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O'Connor, Sinead

Sinead O'Connor

Singer, songwriter

Curious, spontaneous, and street-smart, at times understated, yet famously outspoken, Sinead O'Connor is an artist of extremes. From her past trademark non-hairstyle—a shaved head—to her unabashed and irreverent publicity stunts, O'Connor's personal style and public antics have attracted as much attention as her captivating music and voice during her nearly 20-year career. O'Connor has maintained that she hates liquor, loves marijuana, hates the Pope, and is an ordained Catholic priest by liberal standards.

O'Connor was born on December 8, 1966, in Dublin, Ireland. She was the third of four children of John and Marie O'Connor. O'Connor was raised according to a strict tradition of Irish Catholicism and attended Catholic school as a child. Her father was an attorney and her mother was a dressmaker; both loved music and singing. O'Connor became distraught at age nine when her parents divorced, and in her disappointment she entered an extremely rebellious phase of adolescence as a cry for attention from her separated parents. Ultimately O'Connor was expelled from her school and took to the streets. At age 14 she was taken into police custody for truancy and shoplifting and was sentenced to two years of incarceration in a juvenile detention home.

At the detention home, O'Connor spent her mornings in academic classes; afternoons were spent in secretarial training. Foremost in O'Connor's personal recollection of the institution was the uninviting and sometimes frightening "Dickensian" aura of the facility.

O'Connor, who aspired to become a writer, began to play the guitar during her stay at the juvenile home. She sang as she played, often composing her own tunes. She sometimes left the reformatory clandestinely to take part in local singing contests. On occasion she would win contests and a small sum of spending cash in the process. Over time, one of the employees at the juvenile center developed an appreciation for O'Connor's musical talent and asked her to sing at a wedding, an event that led to a series of contacts and ultimately brought her to the attention of the prominent Irish band U2.

Upon her release from the juvenile home, O'Connor attended a boarding school in Waterford. During those years, although she was not yet of legal age, she spent her evenings singing in taverns. Eventually—for fear of incurring further trouble with the police—she returned to Dublin, where she supported herself collecting tips as a street performer while she studied voice and piano at the Dublin College of Music. Additionally, she waited tables and delivered novelty telegrams in order to survive.

As O'Connor matured into adulthood, she acquired an affinity for all things serene and simple, in stark contrast to the tempestuous atmosphere of her youth. In her quest for simplicity she went to the extreme of shaving her head. She adopted the shaved-head hairstyle early in her career and soon it became her trademark. Likewise, she rarely appeared wearing facial makeup and wore only minimal jewelry. Her staunch rejection of female media images brought O'Connor to the forefront of a new movement of female musicians who rejected the flamboyant theatrics of the 1990s. Although she rarely smiled in public, O'Connor had unusually pleasant facial features: strikingly even, soft, and naturally appealing. Hilton Als in Interview said that her face was "born out of pure romance [and was] … meant to play on the big screen of our imagination."

Early Recordings

O'Connor's music, like her shaved head, illustrated the extent of her propensity toward all things simple and direct. In 1985, when Nigel Grainge of Ensign Records had the opportunity to hear her musical repertoire, he invited her to his London-based studio where he made a demo tape and signed her to a contract. Within a year she was collaborating with U2's guitarist The Edge, producing the soundtrack for the film The Captive. Yet when Ensign records initiated the recording of her first album, a serious conflict erupted between the producer's expectations and O'Connor's unbridled personal style. O'Connor rejected the entire output of the original taping session, which was staged with Celtic orchestration. The heavy instrumentation, especially the excess of violin accompaniment, aroused the singer's vehement distaste for the intricacies of the classic sound. A mere 20 years old at the time, O'Connor had been highly influenced by the music of folk hero Bob Dylan and by legendary chanteuse Barbra Streisand. While O'Connor's music evoked a Celtic mood, it also displayed the influence of so-called "protest music," and was heavily interspersed with a mix of jazz, pop, and folk. The original recording was scrapped altogether; at O'Connor's insistence she retained artistic control over the entire production.

