As news broke Wednesday aboutof Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor at the age of 56, many around the world took to social media to share tributes to the artist arguably best known for her cover of the Prince song “Nothing Compares 2 U.”
O’Connor overcame a difficult childhood, achieving her first major musical success in the late 1980s for her debut album “The Lion and the Cobra.” But it was her second album, “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got,” which made her a household name. She earned one Grammy win and eight nominations, and was named Rolling Stone artist of the year in 1991.
Along with her music, O’Connor was known for her outspoken stance on political and social issues, and was open about her struggles with mental health. Stars across the world Wednesday remembered and celebrated the singer for her fiery spirit.
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis dedicated a post on Instagram to O’Connor, recognizing the artist’s “beautiful” voice and “brilliant” personality.
“I loved her. Her music. Her life. She was a victim of child abuse and a huge change agent for unfair and unjust draconian laws that she helped change in Ireland,” Curtis wrote alongside a black and white photo of O’Connor.
“She was a warrior. She was a rebel,” Curtis continued. “She ripped up a photograph that was on her mother’s wall because of the hypocrisy of the abusive life she was raised in under the banner of the church.”
Singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge called O’Connor’s death “a tragedy.”
“She was haunted all her life. What a talent,” Etheridge wrote on social media. “I remember my first Grammy show meeting this small shy Irish girl.”
Rapper Ice T gave his “respect to Sinead.”
“She stood for something… Unlike most people,” he said.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar wrote that O’Connor’s “music was loved around the world and her talent was unmatched and beyond compare.”
Irish President Michael D. Higgins applauded O’Connor’s “extraordinary” singing voice, as well as her voice for social change.
“To those of us who had the privilege of knowing her, one couldn’t but always be struck by the depth of her fearless commitment to the important issues which she brought to public attention, no matter how uncomfortable those truths may have been,” Higgins said in a statement.
Irish actress Caitríona Balfe thanked O’Connor for her music and talent.
“I hope you are at peace … and with your baby boy,” Balfe said, referencing O’Connor’s teen son Shane, who died by suicide in 2022. “Thank you for sharing your soul with us and soothing us with your incredible voice beautiful Sinéad.”
Canadian musician Bryan Adams remembered O’Connor and the times they shared together.
“I loved working with you making photos, doing gigs in Ireland together and chats,” Adams wrote. “All my love to your family.”
Singer Alison Moyet said she was “heavy hearted” over the loss of O’Connor, calling her an “iconoclast.”
“Wanted to reach out to her often but didn’t,” Moyet wrote. “I remember her launch. Astounding presence. Voice that cracked stone with force & by increment. As beautiful as any girl around & never traded on that card.”