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Encyclopedia > Sinead O'Connor

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Sinead O'Connor

Sinéad O'Connor (born December 8, 1966) is an Irish pop singer and songwriter. She is most famous for her hit single "Nothing Compares 2 U", a cover of a song written by Prince and arranged for her by him.

She was born in Glenageary, a suburb of Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. Her father is John O'Connor, a barrister. Her brother is the author Joseph O'Connor[?].

Her, till then, successful musical career in the United States was largely destroyed in the 1990s by a live appearance on a TV show where she ripped up a poster of Pope John Paul II with the words "fight the real enemy". In the aftermath she was booed off stage and verbally abused by audiences. However she continued to have hit records in her native Ireland and in the United Kingdom.

In the late 1990s, she was controversially ordained a Roman Catholic priest by Irish Tridentine bishop, Michael Cox[?], in disregard for the prohibition on the ordination of women within Roman Catholicism. As a result she was automatically excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church. Cox contacted her to offer ordination following her appearance on the RTÉ's Late Late Show, during which she told the presenter, Gay Byrne, that had she not been a singer, she would have wished to have been a Catholic priest. After her service of ordination, she indicated that she wished to be called Mother Mary Bernadette.

In 2003 she announced that she was going to leave the music industry and train to be a catechist[?] (teacher of the Catholic religion to school children).

She has been married twice. Her first marriage was to John Reynolds[?], a producer, writer and musician who co-produced several albums, including her fourth, Universal Mother[?], in 1994.

Her second marriage was to Nicholas Sommerlad[?], a journalist said to be related to the Queen of Sweden (whose maiden name is Sommerlath), in 2002 but they separated in 2003.

In a magazine article and in a programme on RTÉ1 she outed herself as bisexual, stating that while most of her sexual relationships had been with men, she had had three relationships with women. She has two children, a son, Jake, by her first husband and a daughter, Roisin, by The Irish Times columnist John Waters.

She has controversially claimed to have been physically, sexually, and mentally abused by her mother, who was killed in a car accident when Sinéad was 17. Her claims have been disputed by other members of her family.

Footnote

1 Ryan Confidential, broadcast on RTÉ 1 on May 29, 2003

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