TRIBUTES have been paid to iconic Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor after she passed away at the age of 56.
A statement from the family of the Nothing Compares 2 U singer said her death had left them ‘devastated’.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad,” read the statement.
“Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
Following news of her death, tToiseach Leo Varadkar said O’Connor was ‘beyond compare’.
“Really sorry to hear of the passing of Sinéad O’Connor,” he tweeted.
“Her music was loved around the world and her talent was unmatched and beyond compare.
“Condolences to her family, her friends and all who loved her music.
“Ar dheis Dé go Raibh a hAnam.”
O’Connor was born in Dublin on December8, 1966 to parents John and Marie.
She shot to fame in 1990 after Nothing Compares 2 U, written by Prince, topped charts around the globe.
The song featured on her second album, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, which was also a bestseller, selling 7m copies.
O’Connor failed to replicate that chart success but her subsequent eight studio albums received generally positive reviews from critics.
However, she arguably become more well-known for her outspoken views, famously ripping up a picture of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live in 1992 to protest about the cover-up of clerical abuse.
Later that decade, she was ordained as a priest in Lourdes by the Latin Tridentine church in Lourdes, a sect not recognised by the Catholic Church.
In 2017, O’Connor changed her name to Magda Davitt and after converting to Islam a year later, change it again to Shuhada Sadaqat.
Throughout her career, O’Connor was frank about her struggles with mental health and was admitted to hospital in January 2022, a week after the death of her 17-year-old son, Shane.
Others have paid tribute to the star this evening, including Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess.
“Sinead was the true embodiment of a punk spirit,” he tweeted.
“She did not compromise and that made her life more of a struggle.
“Hoping that she has found peace.”
Referencing O’Connor’s SNL performance, journalist Caitlin Moran the singer was ‘hung her out to dry’ by the music industry for challenging the church.
“She was decades before her time, and fearless. Rest in power, queen,” added Moran.
Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick, who produced the iconic Che Guevara portrait and provided artwork for O’Connor’s 2000 album Faith and Courage, said she was ‘extraordinary talented’.
“The amazing Sinéad O’Connor has passed away and I’m so sad for her and all her loved ones,” he posted.
“I was so damn lucky to have spent time with her and to have worked with such an extraordinary talented woman.
“Ar Deis Dé go rabid a anam dilis.”
Meanwhile, Green party TD Malcolm Noonan tweeted: “Rest in peace Sinéad; an inspiration to who all who strive to use music as a weapon of peace, of inclusion and of social justice.
“Above all else she is as a truly great Irish artist, one of the greatest singers of all time.”