Artist News

Sinead O’Connor retracts announcement of her retirement

By | Published on Wednesday 9 June 2021

Sinead O'Connor

Sinead O’Connor is not retiring from the music industry. You may have read that she’d already done that. I mean, she did say she had – announcing that she was cancelling all scheduled tour dates and that upcoming album ‘No Veteran Dies Alone’ would be her last.

Now she’s had a change of heart though, saying that an “unnecessary and hurtful” question on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ while promoting her new autobiography ‘Rememberings’ had triggered a “knee jerk reaction” resulting in the retirement announcement.

O’Connor tweeted on Friday that she had decided that after a “40 year journey” it was time to call an end to her career as a musician. She said that instead it was “time to put the feet up and make other dreams come true”. Asked about her scheduled live shows, she said: “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”.

Returning to Twitter the following day, she said that the decision still stood, adding: “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”.

So that was that. But given a few days to reflect, she has now retracted her decision to retire and explained in a statement what led her to make it in the first place.

“All interviewers were asked to please be sensitive and not ask about child abuse or dig deep into painful shit about mental health which would be traumatising for me to have to think about”, she said. “Every fuggin time I go to sell a record for 30 years, it’s ‘Aren’t you mental? Aren’t you an asshole? Aren’t you invalid?'”

She then turned specifically to last week’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ interview, during which she was asked about the time she was referred to in an article by The Telegraph’s music critic Neil McCormick as “the crazy lady in pop’s attic”.

“Last Tuesday it was unnecessary and hurtful for ‘Woman’s Hour’, of all people, to remind me of the awfully abusive statement written about me by an Irish man for a UK paper”, O’Connor wrote. “When people wonder what derailed my career? The UK and Irish UK papers’ constant abuse and invalidation of me on the grounds I may or may not have been diagnosed by them as ‘mad’. As if mad makes you invalid”.

“I said I was retiring”, she went on. “As I have said many times before in knee jerk reactions when I was young and made the butt of media abuse on the 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”.

“But I love my job”, she continued. “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. But I am born for live performance and with the astonishing love and support I have received in the last few days and will continue to receive from [booking agent] Rob Prinz and all at ICM, as well as many managers and buyers and fans, I feel safe in retracting my expressed wish to retire”.

“I am not going to retire” she concluded. “I am going to keep on being fabulous”.

‘No Veteran Dies Alone’ is set for release in January.