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Sinéad O'Connor ripping up photo of the Pope on live TV is being called her most controversial moment

Sinéad O'Connor ripping up photo of the Pope on live TV is being called her most controversial moment

During an appearance on SNL in 1992, the singer shocked the world with her message about abuse.

Irish singer and activist Sinéad O'Connor has died at the age of 56.

In a statement, the singer's family said: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad.

"Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time."

Now, O'Connor is being remembered online for her most iconic and controversial moments.

During an appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1992, the 'Nothing Compares 2 U' singer tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II and said 'fight the real enemy'.

The reaction to the outburst was swift and fierce.

NBC immediately banned O'Connor for life.

Outside the Manhattan studio, people pelted the singer with eggs.

Two weeks later, she was booed by the crowd at a Bob Dylan tribute concert in Madison Square Garden.

At the time, O’Connor said she had ripped up the photo in protest of sexual abuse of children by the Catholic Church.

When her memoir was released in 2021, O'Connor revealed that the story actually ran much deeper.

“My intention had always been to destroy my mother’s photo of the pope,” she wrote in the book. “It represented lies and liars and abuse."

O’Connor wrote that she visited her mother’s home after her death and 'took down from her bedroom wall the only photo she ever had up there', which was of Pope John Paul II.

"I never knew when or where or how I would destroy it, but destroy it I would when the right moment came. And with that in mind, I carefully brought it everywhere I lived from that day forward. Because nobody ever gave a shit about the children of Ireland," she wrote.

The singer's mother died in 1985 when her car skidded on black ice and collided with a bus.

In recent years, O'Connor has spoken openly about her complex relationship with her mother, claiming she was physically and emotionally abusive, and would 'strip and beat her' as a child.

“My mother was a very violent woman. Not a healthy woman at all,” O’Connor said in Nothing Compares.

“The cause of my own abuse was the Church’s effect on this country.

"Which had produced my mother.

"I spent my entire childhood being beaten up because of the social conditions under which my mother grew up. I would compare Ireland to an abused child.”

O'Connor's death comes just 18 months after her 17-year-old son Shane died by suicide in 2022.

"Been living as undead night creature since. He was the love of my life, the lamp of my soul. We were one soul in two halves," she wrote on Twitter on July 17.

"He was the only person who ever loved me unconditionally. I am lost in the bardo without him."

Featured Image Credit: Saturday Night Live/NBC

Topics: News, Celebrity