‘I retract!’: Sinéad O’Connor, 54, announces she’s NOT retiring a day after saying she was… as the singer slams ‘abusive’ BBC Women’s Hour interview for ‘f****g with her head’
Sinéad O’Connor has said that she’s not retiring, a day after announcing she was stepping back from ‘touring and working in the record business’.
The Irish singer, 54, took to Twitter late on Saturday to update fans on her change of plans and to explain that she had ‘temporarily allowed her head to be f***ed up’ following an appearance on BBC Women’s Hour, which she slammed as ‘abusive’.
Penning a lengthy and ‘colourful’ statement, the star said that she ‘loves her job of making music’ and apologised for giving fans a ‘fright’, but explained that going over the ‘abuse I grew up with every time I go to sell a record, it triggers me’.
Change of plans: Sinéad O’Connor has said that she’s not retiring, a day after announcing she was stepping back from ‘touring and working in the record business’ (pictured in 2019)
Taking to Twitter late on Saturday, Sinéad said: ‘Good news. F**k retiring. I retract. Am not retiring. I was temporarily allowing pigs in lipstick to f**k my head up…’
Sinéad then wrote in her letter that she felt ‘abused’ by a few outlets while promoting her new book Rememberings, claiming that ‘barely any interviewers… respected requests’ to be sensitive and not ‘dig deep into painful s**t’.
She said: ‘It was unnecessary and hurtful for Women’s Hour of all people, to remind me of the awfully abusive statements written about me by an Irish man for a UK paper; some years ago representing me as the Jane Eyre-esquires Madwoman in the attic’.
The singer was promoting her memoir Rememberings when she engaged in the stilted conversation with host Emma Barnett, 36, who spoke of her being ‘a crazy lady’, while Sinéad also controversially likened herself to Jamaican men.
Triggered: The Irish singer, 54, took to Twitter on Saturday to explain that she had ‘temporarily allowed her head to be f***ed up’ following an appearance on BBC Women’s Hour (pictured performing in Canada in 2020)
‘I retract’: Sinéad shared a lengthy three-page statement detailing the reasons behind her retirement announcement and why she’s no longer stepping away from performing
Taking to Twitter hours after the interview aired, Sinéad blasted Emma and the show for various ‘abusive’ comments and also apologised if she ‘accidentally offended Jamaican men’ when she detailed having different fathers to her four children.
During the discussion, Emma spoke of how The Telegraph’s music critic Neil McCormick, 60, had branded Sinéad ‘the crazy lady in pop’s attic’ – a reference the singer later described as ‘abusive and invalidating’.
Talking on Monday night, Sinéad went on to say that the show should be recalled ‘Pigs In Lipstick’ as she explained she wasn’t retiring, but made her first statement on Twitter because she ‘lost her s**t’ after appearing on Women’s Hour last Tuesday.
She wrote: ‘So now the good news. I was already so badly triggered by the time the BBC f****d me up the ass… I lost my s**t after Women’s Hour: I felt like I did thirty years ago and for thirty years.
‘That I’d be better off (safer) if I ran away and gave up being in music at all. Because I keep getting used a a coat hanger for people to clothe with whatever they like.
Statement: Sinéad wrote in her letter that she felt ‘abused’ by a few outlets while promoting her new book Rememberings, claiming that ‘barely any interviewers… respected requests’ to be sensitive and not ‘dig deep into painful s**t’
‘I was not myself last week by the time Pigs In Lipstick was finished with me’: The singer ended her statement saying that she gave herself ‘a fright’ and wasn’t retiring
‘My legal vulnerabilities and or past agonies framed up for salacious entertainment and paying he mortgages of mostly men, who, thanks be to God, have never and will never know what it’s like to be a female trauma survivor win this world.’
Sinéad added: ‘I said I was retiring. As I have said many times before in knee jerk reactions what I was young and made the butt of media abuse on grounds I’m legally vulnerable.
‘The hugest misconception (I’m always asked this but never answer) of Sinead O’Connor is that she is Amazonian. I’m not. I’m a five foot four inch soft hearted female who is actually very fragile.
‘When people ridicule or invalidate or disrespect or abuse or misuse me on the grounds I suffer from severe long term effects of the barbaric physical and sexual abuse I grew up with, every time I go to sell a record, a show or win this case a book, it triggers me.
