Sinead O'Connor facts: Irish singer's religion, songs, husband, children and more revealed

26 July 2023, 18:56 | Updated: 27 July 2023, 17:36

Sinead O'Connor in 2012
Sinead O'Connor in 2012. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Sinead O'Connor took the music world by storm in the early 1990s after her version of Prince's 'Nothing Compares 2 U' became an international hit.

Since then, Sinead O'Connor continued her singing career while getting involved with various projects and being outspoken about her religion and other personal beliefs.

She strongly expressed her views on organised religion, women's rights, war, and child abuse among other topics.

  1. What are Sinead O'Connor's biggest songs?

    Sinéad O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2U [Official Music Video]

    In 1990, Sinead O'Connor scored an international hit with her powerful cover of Prince's 'Nothing Compares 2 U', and it remains her most famous track.

    Other hits include:

    - The Emperor's New Clothes

    - My Special Child

    - Silent Night (cover)

    - You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart

  2. When was Sinead O'Connor born?

    Sinead O'Connor in the early 1990s
    Sinead O'Connor in the early 1990s. Picture: Getty

    Sinead O'Connor was born on December 8, 1966. She marked her 56th birthday in 2023.

    She was born in Glenageary in County Dublin, and was named after Sinéad de Valera, the wife of Irish President Éamon de Valera, and mother of the doctor taking care of the delivery, and Saint Bernadette of Lourdes.

    She was the third of five children of parents Sean O'Connor, a structural engineer turned barrister, and Marie O'Connor. In 1979, a teenage Sinead left her mother and went to live with her dad and his new wife.

  3. What was Sinead O'Connor's religion?

    Fight the REAL Enemy! Bob:Marley's 'War' performed by Sinéad o'Connor!

    In 1992, Sinead O'Connor caused a huge controversy when she unexpectedly tore up a photo of the Pope on Saturday Night Live, airing live to millions of people in the US. The stunt was a protest against sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church.

    The incident was met with hundreds of complaints and arguably cut short Sinead's career in the States.

    In the late 1990s, Sinead O'Connor was ordained as a priest by Bishop Michael Cox of the Irish Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    However, The Roman Catholic Church considers ordination of women to be invalid, and states that a person trying to ordain a woman will incur excommunication.

    In 2007, Sinead said that she considered herself a Christian, and that she believed in core Christian concepts about Jesus Christ.

    However, in 2018 she converted to Islam, calling it "the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian's journey". She also changed her name to Shuhada' Davitt.

    Sinead O'Connor in 2020
    Sinead O'Connor in 2020. Picture: Getty
  4. Was Sinead O'Connor married and does she have children?

    Sinead O'Connor had her first son, Jake, with her first husband, music producer John Reynolds, who co-produced a few of her albums. They married in 1987.

    Shortly after the birth of her daughter Roisin in 1995, Sinead and the girl's father, Irish writer John Waters, started a lengthy custody battle that ended with Sinead allowing Roisin to live in Dublin with Waters.

    In 2001, Sinead married journalist Nick Sommerlad, but the marriage ended in 2004.

    She had her third child, son Shane, in 2004 with artist Donal Lunny. In 2006, she had her fourth child, Yeshua Francis Neil Bonadio, whose dad is Frank Bonadio. Shane passed away in 2022, aged 17.

    Sinead married for a third time in 2010, to longtime friend Steve Cooney, but they separated a year later.

    Her fourth marriage was to Irish therapist Barry Herridge. However, the marriage ended after having "lived together for 7 days only".

    In 2003, Sinead said that while most of her romantic relationships had been with men, she also had three relationships with women.