Sinead O'Connor: who is Irish singer who died aged 56 - who's her son Shane and how did he die?
Sinead O'Connor has passed away at the age of 56 - but she had an eventful life, from chart-topping with Nothing Compares 2 U to the tragic death of her son Shane
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Famed Irish singer and activist Sinead O'Connor has died at the age of 56, her family has announced.
In a statement released on Wednesday evening, O'Connor's loved-ones said: "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."
Sinead released 10 albums in a career spanning four decades, but is best known for her 1990 classic Nothing Compares 2 U and number one single I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. She was famously outspoken in her social and political views, appearing at a number of high-profile events to enact demonstrations and protest.
She was an invited performer on US show Saturday Night Live in 1992 when she ripped up a picture of Pope John Paul II. While the musician also saw herself banned for life by broadcaster NBC after her performance of Bob Marley's War saw her look directly at the camera and say "fight the real enemy" in protest against the Catholic Church.
Tributes have been pouring in ever since the news was confirmed, with Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar saying: "her music was loved around the world and her talent was unmatched and beyond compare." Irish comedian and Mock The Week host Dara O'Brien followed and added: "That's just very sad news. Poor thing. I hope she realised how much love there was for her."
The singer is survived by her three children. Her son Shane died last year at the age of 17, and in her final social media post Sinead O'Connor wrote: "Been living as undead night creature since. He was the love of my life, the lamp of my soul."
Here is everything you need to know about Sinead O'Connor.
Who is Sinead O'Connor?
Sinead O'Connor was born in Dublin on 8 December, 1966 and shot to fame with her debut studio album 'The Lion and The Cobra', before releasing her second album, titled 'I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got', which received rave reviews and sold over seven million units.
But it was lead single Nothing Compares 2 U which saw her skyrocket to becoming a household name of the 90s. It was named as the number one world single by the Billboard Music Awards in 1990.
She went on to release eight further albums - 10 in total - to extreme levels of success, internationally as well as domestically as a number went gold in the UK, Ireland and Australia: including Am I Not Your Girl (1992), Faith and Courage (2000), Throw Down Your Arms (2005) among others.
Away from the microphone, Sinead was incredibly vocal about her political views, spiritualism and socio-political views. She was ordained as a priest by the Latin Tridentine Church in 1999 and used her platform to speak out on issues such as child abuse, human rights, women's rights, organised religion and numerous others.
You would be amiss to believe that Sinead O'Connor had been the singer's name throughout her life, as she was known to change it regularly. In 2017, she was legally known as Magda Davitt, before converting to Islam a year later and changing to Shuhada' Sadaqat - though she continued to perform under her birth and stage name.
Was Sinead O'Connor married and did she have any children?
Over the course of her 56-year-life, Sinead O'Connor was married and divorced four times and had four children. Her first son, Jake, was born in 1987 with her first husband and music producer John Reynolds.
After their relationship had not worked out, Sinead gave birth to her daughter Brigidine Roisin Waters in 1996, who she shared with Irish journalist John Waters. A tense custody battle followed, but they never went on to tie the knot.
Sinead O'Connor then went on to marry British journalist Nick Sommerlad in 2001, but they separated after less than 11-months. Her third marriage was to long-time friend Steve Cooney in 2010, but they divorced a year later.
Her fourth and final husband was Irish therapist Barry Herridge in December of 2011. They ended things after only "living together for seven-days fully".
Sinead had her third child, son Shane, in 2004 with musician Donal Lunny and her fourth, Yeshua Francis Neil Bonadio, in 2016, whose father is Frank Bonadio.
Who is Sinead O'Connor's son Shane and how did he die?
Shane was Sinead O'Connor's third son and was just 17-years-old when he passed away in 2022. He died of suicide and was found two days after going missing from a mental health ward.
Announcing the tragic news, Sinead penned: "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. May he rest in peace and may no one follow his example. My baby. I love you so much. Please be at peace.”