The completed album, 1987's The Lion and the Cobra, displayed a spectrum of moods, from the soothing "Just Call Me Joe" to the funky "I Want Your Hands on Me." In some songs she spoke Gaelic, while others contained vocal exhortations minus formal lyrics that, according to O'Connor, were "just a trick to get your voice out there," as she confided to Als. Two single releases taken from the album, "Mandinka" and "Troy," were played extensively on alternative music radio stations.

Musical Career

Soon after the release of O'Connor's debut album, Ensign Records was sold, and her contract was converted to the Chrysalis label. Her second release, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, was released on the new label in 1990. The recording reached double platinum sales, and ten years later remained the best selling album of her career. Included on the album was "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Prince, which was produced also as a video single. O'Connor went on to record Am I Not Your Girl? in 1992. The album featured standards that she grew up listening to, such as "I Wanna Be Loved By You," "Don't Cry For Me Argentina," and "Success Has Made A Failure of Our Home."

For the Record …

Born on December 8, 1966, in Dublin, Ireland; daughter of John and Marie O'Connor; married John Reynolds, 1988 (divorced); children: Jake (with Reynolds), Roisin (with Waters); Shane. Education: Studied voice and piano at Dublin College of Music.

Signed with Ensign Records (later Chrysalis Records), 1985-89; collaboration with The Edge, 1985; released debut album, The Lion and the Cobra, 1987; signed with Chrysalis Records (EMI) 1990-97; performed at Lilith Fair, 1998; signed with Atlantic Records, 1998; released Faith and Courage, 2000; She Who Dwells, 2003; Throw Down Your Arms, 2005; Theology, 2007.

Addresses: Record company—Ruby Works, info@rubyworks.com. Web site—http://www.sineadoconnor.com/.

O'Connor contributed to the albums No Prima Donna: The Songs of Van Morrison and The Glory of Gershwin in 1994. Her own album, 1994's Universal Mother, was a return to folk rock. Chrysalis was ultimately absorbed by EMI, which ceased operations in 1997, just ten days after the release of O'Connor's Gospel Oak EP. The album, her final release of the decade, was reissued later by Columbia. She tried a new artform when she appeared in the 1998 film The Butcher Boy as the Virgin Mary. That same year, O'Connor joined in the annual Lilith Fair Music Festival, where she became a welcome fixture, and she later signed a four-record deal with Atlantic Records. Faith and Courage, released in 2000, was her first issue on that label. Popular tracks on the Atlantic release included "Emma's Song," "Daddy I'm Fine," and "No Man's Woman," which was called highly autobiographical by the press.

Headline-Grabbing Antics

As the public found O'Connor's music to be intriguing, likewise her personal life often created a stir. In 1985, after she lost her mother in a car accident, she came out publicly for the cause of preventing child abuse, indicating that as a child she had been a victim of her own mother's abusive outbursts. Later in the 1980s, O'Connor had a son, Jake, by one of her backup musicians, drummer John Reynolds. The two were married and divorced by 1990. In 1996 O'Connor gave birth to Roisin, her daughter by newspaper columnist John Waters. The affair and resulting separation from Waters ignited a prolonged custody battle for the child. O'Connor relinquished custody but later abducted the child while exercising her parental visitation rights, transporting the child from Dublin to London. In January of 1999, Waters accused O'Connor of neglecting Roisin, but British authorities determined otherwise.

In 1991 O'Connor stirred up controversy when she withdrew from participation in that year's Grammy Awards ceremony and announced her intention to decline any awards given to her. She informed National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences president Mike Greene of her decision in a two-page letter. In part, her letter, excerpted in Billboard, read, "As artists, I believe that our function is to express the feelings of the human race … It is my opinion that the various art establishments do not recognize this. They acknowledge mostly the commercial side of art." By 2000 O'Connor had refused a total of four Grammy Award nominations, and she eventually withdrew her name from the competition.

In 1992, during an appearance on the television program Saturday Night Live, O'Connor incited a deluge of criticism and caused some damage to her professional image when she brashly expressed negative views on Catholicism by tearing up a photograph of Pope John Paul II on the show, denouncing the pontiff as well as the Catholic Church for what she felt were the Church's negative policies toward women and children.

In the aftermath of the incident, O'Connor became increasingly preoccupied with personal matters and retreated from public view, reportedly to study opera. During that time she appeared in live theater and toured with Peter Gabriel.

