Sinead O’Connor: Stars including Russell Crowe, Cat Stevens and Dara O’Briain pay tribute to Irish singer
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Artists from across the musical spectrum, writers, actors and other celebrities shared their admiration for the Irish pop icon, who has died at the age of 56. Writer Bonnie Greer described O’Connor, who had a massive hit with the Prince song ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, as having a great soul music voice.
She tweeted: “Soul music is not about ‘ooh, baby, baby’. And I know about soul music because I was born and grew up around where Sam Cooke sang… and #Prince knew that #Sinead had it in her, too – that’s why she got his song. But her voice was #Ireland right down to the ground.”
The Irish author Marian Keyes described the news as “heartbreaking”, saying the singer was an “amazing, brave, beautiful, unique wonder”, while writer Caitlin Moran said O’Connor was “THE greatest voice of her generation, no contest” and “fearless”.
Victoria Mary Clarke, the wife of The Pogues star Shane MacGowan, thanked O’Connor for her “love and friendship”. Posting a photo on Twitter of MacGowan and O’Connor together from their younger years, she wrote: “We don’t really have words for this but we want to thank you Sinead. For your love and your friendship and your compassion and your humour and your incredible music. We pray that you are at peace now with your beautiful boy. Love Victoria and Shane.”
Clarke, who retweeted a picture of the singer and her son Shane who died last year, also remembered her as “incredibly funny” in a second post. “She told outrageous jokes at the most inappropriate times and she cracked me up! There will never be anyone even remotely like her,” she added.
Singer Cat Stevens, who like O’Connor converted to Islam, said “she was a tender soul”, while singer-songwriter Billy Bragg described her as “braver than brave”. Smashing Pumpkins singer Billy Corgan posted on Instagram, saying she was “fiercely honest and sweet and funny”.
He wrote: “She was talented in ways I’m not sure she completely understood. But Sinead stands alone as a figure from our generation who was always true to the piercing voice within and without. And for that I will always admire and respect her. And never forget that she was once cancelled for an act of simple resistance. Her crime? Tearing up a photo.”
Irish mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor wrote: “The world has lost an artist with the voice of an angel. Ireland has lost an iconic voice and one of our absolute finest, by a long shot. And I have lost a friend. Sinead’s music will live on and continue to inspire! Rest In Peace, Sinead you are home with your son I am sure.”
Canadian singer Bryan Adams said he “loved working with [her] making photos, doing gigs in Ireland together and chat”. Rapper turned actor Ice T tweeted: “Respect to Sinead….. She stood for something… Unlike most people”, while American singer-songwriter Jason Isbell posted: “I hope there’s peace for Sinead at last.”
Among other musicians to post tributes were Belinda Carlisle, Janelle Monae, UB40, Melissa Etheridge, Margo Price and Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello. Irish comedian Dara O’Briain said he hoped the singer “realised how much love there was for her”.
Actor Mayim Bialik said “her music changed the industry”, adding O’Connor’s “fierce fearlessness made a tremendous impression” on her as a teenager.
Oscar winner Russell Crowe shared a story about meeting her while working in Ireland last year and enjoying a conversation outside a pub.
He wrote: “In a conversation without fences we roamed through the recent Dublin heatwave, local politics, American politics, the ongoing fight for indigenous recognition in many places, but particularly in Australia, her warm memory of New Zealand, faith, music, movies and her brother the writer.
“I had the opportunity to tell her she was a hero of mine. What an amazing woman. Peace be with your courageous heart Sinéad.”