‘I turn back into that hurt child. Or that appallingly treated young woman and my job becomes something I’m terrified of.’
Sinéad then said that she ‘loves her job’, writing: ‘Making music that is. I don’t like the consequences of being a talented (and outspoken woman) being that I have to wade through walls of prejudice every day to make a living.
‘It’s been a 40 year journey’: The singer soared to fame in the 90s with song Nothing Compares 2 U (pictured in the video) and told fans now is the time to ‘make other dreams come true’
Positive: Sinéad initially reassured fans that her retirement was ‘staggeringly beautiful news’ as she updated them on her plans on Twitter over the weekend
‘But I am born for live performance and with the astonishing love and support I have received in the last few days… I feel safe in retracting my expressed wish to retire and I will in face be doing all shows currently booked for 2022.’
Concluding the statement, she added: ‘Also, I lied when I said I’m past my peak. Ain’t no such f*****g thing 🙂 I’m just past listening to any more s***e about how crazy people are invalid.
‘I want to extend my heartfelt apologies to all fans, buyers, promoters, venues and hot god sellers for the fright I’ve given you. To be honest I gave myself a fright too.
‘I was not myself last week by the time Pigs In Lipstick [Women’s Hour] was finished with me.’
A BBC spokesperson said: ‘During an interview about her new book, Sinead O’Connor was talking about her mental health and was asked what she made of a comment by a music critic reviewing her book in recent days.’
Sinéad had announced that she was retiring from ‘touring and working in the record business’, saying it’s time to ‘make other dreams come true’ on Friday.
Called off: Sinéad also answered a fan asking about whether rescheduled concerts would now be cancelled following the update, with the singer saying the would be, however she has now added that she will be performing the shows
Taking to Twitter, Sinéad penned: ‘This is to announce my retirement from touring and from working in the record business. I’ve gotten older and I’m tired.
‘So it’s time for me to hang up my nipple tassels, having truly given my all. NVDA in 2022 will be my last release. And there’ll be no more touring or promo.’
She then followed up with another tweet, writing: ‘It’s not sad news. It’s staggeringly beautiful news. A wise warrior knows when he or she should retreat: #MeTime’
Reassuring fans she’s feeling positive about the change and decision to retire from going on the road, Sinéad added: ‘It’s been a forty year journey.
‘Time to put the feet up and make other dreams come true ; )’
Sinéad also answered a fan asking about whether rescheduled concerts would now be cancelled following the latest update, with the singer saying the would be.
She replied: ‘Yes, all shows which were originally set for 2020, rescheduled to 2021 and then to 2022 are going to be pulled. Because this soldier woman has grown old quicker than covid.’
Causing chaos: The star explained releasing her own book made her realise she’s her ‘own boss’- and that she’d had a ‘few whiskeys’ ahead of announcing her retirement
New ventures: Although stepping away from recording and touring in her tweets on Sunday, Sinéad said she’d love to appear on The Voice Of Ireland
Taking to the social media site again on Saturday, Sinéad explained that it was the process of releasing her own book that made her realise she’s her ‘own boss’- and that she’d had a ‘few whiskeys’.
She wrote: ‘Apologies if any upset caused to booking agents or promoters or managers due to my tweeting about my retirement.
‘I guess the book made me realise I’m my own boss. I didn’t wanna wait for permission from the men, as to when I could announce it. Also, I’d had a few whiskeys : )’
And returning to the subject of her impending retirement again on Sunday, the star said she’d love to appear on The Voice Of Ireland now she’s got some free time.
She tweeted: ‘PS re retiring…. have always wanted to be one of the artists involved in presenting and mentoring on the The Voice of Ireland … But never was free to do it. Am now : ) So if they ever want me they can contact my managers : )’
From ripping up the Pope’s picture to THAT ‘disgusting white people tweet’: 10 of Sinéad O’Connor’s most controversial moments
1991, American National Anthem furore: Sinéad sparked outrage in the US after she she refused to perform at New Jersey’s Garden State Arts Center if the National Anthem was played before her show.
Staff didn’t play the Star Spangled Banner, however Sinéad was later banned from the venue and several New York radio stations, reports DublinLive.
