Sinéad O’Connor died of natural causes, coroner says

Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor died of natural causes, officials in London said Tuesday.

O’Connor died in July. She was 56.

The Southwark Coroner’s Court said in a statement that “the coroner has therefore ceased their involvement in her death” and will make no further comments.

O’Connor died more than a year after her 17-year-old son, Shane O’Connor, died by apparent suicide. She announced his death in January 2022.  

O’Connor, who courted controversy throughout her long and acclaimed career, rose to fame with her 1990 rendition of the Prince song “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year. 

The following year, she said she would boycott the Grammy Awards, saying the Recording Academy awarded artists based on commercial success. 

She drew international attention in 1992 when she ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II during a performance on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” in protest of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

The move was criticized by the Catholic League for Religious & Civil Rights, which said it was “outraged at this blatant hatred shown toward the Catholic religion,” according to America Magazine. Many celebrities were upset over the stunt, including actor Joe Pesci, who threatened to smack her in his “Saturday Night Live” monologue. Madonna mocked her on the same stage by ripping up a picture of Long Island sex offender Joey Buttafuoco, saying, “Fight the real enemy.” Singer Frank Sinatra called her “one stupid broad.”

O’Connor told The New York Times in 2021 that she wasn’t sorry.

“It was brilliant,” she said. “But it was very traumatizing.”

O’Connor was known for speaking out about her spiritual life, political views and struggles with mental health, a topic she detailed in her 2021 memoir, “Rememberings.” In 2018, she converted to Islam and changed her name to Shuhada, saying it was because she was “proud to have become a Muslim.”

O’Connor released 10 studio albums and was nominated for several Grammys. In 1991, she won a Grammy for best alternative music performance for “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got.”