Sinéad O'Connor, an Irish singer, passed away at age 56.

 Sinéad O'Connor, an Irish singer, passed away at age 56.

Sinéad O'Connor, an Irish singer, passed away at age 56.

Irish singer Sinead O'Connor, known for her powerful and beautiful voice, her political affiliations and personal turmoil in her later years, has died. She was 56 years old.

"Nothing Compares 2 U" by O'Connor was one of the decade's biggest hits in 90s

 His death was announced by his family. The cause and date of his death were not made public. "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinead," the statement. Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this difficult time."

The voices of female vocalists who broke societal norms about how women should look and sound dominated alternative radio in the late 1980s. However, O'Connor stood out even among the likes of Tracy Chapman, Lori Anderson, and the Indigo Girls.

Her debut album cover, released in 1987, was so captivating - not just because of her pretty face. It was his head, bald as an eagle, and his wrists locked protectively over his heart. The Lion and the Cobra, the album's name, alludes to a Psalm 91 verse regarding believers and the tenacity and resiliency of their faith and in her early life, Sinead O'Connor was resilient.

In 2014, O'Connor admitted to NPR, "I grew up in a very abusive situation; my mother was a criminal."

After dropping out of Catholic school as a child and repeatedly getting caught for shoplifting, O'Connor began raising a voice at a home for juvenile delinquents. But a nun gave him a guitar and she started singing on the streets of Dublin and then with a popular Irish band called In Tua Nua.

O'Connor was spotted by U2 guitarist The Edge and signed to the Ensign/Chrysalis label. I Don't Want What I Haven't Got, his second studio album, achieved double platinum status in 1990, in part because of the Prince-penned hit "Nothing Compares 2 You."

I Don't Want What I Didn't Get was a distillation of O'Connor's prayerful passion for music and her anger at social injustice. She turned down her four Grammy nominations because, in her view, they were "destroying the human race" and too commercial.

 When She refused to sing "The Star Spangled Banner" because its lyrics glorified air bombs, she was banned from the New Jersey arena.

Rock critic Bill Wyman says O'Connor belonged to a proud Irish tradition of speaking out against the established order. "You know she's always with the suffering, the vulnerable, and the vulnerable," he said.

At the height of her popularity, Sinead O'Connor made an appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1992. She spoke out against racism and child abuse during her performance.

 There was silence as she finished singing, a version of Bob Marley's "War," tearing up a picture of then-Pope John Paul II.

What happened in the media was a collective cry of outrage. She suppressed Protestant protests against abuses in the Catholic Church. Years later, in 2010, O'Connor told NPR that she knew exactly what to expect.

"It was grand, to be honest," he said. "I mean, I knew how people would react. I knew there would be trouble. I was ready enough to accept it. It was more important for me to recognize what I would say to the Holy Spirit. "

Rock music's Joan of Arc, as she came to be called, her commitments became increasingly erratic. O'Connor was a feminist; She was not there then. She supported the Irish Republican Army until this happened. She was ordained as a Catholic priest by an evil cult. She accepted Islam. She started opening up about his choices in sex, from celibacy. He changed his name several times, calling himself Shahada 'Sadaqat' after the change, although she continued to release music under his birth name. And his music changed unexpectedly, from new age to opera and reggae.

Although O'Connor never scored another notable hit, the tabloids continued to cover him: his four marriages, four divorces, and four children; She had feuds with celebrities from Frank Sinatra to Miley Cyrus.

"I think people have lost respect for his reputation," says Bill Wyman. "& the records after that are not as fun. They're poorly made, and they're weird. They're not as enjoyable."

In later years, O'Connor took to Facebook and Twitter to write about her struggles with mental illness. She contemplated suicide & tried it more than once.

If you grew up in the 1980s, you heard a song from Sinead O'Connor's debut album, "Never Gets Old," over and over again. If only - somehow - she could be as powerful as his strongest songs.

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