1991, Grammys boycott: Also in the same year, the Irish singer pulled out of the Grammys and refused to accept her award for Best Alternative Album.
Sinéad slammed the event saying the ‘honoured people achieved material success rather than those who have told the truth or done anything to inspire.’
Outrage: While appearing on Saturday Night Live in 1992, Sinéad ripped up a picture of Pope John Paul II during her performance of Bob Marley’s song War
1992, Ripping up the Pope’s picture on SNL: Perhaps her most infamous moment came at the peak of her fame in 1992 after Sinéad tore a picture of Pope John Paul II while appearing on Saturday Night Live in the US.
She was performing a cappella version of Bob Marley’s song War when she took out a picture of the Pope on the word ‘evil’ and ripped it up.
Sinéad, who was heckled weeks later at a Bob Dylan tribute concert, went on to say the move was a protest against sexual abuse in the Catholic church.
1999, Is ordained a priest: Sinéad became Mother Bernadette Marie after being ordained by bishop Michael Cox of the Latin Tridentine church.
She later faced a furore after it was revealed she had also donated £150,000 to the Bishop, reports DublinLive.
2000, Sinéad comes out as gay: The following year Sinéad revealed she was a lesbian in an interview with American magazine Curve.
She told the publication: ‘I’m a lesbian. I haven’t been very open about that, and throughout most of my life I’ve gone out with blokes because I haven’t necessarily been terribly comfortable about being a lesbian.’
And in 2014, Sinéad spoke further about her sexuality telling Pride Source she ‘wouldn’t give a s**t’ if the person she loves was a man or woman.
Colourful career: Other controversies have included Sinead penning a letter criticising Miley Cyrus, changing her name twice and being ordained a priest
2013, Writing to Miley Cyrus: The singer penned an open letter to Miley Cyrus criticising the explicit video for her song Wrecking Ball after Miley quoted her Nothing Compares 2 U video as the inspiration for Wrecking Ball.
She said: ‘The message you keep sending is that it’s somehow cool to be prostituted… Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality.’
2017, Changing her name: Sinéad changed her name to Magda Davitt in 2017 so she could be ‘free of parental slave names’
2018, Converting to Islam: 19 years after being ordained as a priest she started using the name Shuhada Sadaqat after converting to Islam in October 2018
2018, ‘Disgusting white people’ Tweet: She sparked outrage after announcing she no longer wants to spend any time with ‘disgusting white people’.
Sinéad penned: ‘Something so racist I never thought my soul could ever feel it. But truly I never wanna spend time with white people again (if that’s what non-muslims are called). Not for one moment… They are disgusting.’
She later apologised saying the comment was made ‘while angry and unwell… I was triggered as a result of Islamophobia dumped on me.’
Shock: Sinead sparked outrage on Twitter in 2018 by claiming she no longer wants to spend time with ‘disgusting white people’ after converting to Islam
2020, Trump and Covid: After it was reported the former President had Covid, Sinéad took to Twitter to pen: ‘I couldn’t give a f*** what anyone thinks. I hope it takes him.’
2020, Cancels gigs amid ongoing mental health worries: In November, Sinéad said she was taking a break from performing as she goes into a year-long rehabilitation programme. All her 2021 gigs were called off.
Sinéad has worried fans with a series of concerning social media updates about her mental health over the years.
And in 2017 she sparked alarm with a teary 12-minute video on her Facebook page in which she stated that she had wanted to kill herself for two years.
The retirement announcement came after Sinéad hit out at BBC Woman’s Hour after being subjected to an ‘offensive and misogynistic’ interview on the show last Tuesday.
During the discussion, host Emma Barnett spoke of how The Telegraph’s music critic Neil McCormick had branded Sinéad ‘the crazy lady in pop’s attic’ – a reference the singer later described as ‘abusive and invalidating’.
Sinéad is currently blazing the promo trail with her time and her appearance on the BBC show saw Emma probe her about society’s approach to mental health and how the media is evolving following her personal battles.
Emma delved into Neil’s statement, saying: ‘I was very struck by an interview with Neil McCormick, the music critic for The Telegraph, when he said your reputation as ‘the crazy lady in pop’s attic’ has pursued you.’
Outspoken: Sinéad often shares updates with her fans on Twitter (pictured at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1990)
Regarding the comment, which was made in Neil’s review of Rememberings last week, Emma pushed: ‘I wonder what you make of that?’
