Remembering Sinéad O’Connor with ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ & on ‘Fierce: Women In Music’

Sinéad O’Connor

Sinéad O’Connor — the gifted and controversial Irish artist who passed away at 56 on July 26 — was best known for covering Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Indeed, her rendition from 1990 is more famous than Prince’s. Her melancholic power ballad became a worldwide hit and featured an unforgettable music video, in which the singer is even seen crying while thinking about her mother during the lyrics “all the flowers that you planted mama.”

Years later, another beloved ’90s artist who left us too soon — Chris Cornell — wowed fans with an equally unforgettable cover of the song at the SiriusXM studios in 2015. To date, Cornell’s stripped-down performance of “Nothing Compares 2 U” has garnered over 146 million views on YouTube, and was released on his 2018 posthumous compilation album, Chris Cornell.

Selecting a favourite among Prince (who died in 2016), O’Connor, and Cornell may be difficult (and is frankly unnecessary). They’re all equally special in their own way. In celebration of their music, revisit all three versions with us here now.

Sinéad O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U (Official Music Video)

Chris Cornell – “Nothing Compares 2 U” 

Prince – “Nothing Compares 2 U”

Fierce: Women In Music – Sinéad O’Connor

A new episode of Fierce: Women In Music takes a look at the life and career of Sinead O’Connor. Host Lori Majewski will be joined by SiriusXM Canada’s Eric Alper and music journalist and author Alan Light who spent time with Sinead over the years.

Remembering Sinéad O’Connor

Born in Dublin, Ireland, on December 8, 1966, O’Connor’s musical career truly took off when she signed with manager Fachtna O’Ceallaigh, the former head of U2’s Mother Records. O’Connor sang on the track “Heroine” for the Captive film soundtrack, a song she co-wrote with U2’s guitarist, Edge.

Throughout her solo career, O’Connor released 10 studio albums and one EP. The Lion and the Cobra, her debut and GRAMMY-nominated album, was released in 1987, but it was her sophomore album, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, that brought her the most commercial success. The lead single was her cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

O’Connor’s contributions to music continued into the 2000s. No Veteran Dies Alone, which was to be her final album, was postponed indefinitely after her son died by suicide in 2022. It was recently revealed that O’Connor sang and recorded the theme song for Outlander Season 7.

In memory of O’Connor, revisit the time indie star Sharon Van Etten honoured O’Connor by covering her “Black Boys On Mopeds” song for SiriusXM: