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Sinéad O’Connor’s death is not being treated as suspicious, police say

The singer was found dead at her London home yesterday.

By Nick Reilly

Sinead O'Connor performs on stage at Glastonbury , United Kingdom, 1990. (Photo by Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images)

Police say Sinead O’Connor’s death is not being treated as suspicious after her passing was confirmed yesterday (July 26).

The Irish singer, best known for the song ‘Nothing Compares 2 u’, died at the age of 56 at her London home.

O’Connor was found “unresponsive” and “pronounced dead at the scene” at 11.18BST yesterday. Police added that a file will now be prepared for the coroner.

O’Connor’s family later confirmed the singer’s death in a statement to Irish news network RTE. “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad. Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time,” they said.No cause of death was provided by the family.

Tributes flooded in following the news of O’Connor’s death, with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar among those hailing the singer’s talent.

Sinéad O'Connor on stage in France, 2014
O’Connor’s fearlessness and defiance formed the basis of many tributes. (Photo: Thesupermat/Wikimedia Commons)

Varadkar said her music “was loved around the world and her talent was unmatched”.

While a rising star in the late ‘80s, O’Connor shot to fame in 1990 when her version of the Prince song ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ became a Number One hit. Her powerful vocal style would prove influential throughout the Nineties, with Alanis Morissette explaining that O’Connor’s music was “really moving for me, and very inspiring, before I wrote Jagged Little Pill.”

Other tributes came from Massive Attack, who collaborated with O’Connor on her record 100th Window.

“How do you eulogise someone that you never knew well, but were blessed to have the honour of working with?” wrote Massive Attack on Twitter.

“Honestly. To bear witness to her voice, intimately in the studio,” they went on. “On the road every single person stopped—dropped their tools during soundcheck. The fire in her eyes made you understand that her activism was a soulful reflex & not a political gesture.” Elsewhere, other collaborators of O’Connor’s paid tribute, with Jah Wobble, with whom she worked on his track ‘Visions of You’, saying that she had “the essence of a Celtic female warrior”, while Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan shared: “I knew Sinéad a little, having met her at a show of hers and then later when she was living at the Walker’s home outside of Chicago.”

“Fiercely honest and sweet and funny, she was talented in ways I’m not sure she completely understood,” Corgan added. “But Sinéad stands alone as a figure from our generation who was always true to the piercing voice within and without. And for that I will always admire and respect her. And never forget that she was once cancelled for an act of simple resistance. Her crime? Tearing up a photo.”

O’Connor’s passing comes eighteen months after her son, Shane, took his own life at the age of 17. In a moving, multi-tweet remembrance of a fleeting encounter with O’Connor last summer, actor Russell Crowe confirmed that she remained her firebrand self. “In a conversation without fences we roamed through the recent Dublin heatwave, local politics, American politics, the ongoing fight for indigenous recognition in many places, but particularly in Australia, her warm memory of  New Zealand, faith, music, movies and her brother the writer. I had the opportunity to tell her she was a hero of mine.”