The DNA family is saddened by the passing of militant Irish-born singer Sinead O’Connor, who should be remembered for a vast catalogue of recorded music, live concerts and acts of rebellion. She was just 56 years of age and still performed under her birth name, Sinead O’Connor, after converting to Islam some years ago taking the name Shuhada’ Sadaqat.
Most famous for her smash-hit and stellar recording of Prince-penned “Nothing Compares 2 U” she began singing/songwriting professionally at the age of 14 and recorded with Massive Attack, Bono of U2, MC Lyte and many other luminaries. Her performances on TV shows all over the world are legendary, from the UK’s Old Gray Whistle Test to the Arsenio Hall Show, or Saturday Night Live where she infamously tore a photo of the Pope apart on live television in protest of the ongoing pedophilia of Catholic priests.
She’s remembered fondly today by Hip Hop legends such as Dante Ross and Chuck D. of Public enemy, who posted photos of her with PE’s Flava Flav as well as an image of her newly-shorn hair with a PE logo emblazoned on the side of her head. A Public Enemy fan from Ireland called Laura Mar commented “She (Shuhada’ Sadaqat nee’ Sinead O’Connor) gave us young ones in Ireland so much more than music. If people don’t mind my saying that in a similar vein to hiphop, she offered us resistance. Ar dheis de go raibh a hanam.” after hearing of the sudden death of the star.
A staunch revolutionary and activist, her politics were farther left than any other Irish-born singer or performing artist as she once sang on “Black Boys on Mopeds” in protest of England’s police force’s nasty habit of murdering young Black men extrajudicially, “It’s the home of police who kill Black Boys on Mopeds and I love my boy and that’s why I’m leaving…”
Shuhuda’ Sadaqat continued to perform and record under her birth name, Sinead O’Connor to remind the world of her roots as an Irishwoman and a daughter of the United Kingdom — because she actively spoke against the ills of their societies and used her platform in music to spark revolutionary thought. She performed in front of thousands in a Rastafarian-flag colors armband proudly wearing a Marcus Garvey t-shirt. We salute her music, her activism and her life as she embodies the spirit of DNA and the tenets of Drums & Ammo in every way.
May she rest well and her music live on forever.