Police in the UK have released a tragic statement on Sinéad O’Connor’s death, after the singer was found dead at her London home on Wednesday, July 26.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad,” her family said in a statement to The Irish Times. “Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
O’Connor received critical acclaim and worldwide success for her music, but she also struggled with mental health issues and was the center of numerous controversies due to her outspoken political and social views.
Born in Dublin on December 8, 1966, O’Connor had a difficult childhood and alleged that her mother was physically abusive, leaving her with lasting trauma and inspiring a lifelong advocacy for abused children. She was placed in an asylum for shoplifting and truancy issues when she was 15, and discovered a gift for music.
She recorded her first album, 1987’s The Lion and the Cobra, when she was 20. The album charted worldwide and earned O’Connor a Grammy nomination. Slant Magazine and Pitchfork both listed it as one of the best albums of the 1980s, with Slant calling it “one of the most electrifying debuts in rock history” and Pitchfork praising the album’s “themes of patriotism, sexuality, Catholicism, and social oppression set the stage for a career marked by a resolute sense of independence.”
O’Connor’s follow-up album, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, released in 1990, was her biggest success, and included her cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” her most famous and highest-charting recording. It was named the “#1 World Single” of 1990 by the Billboard Music Awards and frequently ranks on lists of the greatest songs of all time.
British police discovered the singer “unresponsive” at her London home on Wednesday, and she was pronounced dead at the scene after they were called to respond. They said in a statement than an autopsy is currently being conducted, and it may take “several weeks” for the results to be available, delaying the determination of the official cause of death.
Thought, authorities have reiterated that her death is not being treated as “suspicious”.
O’Connor, a Grammy-winning artist, faced a tragic loss when her 17-year-old son, Shane, died by suicide in January 2022 after going missing in Ireland.
Prior to her own passing, the renowned singer used social media to share her struggles and the pain she experienced after her son’s death. She described feeling “lost” and referred to living as an “undead night creature” without him, emphasizing the profound bond they shared.
“”Been living as undead night creature since.. He was the love of my life, the lamp of my soul,” O’Connor wrote of her son on Twitter. “We were one soul in two halves. He was the only person who ever loved me unconditionally. I am lost in the bardo without him.”
As well as her son’s death, she publicly expressed thoughts of suicide on multiple occasions in recent years, including during a period when she went missing in Chicago in 2016.
Following the news of her passing, fellow musicians and celebrities took to social media to pay tribute to the legendary singer, remembering her for both her music and her advocacy work.
Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and fans at this truly difficult time.
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