Irish singer Sinead O'Connor has died at 56

Sinéad O'Connor, the Irish singer known for her intense and beautiful voice, has passed away at the age of 56. The cause and date of her death were not disclosed.

O'Connor's rendition of "Nothing Compares 2 U" was one of the biggest hits of the early 1990s.

She stood out among female singers in the late 1980s for defying commercial expectations of appearance and sound, along with artists like Tracy Chapman, Laurie Anderson, and the Indigo Girls.

O'Connor's debut album, "The Lion and the Cobra," featured her bald head and defensive posture on the cover, symbolizing her resilience and the power of her faith in the face of a severely abusive upbringing.

Her early life involved a troubled childhood, including time spent in a home for juvenile delinquents, getting expelled from Catholic schools, and facing shoplifting charges.

She gained recognition after being signed by U2's guitarist The Edge and releasing her second album, "I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got," which contained the Prince-penned hit "Nothing Compares 2 U."

O'Connor rejected the commercial aspects of her success and Grammy nominations, focusing on her beliefs against social injustice and refusing to sing the U.S. national anthem due to its glorification of war.

She was known for speaking up for the vulnerable and weak and often took controversial stances on various issues.

In her later years, O'Connor's personal life became tumultuous, marked by changes in religion, marriages, divorces, and struggles with mental illness.

Despite her later erratic behavior and tabloid coverage, O'Connor's musical talent and powerful songs left a lasting impact on listeners worldwide, and her passing was mourned by many, including the Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar.