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02nd Aug 2023

‘I feel like the world destroyed Sinead O’Connor’ – Shirley Manson pays emotional tribute

“She’s one of the greats, and to my mind she’s up there with a Nina Simone and a Billie Holiday.”

Of all the words that have been spoken, written or sung about Sinead O’Connor, in the days since her passing, none cut as close to the core of the musician as those of Shirley Manson.

The Garbage singer spoke to Rolling Stone for a podcast entitled ‘The Life and Music’ of Sinead O’Connor, who died at the age of 56, last Wednesday [July 26].

“I’ve been waiting for this,” Manson said. “I feared this would happen. I understood what crisis she was in and I was very concerned and my biggest fear has come true. I can’t say I’m surprised. I really saw in Sinead a figurehead, a flag-bearer. And to have lost that, it feels devastating.”

The Scottish singer went on to say how much she loved, admired and looked up to O’Connor and said her ‘spectacular voice’ was right up their with music legends Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. “She could just flip from a whisper to the sound of an angel, and then straight into this super-fierce, hardcore, almost punk rock.” Shirley Manson added.

“What happened to Sinead is just another example of what the world does to powerful women. I feel like the world destroyed Sinead O’Connor. She was so delicate. Yes, she was courageous and brave and fierce and powerful. But she was also really unbelievably fragile and sensitive. And the world just tossed her around and defiled her, and now we’ve lost somebody that we’ll not see the likes of, not in my lifetime.

“It’s so sad because she’s so often begged for help, and she was made fun of by the tabloids for a variety of occurrences in her later life. They vilified her for the way she looked. What the fuck is that? What business is it of anybody’s, how Sinead O’Connor chooses to look?”