when she released her hit song “Nothing Compares 2 U.” O’Connor released 10 albums during her career, including her most recent album, I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss in 2014.
The “This Is a Rebel Song” singer announced she was retiring from music and touring in October 2021, explaining it was because she had “gotten older” and was “tired.” However, O’Connor took back the decision just days later. “I love my job. Making music that is,” she wrote via Twitter. “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.”
O’Connor’s death comes 18 months after her son her son Shane – whom she shared with Dónal Lunny – 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,” O’Connor announced via Twitter 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 Shane, the Dublin native was the mother to Jake with music producer John Reynolds, Roisin with journalist John Waters and Yeshua with Frank Bonadio.
O’Connor had been open about her struggles with mental illness over the years, while she discussed how her troubled childhood impacted her mental health in her 2021 memoir, Rememberings. She recalled growing up with her abusive mother, Marie, and said her childhood trauma played into her mental health struggles that included a breakdown she suffered in 2015.
While she moved in with her father at the age of 13, O’Connor was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, complex post-traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder following years of abuse.
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“I was mental,” the “8 Good Reasons” singer said in a May 2021 interview while reflecting on her mental health struggles. “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.”
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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