Sinéad seemed taken aback by the comment and pointed out its clear reference to Bertha Mason, the character in Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 novel Jane Eyre, who is violently insane and locked up by her husband Rochester.
She said: ‘I think it’s a bit extreme to make the Jane Eyre comparison, I don’t think I’ve ever been perceived as ‘the crazy lady in pop’s attic’ as represented in Jane Eyre…
‘It’s not like I’m trying to attack people with knives or trying to strangle people while I’m walking around in my nightdress.’
Speaking out: It comes after Sinéad hit out at BBC Woman’s Hour after being subjected to an ‘offensive and misogynistic’ interview on the show on Tuesday morning
In her post-interview tweets, Sinead, who changed her name to Shuhada’ Davitt in 2018, penned: ‘Actually found the interview with @Emmabarnett extremely offensive and even misogynistic…
‘One abusive and invalidating question or statement after another: “madwoman in the attic” At that point I should have ended it. I will absolutely never do Women’s hour again.’
Her other tweet read: ‘Also, apologies if I accidentally offended Jamaican men. I was referring to specific friends of mine in the music business. Jamaican people are my favourite people on this earth and Jamaican male musicians my biggest inspiration.’
Sinead’s apology came after she spoke on the show about her own family situation. She has been married four times and has four children.
Her eldest son is 33-year-old Jake Reynolds, whose father is Donal Reynolds. They married in 1987 before splitting in 1991. Her daughter Roisin, 24, is the result of her relationship with journalist John Waters.
Hitting back: The Irish singer was promoting her memoir Rememberings when she engaged in the stilted conversation with host Emma Barnett, 36, (pictured in January) who spoke of her being ‘a crazy lady’, while Sinead also likened herself to Jamaican men
She shares son Jake, 16, with ex Donal Lunny. Her youngest child is 14-year-old Yeshua Francis Neil Bonadio, who she shares with American businessman Frank Bonadio. They split in 2017, a year after his birth.
On the show, Emma asked Sinead: ‘You talk about having four children by four different men and you do say that’s deliberate. I like your description of yourself as a horn dog, as someone expressing themselves and being themselves.’
Sinead replied: ‘I think women always had the freedom to do what they want sexually… I haven’t computed in my life people of my parents or my grandparents’ generation that there was any limitation of women and their sexuality…
‘It would probably be unusual still – I don’t know what it’s like in England – but it’s certainly unusual for someone to have more than two kids with different fathers.’
Hitting back: Sinéad vowed not to appear on the show again following the reference to Neil McCormick’s slur
Emotional: She also apologised for offending Jamaican men in the chat
She then referenced Jamaican men, saying: ‘I’m kind of like a Jamaican father, fathers say is a revolving door in my house…
‘Nobody bats an eyelid when Jamaican fellas have kids with f**king -sorry didnt mean to say that – they have kids with tons of people and no one bats an eyelid’.
Emma pointed out this could be deemed a generalisation, saying: ‘Some people will not like the stereotyping of Jamaican men just then’.
Sinead – who was interrupted by Emma – responded: ‘I wasn’t stereotyping, I was talking about a particular man I cant remember his name. I have to stop you there…
‘I’m not generalising on Jamaican people. They are my favourite people on earth, they’re the greatest people on planet earth…
Mum: Sinéad has four children – Shane Lunny, 16, Jake Reynolds, 33, Roisin Waters, 24, and Yeshua Bonadio, 14 (pictured with Shane and Yeshua in Dublin in 2012)
‘The fact is lots of them have lots of kids with lots of women and nobody bats a f**king eyelid. I can name you a hundred men.’
MailOnline has contacted a representative for BBC Woman’s Hour for comment.
Sinead also spoke about how mental health is treated in society, saying: ‘I call it racist which isn’t the right word but I can never find what the right word is. But being the subject of abuse to someone who is mentally ill is sort of similar to racism…
‘I experienced as have many of my friends with conditions, having a mental health conditions its in the world the way it is now its like having two broken legs but everybody is expecting you to walk normal…
‘If you show symptoms and you don’t walk normal, people are going to knock you over, stomp on your broken legs and use your screaming in pain as something to abuse you with.’
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