Sinead O'Connor
Feb 10 2024

#RockHall2024 Nominee


Nothing compares 2 Sinéad O’Connor. The life and art of this Irish singer-songwriter and activist left an indelible mark on the soul of popular music. Musically, she combined stylistic elements from alternative rock, hip-hop, reggae, and electronic pop to punctuate and enhance her sociopolitical messages. With a distinctive multifaceted voice and a striking presence that challenged traditional views of femininity, O’Connor was ahead of her time expressing her unrepentant rage and sorrow over then-taboo subjects like women’s rights, organized religion, child abuse, and oppression.


From the start, O’Connor’s songwriting, production, and performing prowess resulted in her Grammy-nominated debut album The Lion and the Cobra and spawned hits “Mandinka,” “Troy,” and “I Want Your (Hands on Me).” O’Connor’s sophomore album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got became her multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning masterpiece. The video for the Prince-penned “Nothing Compares 2 U”unforgettable for its simplicity and O’Connor’s breathtaking performance – won multiple MTV Video Music Awards.


The 1992 release of Am I Not Your Girl? was punctuated by O’Connor’s appearance on Saturday Night Live, where she ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II to demand justice for children sexually abused at the hands of Catholic clergy. She was both condemned and celebrated for her protest. O’Connor continued her musical exploration and bold activism for three more decades while bravely and openly enduring physical and mental health issues, turbulent relationships, and personal tragedy. Included in Time magazine’s 2020 list of the most influential women of the past hundred years, O’Connor was named a “prescient messenger” for calling out the Catholic Church nine years before their admission of guilt.


Upon her untimely passing in 2023, O’Connor was remembered as “fierce,” “brilliant,” “honest,” “vulnerable,” “rebellious, and “unapologetic” by fans around the world and the generations of musicians she influenced and inspired, including Alanis Morissette, Massive Attack, Janelle Monae, and boygenius.



Nothing compares 2 Sinead O’Connor

Selected discography:

The Lion and the Cobra (1987)I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990) • “You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart,” In the Name of the Father soundtrack (1993) • “Fire on Babylon,” Universal Mother (1994) • “No Man’s Woman,” Faith and Courage (2000) • “Downpressor Man,” Throw Down Your Arms (2005) • “How About I Be Me,” I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss (2014) • “Trouble of the World” (2020)


Nominee: Sinéad O’Connor