She surfaced again on April 22, 1999, for a public ceremony at the Grand Hotel de la Grotte in Lourdes, France, where she was ordained a priest of the Catholic Church by a renegade sectarian, Bishop Michael Cox, who performed the ordination rite. In honor of the occasion, O'Connor adopted a religious name, Mother Bernadette Mary. After the ordination, she habitually appeared in public wearing a roman collar. In 2000 she declared her ordination status to be that of archdeacon, a clerical status that is nonexistent in Catholicism. A spokesperson for the Catholic Church in Dublin refuted the authenticity of her ordination, as the Catholic Church does not recognize women in the priesthood.

Early in the 2000s, O'Connor variously claimed to be a lesbian in her sexual orientation, and to be inclined toward celibacy, despite her marriage and children. In other interviews, however, O'Connor said her words had been misinterpreted and that she was not homosexual.

In 2003 O'Connor released She Who Dwells, a two-CD collection of old songs and new covers of material by ABBA, the B-52s, and Brian Eno. According to Steve Dougherty in People, the album had "enough treasures to make it worth enduring the ‘dirgelike pace’ on the second disc and the occasional ‘piercing blast of feedback.’" However, he noted, the first disc was "far easier on the ears."

Later in 2003 O'Connor announced that she was retiring from performing to take up theological studies because she wanted "to train to become a religion teacher of primary school children," as she told Julia Ward in Catholic New Times. However, she couldn't stay away from music for long, and in 2005 she released Throw Down Your Arms on her own label, That's Why There's Chocolate and Vanilla. The album, produced by the Jamaican duo Sly and Robbie, featured covers of songs by reggae performers including Bob Marley and Burning Spear.

In 2007 O'Connor released Theology, which, according to Nick Kelly in Billboard, she described as "a personal response to the state of the world post-September 11, 2001." The two-CD set featured one disc with versions of the songs backed by a full band; the other disc contained spare, acoustic versions.

At an earlier time, when asked about her future career and how well her more religious albums might sell, O'Connor told Schwartz, "I'm confident the records will sell enough. But it's not about that. I've got six and a half million quid in the bank. I can feed my kids."

Selected discography

The Lion and the Cobra, Ensign Records, 1987.

(Contributor) Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films, A&M, 1988.

I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, Chrysalis, 1990.

(Contributor) Red, Hot & Blue, Chrysalis, 1990.

(Contributor) Two Rooms: Tribute to Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Polygram, 1991.

Am I Not Your Girl?, Ensign/Chrysalis, 1992.

(Contributor) A Very Special Christmas 2, A&M, 1992.

(Contributor) No Prima Donna: The Songs of Van Morrison, Exile/Polydor, 1994.

Universal Mother, Chrysalis, 1994.

Gospel Oak, (EP), Chrysalis/EMI, 1997; reissued, Atlantic Records, 1998.

So FarThe Best of Sinead O'Connor, Chrysalis, 1997.

(Contributor) The Irish in America: The Long Journey Home, Unisphere/BMG, 1998.

Faith & Courage, Atlantic, 2000.

She Who Dwells, Atlantic, 2003.

Throw Down Your Arms, That's Why There's Chocolate and Vanilla, 2000.

Theology, That's Why There's Chocolate and Vanilla, 2007.

Sources

Periodicals

Advocate, July 18, 2000.

Billboard, February 16, 1991; July 11, 1998; June 16, 2007, p. 31.

Catholic New Times, June 1, 2003, p. 11.

Entertainment Weekly, May 27, 2005, p. 50.

Interview, August 1, 2000; September 2005, p. 118.

People, May 17, 1999, p. 85; September 22, 2003, p. 52.

PR Newswire, June 8, 2000.

Sing Out, Fall 2003, p. 10.

Time, June 12, 2000.

Online

"Links and Bios," Irish Music Forever,http://www.azirishmusic.com/Forever32.htm#SINEAD_O_CONNOR (October 23, 2000).

