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Sinéad O’Connor, a name synonymous with raw emotion and powerful music, left an indelible mark on the world. Her untimely passing in July 2022 has been confirmed as due to natural causes, concluding months of speculation and uncertainty.

It’s now official. Singer Sinéad O’Connor passed away “of natural causes” in July 2022 at her London home, at the age of 56. This was stated on Tuesday by a British coroner in a succinct statement, after months of uncertainty. While the sudden death of the Irish performer shocked the world, the exact circumstances remained a mystery until now. The autopsy conducted by the police revealed no criminal leads, without clarifying the reasons for her untimely death.

The coroner’s verdict finally clears the doubts, even if it does not provide details of the ailments that caused the star’s death. It is simply known that, at 56, the singer who passionately performed “Nothing Compares 2 U” passed away unexpectedly yet naturally at home. This sad piece of news doesn’t necessarily soothe the pain of her relatives and fans, as she was preparing for a major musical comeback after tumultuous years.

Behind the global success and the rebellious image was a troubled person. Sinéad O’Connor never hid her psychological struggles, spurred by a difficult childhood in Dublin and overwhelming fame. She bravely fought bipolar disorder, with its share of depression, hospitalizations and even a suicide attempt. She publicly embraced her vulnerability to raise awareness about mental health.

On stage, her smashing career also had its ups and downs. After the 10 million copies sold of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” she struggled to reach the top again. But her rock verve and punk-folk style won over a discerning audience who revered her as an alternative icon. The tragic death of her son Shane in January 2022 seemed to signal the end of her artistic aspirations. “I’ve decided to follow my son. I no longer wish to live,” she confessed at that time. Before disappearing a few months later under officially natural circumstances.

Beyond music, Sinéad O’Connor also leaves behind the image of an inspiring activist. In a still deeply Catholic Ireland, she stood out as a voice for feminist causes. Aa a convinced pacifist, she did not hesitate to raise her voice against the powerful, denouncing the abuses of the Church. Her commitment peaked in 1992 when she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II live on air, attracting as much progressive sympathy as persistent hatred from conservatives.

Whether she still inspires adoration or controversy, one thing is certain: Sinéad O’Connor profoundly marked her era. Her passing leaves a significant void, but posterity will ensure that her memory and message of emancipation live on. With her timeless repertoire and bold stances, her influence is far from fading. Troubled yet free, Ireland’s rebellious daughter enters the pantheon of legends.

With AFP