Sinead O’Connor was found ‘unresponsive’ at a home in south-east London after police were called but detectives are not treating the star’s sudden death as suspicious, it was revealed today.
Scotland Yard has confirmed that the Irish singer best known for her 1990 global hit Nothing Compares 2 U died in the British capital on Wednesday morning – just weeks after she moved into a new flat and spoke of new songs and a 2024 tour.
Police were called to a home in the SE24 area of London, which covers genteel Herne Hill and sits between Brixton and Dulwich. Notable SE24 residents include actors Mark Rylance, Olivia Colman and James Nesbitt.
A Met Police spokesman said: ‘Police were called at 11.18am on Wednesday, July 26 to reports of an unresponsive woman at a residential address in the SE24 area. Officers attended. A 56-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
‘Next of kin have been notified. The death is not being treated as suspicious. A file will be prepared for the Coroner.’ A post-mortem examination to confirm the cause of Sinead’s death appears likely because she died suddenly. It is not yet confirmed that she died in her own home.
It came as MailOnline revealed that Sinead had just moved back to London at the start of July – calling the city her ‘home’ – and described her hope and excitement at seeing the ballet and writing new songs in the days before she died.
She also said on Facebook that she wanted to go on tour next year in a buoyant post a fortnight ago declaring: ‘The b*tch is back’, with fans hoping the fragile star was beating the depression and suicidal thoughts that dogged her for so many years, especially after the death of her son Shane last year aged 17.
Sinead O’Connor filmed her new flat and seemed happy having just moved back to London at the start of July – the last time she was seen. Police have revealed she was found ‘unresponsive’ in a south-east London home yesterday and declared dead at the scene
In what appears to be her final video on social media, Ms O’Connor told her Twitter followers she was writing new songs
Sinead O’ Connor in Bray, Ireland, in 2008
The singer’s fans in Ireland, Britain and around the world are mourning her death at the age of 56
In a video tour of her flat, she showed her guitar on the wall and said she was writing new songs
She said she was happy to be home in London and showed fans sunflowers from a friend and the packing
Sinead also tweeted he excitement at seeing a screening of Nureyev performing
Family, friends and fans have been left heartbroken by her death yesterday. REM frontman Michael Stipe, Tori Amos and Irish singer Shane MacGowan are among those who paid tribute to O’Connor’s talent and legacy.
The singer’s fans in Ireland, Britain and around the world are mourning her death of at the age of 56.
There is also the question of her fortune, which some say could be £4million but others estimate may have dwindled to nothing despite royalties from her biggest hit Nothing Compares 2 U, originally written by Prince.
Today MailOnline can reveal that the star had just moved to her ‘nice new flat’, where she planned to ‘write new tunes’ and hinted at a forthcoming album and a world tour.
Sinead also revealed her thrill of seeing the ballet in London less than two weeks ago. She tweeted: ‘SO fuggin excited to go see Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote in 14 hours and 17 minutes !!! I mean, just, OM effin’ G !!!’ Nureyev’s masterpiece was being screened at cinemas in the UK.
In a Twitter video she proudly showed off her black Martin Johnny Cash electro acoustic guitar on the wall and said she was going to write new songs. She hinted that she would release a new album ‘next year’ and ‘hopefully’ start touring again, with dates in Ireland, the UK, Australia and New Zealand mooted in 2024 and 2025.
Fans had frothed with excitement over how buoyant she seemed after years of struggling with bipolar, depression and the devastating death of her son Shane, 17, last year.
She posted on social media that she had moved back to London and felt ‘very happy to be home’ in a video shot in her new flat on July 9.
The social media video was filmed by the singer to prove it was her Twitter account and showed she was in the process of unpacking. Apologising for the mess, she laughed and called the modern flat a ‘s***hole’ because her belongings were on the surfaces.
But there were also jokes about putting Vaseline on her face to look after her skin and ‘beautiful’ sun flowers that her friend had bought as a housewarming gift.
In a statement yesterday evening, her family said: ‘It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad. Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.’
At the time of her death, the musician, who changed her name to Shuhada’ Sadaqat in 2018 when she converted to Islam, was spending her time between Roscommon and London.
