From Ripping The Pope's Picture To Converting To Islam, 7 Times Sinead O' Connor Courted Controversy
An Untamed Diva
A serene voice. A mercurial firebrand who remained outspoken till the end of her life. That’s how Irish crooner Sinead O’ Connor will be remembered in the coming years. The ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ singer passed away at the age of 56, on July 26. A gifted musician, Connor remained a trailblazer for her iconoclastic views and outspoken nature.
A Star Is Born
Connor made her musical debut in 1987 with the critically acclaimed album ‘The Lion & The Cobra’. It received 8 Grammy nominations. However, Connor shot to international fame through a haunting rendition of Prince’s song ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ which was one of the songs in her 1990 album ‘I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got’.
From Popstar To Pope Critic!
Connor went from pop culture darling to one of the most detested celebs when she ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II while performing an Acappella version of Bob Marley’s ‘War’, as a sign of protest against sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church at an NBC sketch show in 1992. She received a lifetime ban from NBC shows and many celebs from Madonna to Frank Sinatra chastised her for the act.
Battle Of The Divas
Due to her outspoken nature, Connor often got into public tiffs with other celebs. Her (very public!) spat with the ‘Queen Of Pop’ Madonna was one of the most entertaining controversies of the early 90’s. The ‘Like A Virgin’ hitmaker mocked Connor by ripping off a photo of the infamous rapist Joey Buttafuaoco while performing in another episode of Saturday Night Live. Connor claimed that the diva had made fun of her for having short hair. "Now there's the woman that America looks up to as being a campaigner for women, slagging off another woman for not being sexy," O'Connor told Spin magazine in 1991.
Mental Health Advocate
Connor never shied away from talking about her personal demons. In 2007, during an appearance on the ‘Oprah Winfrey Show’, Connor revealed she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and tried to commit suicide on her 33rd birthday. In 2017, through an online video, she told her followers she had tried to kill herself while staying at a New Jersey motel. (Image Source: Facebook)
Going Into Rehab
The singer backed out of a musical tour in 2020, in order to go into rehab, in order to combat “trauma and addiction.”
Refuge In Islam
In 2018, Connor revealed she had changed her faith from Catholicism to Islam. She adopted a new name Shuhuda (meaning ‘martyr’ in Arabic) as well as a surname Sadaqat (meaning ‘truth’ in Urdu). She was heavily trolled for calling white people “disgusting”. Later on, she apologised for her remarks and explained that it was a reaction to the Islamophobic backlash she experienced to her conversion.