Sinéad O'Connor
Photo by Michel Linssen/Redferns/Getty

Sinéad O’Connor has died at the age of 56.

In a statement, the singer’s family 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.”

Sinéad O’Connor was best known for her timeless and haunting cover of Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U, which reached No.1 in 1990

She released her first album The Lion And The Cobra in 1987, which went Top 40 in the UK and US. Follow-up I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990) peaked at No.1 and was nominated for four Grammy Awards.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar paid tribute to the singer, saying her music “was loved around the world and her talent was unmatched and beyond compare”.

Irish Deputy Prime Minister Micheal Martin said O’Connor was one of Ireland’s “greatest musical icons”, adding she was “someone deeply loved by the people of Ireland, and beyond. Our hearts go out to her children, her family, friends and all who knew and loved her.”

O’Connor was known for her outspoken views and famously ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II on American television to protest against abuse in the Catholic Church.

The action resulted in her being banned for life by NBC and there were protests in New York’s Times Square.

“I’m not sorry I did it. It was brilliant,” she said in an interview with the New York Times in 2021.

She released her tenth and final album, I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss, in 2014 and four years later converted to Islam, changing her name to Shuhada Sadaqat,

The singer is survived by three children. Her son Shane passed away last year at the age of 17, days after he was reported missing.