Irish singer and activist Sinéad O'Connor has died aged 56.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad," read a statement on Wednesday. "Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.” A cause of death has not been given.
The Grammy Award winning singer released 10 studio albums between 1987 and 2014, most notably her number one single, Nothing Compares 2 U.
She was best-known however for her lifelong dedication to the rights of others - a tireless campaigner against child abuse, an advocate for women in the music industry, and a champion of women's rights.
This fearless activism will no doubt be her legacy.
Here, we remember the icon that is Sinéad O'Connor in her own words, and the important life lessons that we can take from them.
Five important life lessons that Sinéad O'Connor has taught us
1. You don't need to conform
“I was asked one day would I grow my hair long and wear short skirts because they wanted to sell me on my sexuality,” Sinéad recalled to Dr Phil in 2017 when explaining her decision to shave her head. “I didn’t want to be sold on that. If I was going to be successful, I wanted it to be because I was a good musician.” She later added: "I don't feel like me unless I have my hair shaved so even when I'm an old lady, I'm going to have it."
2. Live by your own policies
“If I hope for anything as an artist, it’s that I inspire certain people to be who they really are. My audiences seem to be people who have been given a hard time for being who they are," Sinéad once famously stated. “Whatever it may bring, I will live by my own policies, I will sleep with a clear conscience, I will sleep in peace.”
3. Don't let others tell you your value
“Whether we like it or not, us females in the industry are role models and as such we have to be extremely careful what messages we send to other women,” Sinéad once said. “Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. We aren’t merely objects of desire.”
4. Be an unapologetic troublemaker
Sinéad was renowned for her controversial acts in the name of activism, but of being a troublemaker, she famously stated: "I don't do anything in order to cause trouble. It just so happens that what I do naturally causes trouble. I'm proud to be a troublemaker."
5. Use your voice for purpose
"Nobody gets between me and my microphone", Sinéad famously stated. She later added: "As far as I'm concerned, I'm now in the business of making spiritual records and using my voice for that purpose. I'm not going to be singing songs that I made in the past. I close the door on the incarnation of Sinéad O'Connor."
We will continue to update this story.
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
Forget the South of France in summer, winter’s the time to go
By Penny Goldstone
The biggest dating trends for 2024 might just get you back on the apps
Feeling jaded by modern dating? Take a look at this
By Lauren Hughes
The jeans all the cool girls are wearing have just dropped at NET-A-PORTER
This is the denim brand you need to know about
By Natalie Hughes