—Gloria Cooksey and Kelly Winters

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O’Connor, Sinead

Sinead OConnor

Singer, songwriter

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

Sinead OConnors music is as distinctive and startling as her appearance. The debut album by this young Irishwoman, who offsets her feminine features with shapeless workclothes and a clean-shaven head, is a unique blend of pop, jazz, and Celtic sounds. Its title, The Lion and the Cobra, refers to a psalm about overcoming adversitysomething with which OConnor has a great deal of personal experience. After her parents separated when she was nine years old, OConnor ran wild in the streets of Dublin. She was arrested several times for shoplifting and expelled from a series of Catholic schools before landing in reform school at the age of fourteen. I have neverand I probably will neverexperienced such panic and terror and agony over anything, she stated in Rolling Stone. In this very Dickensian place, troublemakers were punished by being forced to sleep on the floor of a hospice for the dying that was also housed in the building. Youre there in the pitch black, she recalled. There were rats everywhere, andold women moaning and vomiting, she recalled in People.

Ironically, OConnors first musical break came out of this nightmarish predicament. She had begun strumming a guitar and making up songs for emotional release; a teacher overheard and asked OConnor to sing at her wedding. The brides brother then asked her to cut a song with his band, In Tua Nua. OConnor was released shortly thereafter and sent to a boarding school in Waterford, where she promptly landed in trouble againthis time for singing in pubs when she was still underage. She ran away to Dublin, where she joined a band and supported herself by busking, waitressing, and delivering telegrams in a French-maid costume.

Nigel Grainge heard OConnor sing in 1985 and immediately asked the young performer-songwriter to come to London and record a demo tape for his company, Ensign Records. When he listened to the completed product, it was shivers-down-the-spine-time, he told Janet Lambert in Rolling Stone.While waiting to begin work on her album, OConnor met U2s guitarist, the Edge, and began working with him on the soundtrack for the 1986 film The Captive.Their collaboration led to her being tagged a U2 protege, but in fact, OConnor does not care for the groups music, which she finds too bombastic. Simplicity, she insists, is her ideal.

When the time came to record her album in the fall of 1986, OConnor found her plain style at odds with her producers fondness for lush string arrangements behind lilting Celtic melodies. I just wanted to keep it as simple as possible, with none of this mucking about with violins, explained OConnor in People.Friction between artist and producer resulted in an album so

For the Record

Given name pronounced Shin-ADE; born 1967 in Dublin, Ireland; daughter of a barrister and a dressmaker; one child, Jake, by John Reynolds.

Singer, songwriter. Sang on street corners and in a band in Dublin, Ireland, in the early 1980s; collaborated with the Edge on soundtrack for the 1986 film The Captive; recorded first album, 1987.

Addresses: c/o Chrysalis Records, 3300 Warner Blvd., Bur-bank, Calif., 91510.

terrible that Ensign scrapped it and let OConnor return to the studio to produce herself. Critics had high praise for the finished product, immediately ranking OConnor with two other boundary-stretching female vocalists, Laurie Anderson and Kate Bush. Within seconds, wrote Richard J. Grula in Interview, OConnors voice moves from an ethereal whisper hanging over your shoulder to a torrid scream raging outside your window.

[The Lion and the Cobra ] covers an unusually wide range of ground, Lambert commented in Rolling Stone.Theres light, Pretenders-style pop on the first single, Mandinka, syncopated dance funk on I Want Your (Hands on Me) and symphonic strings on the six-and-a-half minute Tray. OConnor twists conventional song structure and stretches pop singing while maintaining her melodic sense: on Just Call Me Joe her voice is a lullaby croon; on Never Get Old it soars above the jazzy piano chords into ecstatic, wordless cries. Theres a faint Irish aura throughout, whether in the spoken Gaelic that dramatically opens Never Get Old, in the occasional snatches of folk airs or in the effective use of drone. But what really holds Lion together is the strong individuality of OConnors voice.

OConnor, who delivered a child by her drummer, John Reynolds, shortly after completing her album, treats her accomplishments lightly. Im just a girl Im not different than anybody else, she insisted in People. I dont ever want to get in the position where I think Im something special just because I wrote a damn song. She maintains that her unusual hairstyle is a reflection of her love of simplicity, rather than a publicity stunt. It makes me feel womanly because I feel natural, she explained. Its just there.I dont wear makeup or jewelry except for a few rings. Inside, I dont feel simple, but I feel I look simple and I like that.

Selected discography

The Lion and the Cobra, Chrysalis, 1987.