Mother-of-four Ms O’Connor is survived by her three remaining children.
Sinead revealed she was living like an ‘undead night creature’ since her son’s suicide last year in a poignant and desperate final Twitter post shortly before her death.
Shane, 17, took his own life in January 2022 after escaping hospital while on suicide watch, comparing her existence to being in purgatory.
She said: ‘He was the love of my life, the lamp of my soul. We were one soul in two halves. He was the only person who ever loved me unconditionally.’
Sinéad also posted a series of Spotify links to sad songs, including one she dedicated to ‘all mothers of suicided children’. She also posted links to How Can You Mend A Broken Heart by Al Green, as well as Curtis Mayfield’s Here But I’m Gone and No One Knows About A Good Thing.
Sinead turned Prince’s minor song ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ into a global smash in 1990
Sinead O’Connor, left, and Chrissie Hynde in central London for the UK launch of the Fourth United Nations Global Conference on Women in 1995
Sinead O’Connor (pictured in 1990) shared how she had been living as an ‘undead night creature’ since her son’s suicide last year in a cryptic final Twitter post
Ms O’Connor struggled since her son Shane, 17, took his own life in January 2022 after escaping hospital while on suicide watch. She posted this photo with her son last week
Born Sinéad Marie Bernadette O’Connor in Glenageary, Co. Dublin, in December 1966, the singer had a difficult childhood. One of five children, O’Connor spoke out about being subjected to physical abuse at the hands of her mother, who died in a car crash in 1985. At the age of 15, she was placed in a Magdalene asylum for shoplifting and truancy.
However, her musical talents were discovered while she was there and she released her first critically acclaimed album, The Lion And The Cobra, in 1987.
Her 1990 recording of Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U earned O’Connor multiple Grammy Award nominations and, in 1991, she was named artist of the year by Rolling Stone magazine.
In her career she recorded ten solo albums, wrote songs for films and collaborated with other artists, but was also well known for her controversial outbursts.
In 1990, O’Connor said she would refuse to go on stage in New Jersey if The Star-Spangled Banner was performed.
And the singer, who frequently spoke out about the child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, made global headlines two years later when she ripped up a photograph of Pope John Paul II while appearing as a guest on US TV show Saturday Night Live.
O’Connor was later ordained as a priest by a bishop from an independent Catholic group and announced that she wanted to be known as Mother Bernadette Mary.
In 2014, she revealed she had joined Sinn Féin and called for leader Gerry Adams to stand down.
O’Connor worried fans in August 2017 when she posted a video to Facebook in which she tearfully spoke about feeling ‘suicidal’ because of her mental health issues.
Married four times, O’Connor announced in an interview with a US magazine in 2000 that she was a lesbian and said she was bisexual in subsequent Press interviews. She also spoke openly about suffering from mental health problems. During an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2007, O’Connor revealed that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had suffered with suicidal thoughts.
Sinead O’Connor, pictured at MTV Video Music Awards in 1990, has died aged 56
O’Connor (pictured on stage in Italy, 2014), was left heartbroken last year at the death of her beloved teenage son Shane after he took his own life
At the time of her death O’Connor had homes in Co Roscommon, Ireland, and London
The mother-of-four told Winfrey that medication had helped her find more balance, but said it was ‘a work in progress’.
In 2012, O’Connor cancelled a planned tour, saying her doctor had told her to rest after a ‘very serious breakdown’.
And, in November 2015, she posted a message on Facebook saying she had taken an overdose at a hotel in Ireland.
The next month, she said she had been detained in a hospital for mental health evaluation.
O’Connor was reported missing in the US in May 2016 when she failed to return from an early morning bike ride after making a series of Facebook posts about her family. October 2018 saw her announce she had converted to Islam and changed her name to Shuhada’ Sadaqat.
Following her son’s funeral last year, O’Connor posted a series of tweets in which she said she had ‘decided to follow my son’ but later apologised and said she was being admitted to hospital.
She is survived by her three children, Jake, 34, Róisín, 25, and Yeshua, 15.