Today is Irish songstress [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Sinead O’Connor[/lastfm]’s 45th birthday!
And to mark the occasion, Jack FM is making “Mandinka” our Song of the Day!
Oh, and we’re also going to rip up her picture. Don’t worry, the Pope gave us his blessing.
Brash and outspoken, Sinead O’Connor’s first foray into music was as the lead singer of local Irish band Ton Ton Macoute. The exposure brought Sinead to the attention of industry executives, and she eventually signed a deal with Ensign Records.
In 1987, she released her debut album, The Lion and the Cobra. Although the album was not embraced by the pop mainstream, it still managed to sell over two million copies worldwide and peaked at #36 on the Billboard 200. The single “Mandinka” landed in the Top 20 on the U.K. Singles chart and was a big hit on college radio in the States. It was with this song that Sinead made her U.S. television debut, performing on The Late Show with David Letterman in 1988.
The singer’s biggest commercial success came in 1990 with the release of I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got. The critically-acclaimed album was a hit around the world. In the U.S., I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got spent six weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200, and it also topped the charts in several other countries as well. The album spawned Sinead’s best-known single, the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Prince[/lastfm]-penned “Nothing Compares 2 U.” It went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Rolling Stone magazine placed it at #162 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
1992 was a rather memorable year for Sinead O’Connor. In September, she released Am I Not Your Girl?, an album featuring covers of the jazz standards she grew up listening to. It also marked the beginning of her commercial decline. Shortly after, Sinead made headlines for her infamous performance on Saturday Night Live. On the show, she sang an a cappella version of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Bob Marley[/lastfm]’s “War,” and at the end ripped up a picture of Pope John Paul II in protest of the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal.
Despite the inevitable backlash, Sinead O’Connor trudged forward and has continued making music on her own terms ever since. On February 20, 2012, she will release her ninth studio album, How About I Be Me and You Be You. The first single, the reggae-flavored “How About I Be Me,” is already a popular hit on iTunes.
Here’s Sinead performing “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” from the musical Evita. Jack FM is kind of shocked she didn’t rip up a picture of Eva Peron at the end.
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