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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Sinéad O’Connor Retracts Retirement, Criticizes “Hurtful” BBC Interview

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Sinéad O’Connor is not retiring from music after all. In a three-page note shared on Twitter, the Irish singer explained that last week’s announcement was prompted by the fallout to insensitive questions asked by media in the UK and Canada during the press tour promoting her memoir, Rememberings.

O’Connor specifically cited a particularly triggering experience on BBC’s Woman’s Hour. During the interview, host Emma Barnett asked about O’Connor having four children with four different men and brought up a piece in The Telegraph referring to the singer’s reputation “as the crazy woman in pop’s attic.”

“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 some years ago, representing me as the Jane Eyre-[esque] ‘madwoman in the attic,’” O’Connor wrote. “Barnett dares to suggest that ‘Oh, aren’t we much better now about discussing mental health.’ No, Bitch. Because if we were you wouldn’t have dragged up the madwoman in the attic scenario. Of all the shit you could have got off Google that was it? No questions about songs?”

She added, “I don’t really give a fuck if the psychopaths running the BBC listen to this or not. Or even if you, Emma, do. What matters more is I say it on behalf of all women who are legally vulnerable as a result of violent trauma. Or emotional and psychological abuse… If things were in any way improving re: stigma, which is a murderer, you wouldn’t be presenting that show.”

O’Connor continued by explaining 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.” According to the singer, “barely any interviewers” inside Ireland, the UK, or Canada respected her wishes.

The press run caused a “knee jerk” reaction within O’Connor, making her “terrified of” returning to her job as a musician. However, she now feels ready to fulfill all touring obligations in 2022.

“I lied when I said I’m past my peak,” she wrote. “Ain’t no such fucking thing. I’m just past listening to any more shite about how crazy people are invalid… I’m not gonna retire. I’m gonna keep on being fabulous.”

O’Connor’s memoir, Rememberings, is out now. In her since-deleted string of retirement tweets, the singer also teased that her upcoming album, No Veteran Dies Alone, will be out in 2022.

Check out O’Connor’s full explanation below.





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