(Contributor) Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney films, A & M, 1988.

I Do Not Want What I Havent Got, Chrysalis, 1990.

Sources

High Fidelity, March 1988.

Interview, March 1988.

People, May 16, 1988.

Rolling Stone, April 21, 1988, January 26, 1989.

The Washingtonian, December 1988.

Joan Goldsworthy

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O’Connor, Sinead

Sinead OConnor

Singer, songwriter

For the Record

Early Recordings

Musical Career

Headline-Grabbing Antics

Selected discography

Sources

Curious, quirky, spontaneous, and street-smart, at times understated, yet always outspoken, Sinead OConnor is an artist of extremes. From her trademark non-hairstylea shaved headto her unabashed and irreverent publicity stunts, OConnors personal style and public antics have attracted as much attention as her captivating music and voice during her 15-year career. Highly talented and infinitely outrageous, OConnor maintains that she hates liquor, loves marijuana, hates the Pope, and is an ordained Catholic priest by liberal standards.

OConnor was born on December 8, 1966, in Dublin, Ireland. She was the third of four children of John and Marie OConnor. OConnor was raised according to a strict tradition of Irish Catholicism and attended catholic school as a child. Her father was an attorney and her mother was a dressmaker; both loved music and singing. OConnor became distraught at age nine when her parents divorced. In her disappointment she entered an extremely rebellious phase of adolescence as a cry for attention from her separated parents. Ultimately OConnor was expelled from her school and took to the streets. At age 14 she was taken into police custody for truancy and shoplifting and was sentenced accordingly to two years of incarceration in a juvenile detention home.

At the detention home, OConnor spent her mornings in academic classes; afternoons were spent in secretarial training. Foremost in OConnors personal recollection of the institution was the uninviting, Dickensonian, and frightening aura of the facility. She and the other juveniles were inappropriately housed in a building that served also as a hostel for the terminally ill. The sanitary conditions were less than acceptable, and the young inmates were not always segregated appropriately from the adult residents.

OConnor, who aspired to become a writer, began to play the guitar during her stay at the juvenile facility. She sang as she played, often composing her own tunes. At times, she left the reformatory clandestinely to take part in singing contests in the locale. On occasion, she would win contests and a small sum of spending cash in the process. Over time one of the employees at the juvenile center developed a sincere appreciation for OConnors musical bent and asked her to sing at a wedding, an engagement that led to a series of contacts that ultimately brought her to the attention of a prominent Irish band U2.

Upon her release from the juvenile home, OConnor attended a boarding school in Waterford. During those years, although she was not yet of legal age, she spent her evenings singing in taverns. Eventuallyfor fear of incurring further trouble with the policeshe returned to Dublin where she supported herself collecting tips as a street performer while she studied voice and piano at the Dublin College of Music. Additionally, she waited

For the Record

Born on December 8, 1966, in Dublin, Ireland; daughter of John and Marie OConnor; married John Reynolds, 1988; divorced; children: Jake (with Reynolds), Roisin (with John Waters). Education: Studied voice and piano at Dublin College of Music.

Signed with Ensign Records (later Chrysalis Records), 1985-89; collaboration with The Edge, 1985; released debut album, The Lion and the Cobra, 1987; with Chrysalis Records (EMI) 1990-97; performed at Lilith Fair, 1998; signed with Atlantic Records, 1998; released Faith and Courage, 2000.

Addresses: Record company Atlantic Records, attn: Patti Conte, 9229 W Sunset Blvd # 900, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

tables and delivered novelty telegrams in order to survive.

As OConnor matured into adulthood, she acquired a taste and appreciation for all things serene and simple, in stark contrast to the tempestuous atmosphere of her youth. In her quest for simplicity she went to the extreme of shaving her head. She adopted the shaved-head hairstyle early in her career and soon it became her trademark. Likewise, she rarely appears wearing facial makeup and wears only minimal jewelry. Indeed her staunch rejection of female media images brought OConnor to the forefront of a new movement of female musicians who eschewed flamboyant and sexist theatrics in the 1990s. Regardless, and although she rarely smiles in public, OConnor has unusually pleasant facial features: strikingly even, soft, and naturally appealing. Her face [was] born out of pure romance meant to play on the big screen of our imagination, as noted by Hilton Als in Interview.

