Sinead O'Connor

Arguably one of the most controversial figures in Irish popular culture, SinǸad O'Connor has often polarised people with her outspoken views, though none can be dismissive of her incredible talent as a singer.


Named after the wife of former Irish president Ç?amon DeValera, O'Connor grew up in the Liberties area of Dublin's South inner city and is the middle child of five children, one of whom is now the noted novelist Joseph O'Connor.


Discovered at the age of 15, she formed the band Ton Ton Macoute in her late teens before moving to London in 1985. Within a year she had penned a deal with Ensign Records releasing her debut album 'The Lion and the Cobra' in 1987 to critical acclaim.


Her second album, 1990's 'I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got', followed and the acclaim for it helped increase public fascination with O'Connor, whose shaven head and forthright views made her standout from her mainstream contemporaries.


The album also catapulted her to fame through the huge international hit 'Nothing Compares 2 U', which was penned by Prince and topped the charts in several countries around the world, including Ireland where it remained at Number One for 11 weeks.


In 1992 however, O'Connor was to become infamous after she tore up a photograph of the Pope whilst performing on NBC's 'Saturday Night Live' in the US. The move created a media furore with O'Connor finding herself booed at concerts and highly criticised. Some would argue that her career never fully recovered following the incident; however she has gone on to release eight albums in the interim.


Her most recent, 'Theology', continues the influence of God and the divine in her music, which has ran through her career. In the late 1990s, O'Connor was controversially ordained into the Independent Catholic Church asking to be called Mother Bernadette Mary.


By 2003 she had announced her retirement from the music industry, though she later returned in 2005 with the reggae and Rastafarian influenced 'Throw Down Your Arms'.


Over the years she has collaborated with a number of artists from Massive Attack to Bono. Most recently she appeared on Ian Brown's 2007 album 'The World Is Yours'.


O'Connor has been married and divorced twice. She has four children.