Sinéad O’Connor converts to Islam

Sinéad O’Connor converts to Islam

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Shuhada' Davitt, formerly known as Sinéad O'Connor Image copyright Twitter/@MagdaDavitt77
Image caption The singer says she is “proud to have become a Muslim”

Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor has announced she has converted to Islam.

The artist, who is best known for her 1990 hit version of the song Nothing Compares 2 U, said she had changed her name to Shuhada’.

In a message on Twitter, she thanked fellow Muslims for their support.

She has said that her decision was “the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian’s journey” and uploaded a video of herself singing the adhan, or Islamic call to prayer.

On Thursday, Irish Imam Shaykh Dr Umar al-Qadri posted a video of the singer saying the Islamic declaration of faith.

It is not the first time O’Connor, who legally changed her name to Magda Davitt last year, has publicly spoken about religion.

In 1992, she sparked controversy after ripping up a photograph of the Pope live on US television.

Seven years later, she was ordained by a breakaway church in Lourdes. The Catholic Church, which does not allow women to become priests, did not recognise the ceremony.

Image copyright PA

Image caption The singer was ordained as a priest in 1999

Other famous converts to Islam

  • Oscar-nominated Egyptian actor Omar Sharif converted and changed his name in 1955 to marry his wife Faten Hamama. He was born Michel Dimitri Chalhoub to a family of Melkite Christians in Alexandria, Egypt.
  • Singer-songwriter Yusuf Islam, known by his stage name Cat Stevens, converted to Islam in 1977 and halted his career two years later to focus on work in the Muslim community – not returning to music until the release of a new album in 2006.
  • Rapper Ice Cube converted to Islam in the 1990s. In 2017 he said he was still a practicing Muslim, but told The Daily Beast “I might change religions three or four times before I die”.
  • Comedian Dave Chappelle became a Muslim in 1998. “I don’t normally talk about my religion publicly because I don’t want people to associate me and my flaws with this beautiful thing,” he told Time magazine in 2005. “And I believe it is a beautiful religion if you learn it the right way.”

O’Connor rose to fame in 1990 with a striking arrangement of Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U.

Her version of the ballad topped charts across the world and spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, earning her three Grammy nominations.

The music video, directed by John Maybury, consists mostly of a close up on O’Connor’s face as she sings the lyrics.

The visual won three Moonmen at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year, where the singer was the first female artist to win the esteemed prize of the night.

She has released 10 solo albums. In August 2018, the singer released her first song in four years, called Milestones.

“This is just a first demo for fans because they never get to hear a demo,” she told The Irish Sun, which shared the song.

She also revealed that she would be releasing a new album, No Mud No Lotus, “before October 2019”.

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