Sinéad O’Connor (born 8 December 1966) is an Irish singer-songwriter who rose to fame in the late 1980s. She was discovered while performing with a Dublin band called Ton Ton Macoute, O'Connor caught the attention of the two owner-managers of a small London record label called Ensign Records. Ensign released her debut album, The Lion and the Cobra, late in 1987. Critics lauded O'Connor's powerful and expressive voice and noted the complexity of her songs, even while acknowledging their decidedly uncommercial nature. Though it had no major hit singles, the album eventually sold over 500,000 copies and went platinum.
With the 1990 release of O'Connor's second album, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, the bald-headed singer-songwriter became an international star. Driven by the phenomenal success of the smash hit single "Nothing Compares 2 U" (a once-obscure song written by Prince and first recorded by a band called the Family), the album shot to the top of the Billboard charts and nabbed O'Connor four Grammy Award nominations including Best Album, Best Song, Best Female Vocalist, and Best Alternative Album.
Since then, while maintaining her singing career, she has occasionally encountered controversy, partly due to her ongoing statements and gestures—such as her ordination as a priest despite being a woman with a Roman Catholic background—and her strongly expressed views on organised religion, women's rights, war, and child abuse.
While her shaved head was initially an assertion against traditional views of women, years later, O'Connor said she had begun to grow her hair back, but that after being asked if she was Enya, O'Connor shaved it off again. "I don't feel like me unless I have my hair shaved. So even when I'm an old lady, I'm going to have it."
Sinead O'Connor beautifully photographed by Jill Furmanovsky at her West London home in 1994.
Sinead O'Connor photographed in her house just off Westbourne Grove in London. This photograph won a Kodak European Gold Award in 1994.