Early Recordings

OConnors music, like her shaved head, extols the extent of her practical propensity toward all things simple and direct. In 1985, when Nigel Grainge of Ensign Records had the opportunity to hear her intriguing musical repertoire as rendered by means of her lovely clear voice, he invited her to his London-based studio where he made a demo tape and signed her to a contract. Within a year she was collaborating with U2s guitarist, The Edge, in producing the soundtrack for the film, The Captive. Yet when Ensign records initiated the recording of her first album, a serious conflict erupted between the producers expectations and OConnors unbridled personal style. OConnor rejected the entire output of the original taping session, which was staged with purely Celtic orchestration. The heavy instrumentation, especially the excess of violin accompaniment, aroused OConnors vehement distaste for the intricacies of the classic sound. A mere 20 years old at the time, OConnor was highly influenced by the music of folk hero Bob Dylan and was likewise enamored by the legendary chanteuse Barbra Streisand. Whereas OConnors music evokes a Celtic mood, it displays also the dirge-like influence of so-called protest music and is heavily interspersed with a mix of jazz, pop, and folk. Thus the original recording was scrapped altogether; at OConnors insistence she retained artistic control over the entire production.

The completed album, The Lion and the Cobra, displays a spectrum of moods, from the soothing, Just Call Me Joe, to the funky, I Want Your Hands on Me. OConnors vocals range from spoken word to screaming hysteria. In some songs she speaks Celtic, while others exude vocal exhortations minus formal lyrics, which according to OConnor are, just a trick to get your voice out there, as she confided to Als. Two single releases taken from the album, Mandinka and Troy, were played extensively on alternative music radio stations.

Musical Career

Soon after the release of OConnors debut album, Ensign Records was sold, and her contract was converted to the Chrysalis label. Her second release,/Do Not Want What I Havent Got, was released on the new label in 1990. The recording reached double platinum sales and ten years later remained the best-selling album of her career. Included on the album was Nothing Compares 2 U, by Prince, which was produced also as a video single. OConnor went on to record Am I Not Your Girl? in 1992. The album featured standards that she grew up listening to, such as I Wanna Be Loved By You, Dont Cry For Me Argentina, and Success Has Made A Failure of Our Home.

OConnor contributed to the albums No Prima Donna: The Songs of Van Morrison and The Glory of Gershwin in 1994. Her own album, 1994s Universal Mother, was a return to folk rock. Chrysalis was ultimately absorbed by EMI, which ceased operations in 1997, just ten days after the release of OConnors Gospel Oak EP. The album, her final release of the decade, was reissued later by Columbia. She tried a new artform when she appeared in the 1998 film The Butcher Boy as the Virgin Mary. That same year, OConnor joined in the annual Lilith Fair Music Festival where she became a welcome fixture andafter an involved search for a new labelsigned a four-record deal with Atlantic Records. Faith and Courage, released in 2000, was her first issue on that label. Popular tracks on the Atlantic release included Emmas Song, Daddy Im Fine, and No Mans Woman, which was critiqued as highly autobiographical by the press.

Headline-Grabbing Antics

As the public found OConnors music to be intriguing, likewise her personal life often created a stir. When in 1985 she lost her mother in a car accident, she came forward publicly after the tragedy for the cause of child abuse, indicating that as a child she had been victim to her own mothers abusive outbursts. Later in the 1980s, OConnor conceived a child with one of her backup musicians, a drummer named John Reynolds. The two were married and divorced by 1990. In 1996, OConnor gave birth to Roisin, her daughter by newspaper columnist John Waters. The affair with and resulting separation from Waters unfortunately ignited a prolonged custody battle that led to a cry-for-help suicide attempt by OConnor when she reportedly ingested a large dose of Valium. Following the overdose, she relinquished custody of her daughter but later abducted the child while exercising her right to parental visitation. OConnor transported the child from Dublin to London. In January of 1999, Waters accused OConnor of neglecting Roisin but British authorities determined otherwise.

