How the world reported Sinéad O’Connor’s death

Headlines dominated by death of ‘fierce activist with a haunting voice’

Irish newspapers covered the death of Sinéad O'Connor on their front pages

Newspapers across the world have carried the story of Sinéad O’Connor’s death prominently on their front pages on Thursday.

The story, which was first reported by The Irish Times on Wednesday evening, has been widely covered in all the Irish and UK newspapers, but also features on the front page of media outlets in the US, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.

The front page of The New York Times described the 56-year-old as the “Pop singer who bared her soul and endured scorn,” while the Los Angeles Times carried the headline “fierce activist with a haunting voice.”

The Guardian US dedicated their entire front page to the “singer who enchanted and at times shocked the world,” while the Chicago Tribune called her voice “unmatched”.

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The Washington Post described her voice as “full of price, pain and politics” while The Boston Globe’s article on her death said that O’Connor “defied expectations of how a female pop star should look at behave, most memorably, by tearing up a photo of the pope on live TV”.

Back home, front page tributes to the mother-of-four was the main focus of the front page of newspapers.

The Irish Times featured a striking photograph on the front page of the star performing in Amsterdam in 1998, paying tribute to the “Accclaimed Dublin superstar” who died “after a turbulent life”.

The headline to Hugh Linehan’s piece read that the “Singer had a unique voice and a take-no prisoners defiance”.

Inside, the paper features a piece by Una Mullally, titled “Sinéad rejected an easy life for one of truth telling”.

The Irish Independent dedicated their entire front page to the Grammy award winning singer, with a headline that read “In her music, Sinéad evoked the pain, hidden and overt, of Ireland and its people. She was part of us”. The paper dedicated six pages inside to her.

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The Irish Examiner devoted half of their front page to the singer, with an article by Tom Dunne entitled “A child of Ireland, Our girl, Sinéad, Our beloved friend.”

The Irish Daily Star dedicated pages one to seven of their paper to O’Connor, whom they called a “rebel with [an] angel’s voice”. They featured four photographs of her on their front page, one of which from when she ripped a photograph of the pope into pieces while on Saturday Night Live.

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“Vulnerable, powerful and pure” was the headline chosen by the Irish Daily Mail in memory of the singer, which underneath described her as “a mesmerizing talent who bared her heart and took on the world.”

Both the Irish Daily Mail and the Irish Daily Mirror included the “last picture” of O’Connor as part of their tributes – a still from a video taken by her on July 9th.

The Irish Daily Mirror simply chose the headline “Nothing compared to you, Sinead,” referencing her single, which was named as Billboard’s number one world single of 1990 in December of that year.

In the UK, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times, Daily Express, Daily Star, Daily Record, The Scotsman, The i Newspaper, Metro UK, Scottish Daily Mail, The Independent, The Herald (Scotland), The Irish News, Daily Mirror all featured the star on the front. Many referenced her iconic hit and used the headline: “Nothing Compared”.

Ellen O’Donoghue

Ellen O’Donoghue

Ellen O'Donoghue is an Irish Times journalist