Annie Lennox calls for peace at Grammys with powerful tribute to Sinéad O’Connor

5 February 2024, 09:19 | Updated: 6 February 2024, 11:26

Annie Lennox pays tribute to Sinead O'Connor
Annie Lennox pays tribute to Sinead O'Connor. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Annie Lennox made a powerful statement for peace and justice at the 2024 Grammy Awards, where she performed a moving rendition of 'Nothing Compares 2 U' in honour of the late Sinéad O’Connor.

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The Eurythmics singer delivered a haunting performance of the song, which was written by Prince and popularized by O’Connor in 1990, as part of the In Memoriam segment of the awards show.

She was accompanied by a string quartet and a choir, creating a sombre atmosphere that matched the lyrics of the song.

As she sang the final lines of the song, Annie Lennox raised her left hand and shouted: “Artists for ceasefire!” She then repeated the phrase, adding: “Peace in the world!” She had mascara running down her cheek, showing her emotion and passion for the cause.

Lennox’s plea came amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza, just days after more than 10,000 pro-Palestine supporters marched in London, calling for an immediate ceasefire.

The 66th Annual Grammy Awards
The 66th Annual Grammy Awards. Picture: Getty
66th GRAMMY AWARDS Show. Picture: Getty

Her tribute to O’Connor was also a gesture of solidarity and respect for the Irish singer, who died last year at the age of 56. O’Connor was known for her outspoken views on human rights, racism and organized religion, as well as her musical talent and distinctive style.

She famously ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II on live television in 1992, protesting the Catholic Church’s role in child abuse scandals. She also refused to accept a Grammy award in 1991, criticizing the music industry for its commercialism and corruption.

Lennox had previously expressed her support for O’Connor in 2017, when the latter posted a distressing video on social media, revealing her struggles with mental health and suicidal thoughts. Lennox urged fans and friends to reach out to O’Connor and offer her help and compassion.

Other artists who were honoured in the In Memoriam segment of the Grammys included Tony Bennett, Tina Turner, DMX, Charlie Watts, Dusty Hill and Biz Markie.

Stevie Wonder performed a medley of Bennett’s songs, while Fantasia Barrino sang Turner’s classic 'Proud Mary'.

The 2024 Grammy Awards were held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, with Trevor Noah as the host.