Sinéad O’Connor’s untimely death has sent shockwaves around the world and left a massive void in the lives of music lovers everywhere
The world and the music industry were left stunned and bereft at the news that the iconic singer and activist Sinéad O’Connor had died on 26 July 2023. To say she left a legacy is an understatement. Her instantly recognisable voice touched millions of people across the globe and her hauntingly beautiful live performances stirred the souls of everyone lucky enough to be in her presence.
These are some of the best of those live performances:
Mandinka – 1989
21-year-old Sinéad performed her song Mandinka at the 1989 Grammy Awards ceremony. She was nominated in the Best Rock Vocal Performance – Female category and Billy Crystal introduced her as ‘no ordinary talent’. Once she had finished singing, everyone knew exactly what he meant.
War – 1992
Sinéad’s performance of Bob Marley’s “War” on Saturday Night Live would go down in television history when she ended it by ripping a picture of Pope John Paul II before saying “Fight the real enemy” into the camera. Her actions got her immediately blacklisted but she later said she did it to shed light on the Catholic Church’s history of abuse before it was widely accepted.
Make me a Channel of your Peace – 1992
In the flood of Sinead O’Connor material here this evening, make five minutes for this. This would only have been a few months after the SNL/Pope episode. https://t.co/2sCC5zaqOT— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) July 26, 2023
A few months after her SNL appearance, Sinéad surprised everyone one Friday night, when she performed the religious hymn Make Me a Channel of your Peace on The Late Late Show. Keep watching after the song ends to hear her reply when host Gay Byrne asks why she chose to sing that song.
The Foggy Dew – 1995
Sinéad’s voice proved to be a perfect fit for the Irish song The Foggy Dew. So much so, that she recorded a version with Irish band, The Chieftains.
This is a Rebel Song – 1997
In 1997, Sinéad broke hearts around the world with her breathtaking rendition of This is a Rebel Song, performed at the PBS TV show Sessions at West 54th Street.
Lay Your Head Down – 2011
This devastatingly beautiful piece was the theme song to the 2011 film Albert Nobbs starring Glenn Close. Here, she sings it live accompanied by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra at the National Concert Hall, with composer Brian Byrne conducting from the piano and Joanne Quigley the solo violinist.
The Wolf is Getting Married – 2012
Sinéad brought the house down with this rip-roaring performance of The Wolf is Getting Married after appearing as a guest on The Graham Norton Show in 2012.
Nothing Compares 2 U – 1990
This video of Sinéad singing her iconic cover of Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U has been viewed over 111 million times – with good reason. The song catapulted her to worldwide fame and became a break-up anthem for millions of people.
Nothing Compares 2 U – 2019
Sinéad melted hearts around Ireland when she took to the studio floor of The Late Late Show in 2019 and performed her iconic hit Nothing Compares 2 U almost thirty years after it was released as a single and transformed her into a global phenomenon.