In 1991, OConnor stirred up controversy when she withdrew from participation in that years Grammy Awards ceremony and announced her intention to decline any awards given to her. She informed National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences president Mike Greene of her decision in a two-page letter. In part, her letter, excerpted in Billboard, read, As artists, I believe that our function is to express the feelings of the human race It is my opinion that the various art establishments do not recognize this. They acknowledge mostly the commercial side of art If I were to win an award, I would feel it necessary to decline it, in order to voice my rejection of the values which I think are destroying our work and which, I believe, are destroying the human race. By 2000, OConnor had received a total of four Grammy Award nominations, which she refused, and withdrew her name from the competition.

In 1992 during an appearance on the satirical television program Saturday Night Live (SNL), OConnor incited a deluge of criticism and caused some damage to her professional image when she brashly expressed her views on Catholicism. During the highly controversial incident, she held up a photograph of Pope John Paul II, denounced the pontiff, and tore up the picture, reinforcing her longstanding reputation as a rebel and a non-conformist. She did it in protest of the Catholic Churchs policies toward women and children. She believed that these policies allowed child abuse to occur. Unfortunately, the press did not explain her position clearly enough, so many people saw the incident as a personal attack on the Pope, instead of on what he represented.

In the aftermath of the SNL incident, OConnor became increasingly preoccupied with personal matters and retreated from public view, reportedly to study opera. During that time she appeared in live theater and toured with Peter Gabriel.

She surfaced abruptly on April 22, 1999, for a public ceremony at the Grand Hotel de la Grotte in Lourdes, France, whereby she was ordained a priest of the Catholic Church. A renegade sectarian, Bishop Michael Cox, performed the ordination rite. In honor of the occasion, OConnor adopted a religious name, Mother Bernadette Marynot for professional purposes. After the ordination, she habitually appeared in public wearing a roman collar. She refused to perform marriage ceremonies by reason of her celebrity, although reportedly she offered to hear confessions by telephone for a nominal fee. In 2000 she declared her ordination status as archdeacon, a clerical status that is non-existent in Catholicism. Likewise, a spokesperson for the Catholic Church in Dublin refuted the authenticity of her ordination, as the Catholic Church does not recognize women in the priesthood. OConnors transformation into a Catholic cleric was particularly ironic because of her earlier denouncement of the Pope.

In June of 2000, in an interview with Curve magazine, OConnor averred that she was and always had been a lesbian in her sexual orientationher marriage and children notwithstanding. True to her unpredictable and irascible nature, she confessed to Time, in a separate interview that same month, I have a huge calling toward celibacy. In another interview, however, OConnor said her words were misinterpreted and that she was not homosexual. The medias renewed interest in OConnors antics guarantees that she will be in the news for years to come.

Selected discography

The Lion and the Cobra, Ensign Records, 1987.

(Contributor) Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films, A&M, 1988.

I Do Not Want What I Havent. Got, Chrysalis, 1990.

(Contributor) Red, Hot &. Blue, Chrysalis, 1990.

(Contributor) Two Rooms: Tribute to Elton John & Bernie aupin, Polygram, 1991.

Am I Not Your Girl?, Ensign/Chrysalis, 1992.

(Contributor) A Very Special Christmas 2. A&M, 1992.

(Contributor) No Prima Donna: The Songs of Van Morrison, Exile/Polydor, 1994.

Universal Mother, Chrysalis, 1994.

Gospel Oak (EP), Chrysalis/EMI, 1997; reissued, Atlantic Records, 1998.

2So Far The Best of Sinead OConnor, Chrysalis, 1997.

(Contributor) The Irish in America: The Long Journey Home, Unisphere/BMG, 1998.

Faith & Courage, Atlantic, 2000.

Sources

Books

Contemporary Musicians, volume 3, Gale Research, 1990.

Periodicals

Advocate, July 18, 2000.

Billboard, February 16, 1991; July 11, 1998.

Interview, August 1, 2000.

People, May 17, 1999, p. 85.

PR Newswire, June 8, 2000.

Time, June 12, 2000.

Online

Links and Bios, Irish Music Forever, http://www.azirishmusic.com/Forever32.htm#SINEAD_0_CONNOR (October 23, 2000),

Gloria Cooksey

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"O’Connor, Sinead." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 29 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"O’Connor, Sinead." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 29, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/oconnor-sinead

"O’Connor, Sinead." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved April 29, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/oconnor-sinead