Some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities are paying tribute to the late Irish singer and songwriter Sinéad O’Connor, who died Wednesday.
Pink and Brandi Carlile
Following news of O’Connor’s death on Wednesday, singers Pink and Brandi Carlile performed a heartwarming rendition of O’Connor’s hit song Nothing Compares 2 U on stage in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“When I was a little girl, my mom grew up in Atlantic City and I used to go down to the Ocean City Boardwalk with my $10 and I would make a demo tape,” Pink told the crowd. “It would always be either Greatest Love of All by Whitney Houston or Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinéad O’Connor.”
Pink asked Carlile to come onto the stage to perform Nothing Compares 2 U as a duet.
Billboard reported numerous fans in the venue cried while Pink and Carlile crooned the iconic ballad.
Pink is currently performing as part of her North American Summer Carnival 2023 tour, with Carlile as her supporting act.
Actor Russell Crowe also shared a tribute to O’Connor.
In a long, reverent statement, Crowe recounted the first time he met the Irish singer.
“Last year, working in Ireland, having a pint in the cold outside a Dalkey pub with some new friends, a woman with purpose strode past us,” Crowe wrote.
He said one of his friends chased after the woman, having recognized her as O’Connor.
“She looked in my eyes, and uttered with disarming softness [sic] ‘ oh, it’s you Russell,’” he continued.
“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.”
Crowe wrote that after their conversation, O’Connor “embraced us all and strode away into the fog-dimmed streetlights.”
“Peace be with your courageous heart Sinéad,” he concluded.
The former Smiths frontman Morrissey took a different approach with his tribute.
While praising the fact that O’Connor “couldn’t be boxed-up,” Morrissey heavily criticized the press, the music industry and the public for their treatment of O’Connor, both in life and death.
In a statement posted to his website, Morrissey, whose real name is Steven Patrick Morrissey, wrote that O’Connor “became crazed, yes, but uninteresting, never.”
“She had done nothing wrong,” he continued. “She had proud vulnerability … and there is a certain music industry hatred for singers who don’t ‘fit in’ (this I know only too well), and they are never praised until death — when, finally, they can’t answer back.”
He scolded the press for using “moronic” labels like “icon” and “legend” to describe O’Connor after her death.
“You praise her now ONLY because it is too late. You hadn’t the guts to support her when she was alive and she was looking for you,” Morrissey wrote.
He compared her death to other celebrities like Judy Garland, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, Marilyn Monroe and Billie Holiday.
“Was this music madness worth Sinead’s life? No, it wasn’t,” he insisted. “She was harassed simply for being herself. Her eyes finally closed in search of a soul she could call her own.”
Scottish singer and songwriter Annie Lennox shared a photo of O’Connor to Twitter, now rebranded as X, where she praised O’Connor’s “exquisite artistry.”
In a poem dedicated to O’Connor, Lennox called her “raw,” “wounded” and “fearless.”
“May the angels hold you / In their tender arms / And give you rest / In peace,” she concluded.
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Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor dies at 56
In a post to her Instagram story, the Canadian singer Alanis Morissette called O’Connor “a profound inspiration to many.”
“Her passion, poetry, and unapologetic expression raised the bar on artistry and female empowerment,” she wrote. “I’m feeling empathy for Ireland, for the world, and for all of us who are saddened by this news.”
Jamie Lee Curtis
Actor Jamie Lee Curtis shared a statement on Instagram discussing her admiration and respect for O’Connor.
“I once heard Sìnead sing acappella in an empty chapel in Ireland,” she wrote. “It was under construction at the private home of our host. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard in my life.”
Curtis said she and O’Connor together attended a festival to watch Eminem perform. She described O’Connor as a “warrior” and a “rebel.”
“I loved her. Her music. Her life. She was a victim of child abuse and a huge change agent for unfair and unjust draconian laws that she helped change in Ireland,” she wrote. “She ripped up a photograph that was on her mother’s wall because of the hypocrisy of the abusive life she was raised in under the banner of the church.”
“Rest well. Rest in power. Rest in peace,” she finished.
Singer Sinéad O’Connor dies at 56
The cause of the 56-year-old singer’s death is not yet known. On Thursday, police declared her death is not being treated as suspicious, according to the BBC.
On Wednesday, O’Connor was reportedly found “unresponsive” in her London home and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Recognizable by her shaved head and elfin features, O’Connor began her career singing on the streets of Dublin and soon rose to international fame. She became a star after her 1987 debut album The Lion and the Cobra was released. O’Connor reached true superstardom when she released her cover of Prince’s ballad Nothing Compares 2 U in 1990, a seething, shattering performance that topped charts from Europe to Australia.
Singer Sinéad O’Connor dies at 56
She was a lifelong non-conformist — she would say that she shaved her head in response to record executives pressuring her to be conventionally glamourous — but her political and cultural stances and troubled private life often overshadowed her music. O’Connor was also widely known for tearing up a photo of Pope John Paul II while appearing live on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
O’Connor announced in 2018 that she had converted to Islam and would be adopting the name Shuhada’ Davitt — although she continued to use Sinéad O’Connor professionally.
— With files from The Associated Press
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