And, according to her official website, singer Sinead O’Connor has decided to retire from the music industry, effective July.
In a message posted on the website, O’Connor greeted her fans with “Hello, Lovelies” and announces that she will retire “In order to pursue a different career.”
Laying down the ground rules, Sinead wrote, “Since I seek no longer to be a famous person, and instead I wish to live a normal life, could people please afford me my privacy? By which I mean I would like not to have exploitation of my self or my name or anyone connected with me by newspapers.”
The singer recorded her first record at the tender age of 14, landed a record deal at 17, and had a Grammy by the time she was 21. After 22 years in the business, she needs a rest. And a change.
“I want to be like any other person in the street and not have people say there is Sinead O’Connor,” she wrote. “I am a very shy person, believe it or not.”
O’Connor’s bashfulness has sometimes been obscured by her public antics. Her refusal to allow the “Star Spangled Banner” to be played before a 1993 concert in New Jersey famously spurred Frank Sinatra to threaten to “kick her ass.” (So much for Rat Pack gallantry.) In 1994, she ripped up a picture of the pope on “Saturday Night Live,” and was subsequently booed at an all-star Bob Dylan tribute. (So much for freedom of speech.) A few years later, she was ordained a priest in the Tridentine Church and invited fans to send confessions and prayer requests to her in care of her record company. Then she decided that the priestly thing didn’t have to involve celibacy, and married a British journalist. (And those are only the highlights.)
But it’s all water under the bridge now. Sinead wants to be just your average suburban soccer mom to children John and Roisin.
“So I ask, with love, that I be left in peace and privacy by people who love my records too,” she wrote. “And I hope it doesn’t sound rude. It ain’t meant rude. I am glad that ye are helped by my songs. So help me too, by giving me what is best for me, a private life.”
So we only have another month or two to write about the iconoclastic singer, and only a few more recordings to enjoy before she sails off into the sunset. She will be featured in a track on Dolly Parton’s upcoming album and has recorded a track on Sharon Shannon’s new CD. And, to keep her fans from going through withdrawal, she is releasing her own farewell recordings.
“In July I will be releasing a DVD of a live show and documentary featuring tracks from way back along with tracks from “Sean Nos NuA,” she wrote. “The DVD will be entitled ‘Goodnight, thank you. You’ve been a lovely audience.’ And so ye have.”