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Sinead O' Connor brief biography

Updated on September 11, 2013

Sinead O'Connor

Sinead O'Connor performance
Sinead O'Connor performance | Source

Comparison

  • Audiences around the world are comparing parts of Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball" music video to Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U" music video.

Poll

Have you seen the Miley Cyrus "Wrecking Ball" music video yet?

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Poll

Do you think the collaborators (Miley Cyrus, her music video director, etc.) of the "Wrecking Ball" music video were inspired by Sinead O'Connor's performance in "Nothing Compares 2 U" music video?

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Poll

Disregarding the "Wrecking Ball" music video and just listening to the song itself, do you like the song?

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Present Day

If you live in the United States or even worldwide, you have probably learned that Miley Cyrus is making music entertainment history this week perhaps for a reputation of raunchiness and controversy more than true talent.

This is sad since Miley does appear to have a true talent for singing but she seems to be trying so hard to get away from her childhood Disney image of Hannah Montana.

A August 25th MTV Video Music Award (VMA) sexually charged performance by Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke, involving "twerking" had many people appalled.

Brook Shields who was known for risqué roles and performances herself during her youth, called Miley's actions a bit desperate.

Besides for the live music awards show performance, Miley has performed in some risqué music videos including "We Can't Be Tamed", "We Can't Stop" and most recently "Wrecking Ball".

What many are saying about the controversial "Wrecking Ball" video which has broken the 24 hour record for YouTube video views (over 19.3 million views in 24 hours) is that the beginning of the video bears stark comparison to Sinead O'Connor's 1989 "Nothing Compares 2 U" video.

Miley and her management team / directors chose to have a raw and very close up camera shot of her face while she sang the lyrics to "Wrecking Ball" and even shed some tears as did Sinead O'Connor in her "Nothing Compares 2 U" music video.

Over the years, since a 1990 controversy negatively affected her career, Sinead O'Connor had lost general worldwide popularity but could Miley's actions that show inspiration from Sinead's work be bringing Sinead back into the spotlight?

There are currently under 8 million google internet search engine results for Sinead O'Connor but her music video "Nothing Compares 2 U" specifically had recently reached over 50 million views with many of the most recent commentators stating that they were drawn to look at the "Nothing Compares 2 U" video after hearing about the comparison to Miley Cyrus's just released video.

Some individuals, being young fans of 20 year old Miley Cyrus, had never even heard of Sinead O'Connor before but now she is capturing their attention with the awesome talent she displayed in the "Nothing Compares 2 U" music video.

Sinead O'Connor

Sinead O'Connor is a 46 year old female Irish singer. She gained a large amount of fame and media attention at the young age of just 20 or 21. She is well known for her 1989 cover recording of the song "Nothing Compares to U" by musical artist Prince.

She seemed to be taking America by storm with her talent and performed another song Mandika at the Grammy Awards.

Sinead was born in Ireland, the third of five children to parents that separated during her youth. The elder three children lived with their mother but experienced child abuse. Sinead O'Connor became a known advocate against all forms of child abuse later in life.

Sometime after her parents' divorce, Sinead's father battled to gain custody of the three children in her mother's care including her. Irish laws of the time showed intense favor for the mother to have custody.

Sinead's father was finally able to attain custody but Sinead was soon troublesome due to issues with truancy at school and petty crime including shoplifting.


The Magdalene Asylum

Since becoming famous, Sinead O'Connor had reported spending some time at a Magdalene asylum in her youth. Named for Mary Magdalene and used for rehabilitating prostitutes, the asylums were also used for women involved in other unsavory activity and crimes.

  • These types of asylums were prevalent in Ireland and other parts of the world


  • They gained a notorious reputation for alleged abuses


  • Various people who spent time there likened their chores and responsibilities to slave labor as these were laundries where the women had to work upwards of ten hours per day washing, ironing and folding laundry for various establishments including hospitals and they were not paid.

Moving on

Sadly, with no one to vouch for them, many women remained in these types of isolating asylums for a lifetime, never transitioning back into society and real employment.

With family concern and support, Sinead O'Connor was able to transition out and continue her life.

Her talent for music had been found while in the asylum and she continued on to school but later dropped out to pursue her music career first with a band that had a focus on World music and then as a solo artist.

Nothing Compares 2 U

By the age of 21, Sinead O'Connor truly catapulted to fame. She was adored by fans with many considering her stunningly beautiful and able to be a supermodel if she wanted.

She had a trademark shaved head not typical of most women but people considered her beautiful nevertheless.

Fans reported being captivated by her eyes in the "Nothing Compares 2 U" music video where she sang with soul and raw emotion.

Not an actress, she still shed tear while she sang and many people felt the authenticity speculating that she cried when a lyric reminded her of her mother who had recently passed away.

Despite the strained relationship they had, she was said to be very torn apart when her mother passed away.

The line that most believe is a tribute to her own mother is:

"All the flowers that you planted, momma, in the back yard

all died when you went away".....

Nothing Compares 2 U

Controversy

Unfortunately, it was not long before the young and uninhibited Sinead O'Connor was embroiled in controversy for making an appearance on the Saturday Night Live (SNL) American television show and sang Bob Marley's song "War" where she inserted the words child abuse in some of the lyrics. She subsequently tore up a picture of the Roman Catholic pope on live television.

A predominantly Christian and largely Catholic American public was completely appalled and ashamed for her.

The Saturday Night Live audience was not encouraged to applaud the act via the applause light that typically alerts live audiences that it is time to give applause.

Instead, the studio was silent. No one clapped or booed it was recalled. Everyone was just shocked.

Lessened Public Image

Would you believe that even Madonna, notorious for inappropriately using religious imagery in her sexually charged music videos, criticized Sinead?

There was not much point in attempting damage control in the heat of that time but Sinead did make some statements then and in later years to various media outlets including BBC news (British television).

She apparently wanted to speak out against all forms of child abuse that had occurred in the church and against the abusive priests who were protected by those who failed to punish them and remove them from their positions. She felt that she was not tearing up a photo of one person but a symbol of a whole establishment. She felt that the Vatican was ignoring great evil.

Some say that she was ahead of her time in her position because many abuses were brought to light years after the SNL incident.

Many think that no matter what, what she did was massively offensive and perhaps she even did it for attention which backfired into a career halt and lessened public image.


Some more information about Sinead O'Connor

  • Sinead O'Connor claims to be a Catholic herself.


  • She was also ordained a Catholic priest by an Orthodox sect not in communion with the Roman Catholic Church (which does allow ordination of female priests)


  • She also believes in pantheism, divinity of nature/ divinity of the Universe


  • In 2007, Sinead O'Connor discussed (in an Oprah Winfrey interview) that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder four years prior.


  • At the age of 33, she had attempted suicide.


  • Sinead O'Connor has four children and has been married four times.


  • In the last two decades, Sinead has released more music, some being faith based and much lesser known than her original fame. Sinead O'Connor also released a 2012 album.


  • When the latest Roman Catholic Pope, Pope Francis was appointed, Sinead O'Connor was interviewed on British television and claimed that she has nothing against the man because she does not know him but she thinks he has an insurmountable task of leading a church that is on a foundation of sinkable sand and conditional love. She also thinks that there is no need for the position of Pope because she sees the position as an intermediary when we should just be talking to God directly. She also thinks that God does not care if we call Him Fred or Daisy. For all who beg to differ, there Sinead is causing controversy again.

Poll

Were you ever a Sinead O'Connor fan?

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Sources: Wikipedia and information from various television interviews

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