Sinead O'Connor

The turbulent whirl of Sinead's controversial career, from wedding singer to outspoken, shaven-headed, Grammy-refusing thorn in the side of the music industry. Nothing compares to her.


Sinead O'Connor grew up in a turbulent household marred by divorce and abuse. By the time she was a teenager, O'Connor had been expelled from Catholic school and sent away to reform school for shoplifting. However, she found solace in music, and was discovered by the drummer of ‘In Tua Nua’. After co-writing a few songs with the band, O'Connor began a solo career.

By 1985 she had signed to Ensign Records and moved to London, where she recorded her debut album, 1987's ‘The Lion and the Cobra’. The record won copious praise in the music press.

With the release of 1990's acclaimed ‘I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got’, O'Connor became an alternative rock superstar, thanks both to the album's hit single ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ and her increasingly controversial opinions.

O'Connor appeared in the American press saying she supported the IRA, and would not perform if the Star Spangled Banner were played before any of her concerts. In addition, she refused to accept the four Grammy nominations she received for ‘I Do Not Want...’

O'Connor titled her next, more conventional, album ‘Am I Not Your Girl?’. Unfortunately, its release was overshadowed by a legendary appearance on Saturday Night Live during which O'Connor ended her set by tearing up a photo of Pope John Paul II and shouting "Fight the real enemy!".

O'Connor avoided the spotlight for the next two years and in 1994 she returned with ‘Universal Mother’.

By the time the ‘Gospel Oak EP’ came out in 1997, O'Connor had emerged as an elder stateswoman for edgy female singer-songwriters, highlighted by her appearance at the 1998 Lilith Fair.

In 2000, O'Connor signed to Atlantic records and announced the impending release of her first album in six years, 'Faith & Courage'. On the eve of its release, she came out as a lesbian but later retracted the announcement.


Her next album called 'Sean-Nos-Nua' in 2002 was a departure from her usual music as she interpreted traditional Irish folk songs, with several being sung in the Irish language. She contributed to a tribute album for Dolly Parton in 2003, recording a cover of 'Dagger Through the Heart'.

The same year, she released the double album 'She Who Dwells in the Secret Place of the Most High Shall Abide Under the Shadow of the Almighty', which included a disc of demos and unreleased tracks as well as a live DVD. She then announced her retirement from music.

But in 2005, O'Connor was back with 'Collaborations' - an album of compilations with artists including Peter Gabriel, Massive Attack and U2, to name but a few. In an interview with Harp she stated she only intended to retire from making mainstream/pop music.

In late 2005, she released reggae album 'Throw Down Your Arms' which was met with positive reviews. O'Connor continued to be inspired by Rastafarian culture and released an album of Rastafarian spiritual songs in June 2007 called 'Theology'.

Two tracks from the album were made available to download for free while O'Connor toured the UK and US extensively promoting the record.

On 8 November 2011, she released her new single 'How About I Be Me' - also inspired by Reggae - which comes from her upcoming album 'How About I Be Me and You Be You' which was released in 2012. Her latest album was 'I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss' which was released in 2014.

The singer also revealed on her website that she will marry her boyfriend Barry Herridge at an undisclosed location on 8 December 2011. They married but separated only 17 days later! However, they have since reconciled.