What will happen to Sinead O’Connor’s ‘£4million’ fortune? Mystery over finances of tragic singer who married four times, had four children and still received substantial royalties from her hit Nothing Compares 2 U
- Sinéad O’Connor was propelled to international stardom in 1990 with the single
- Net worth in recent years has been estimated between £400,000 and £4million
Sinéad O’Connor’s wealth was most recently estimated at £4million, with most of her fortune coming from her hit song Nothing Compares 2 U which generated huge royalties throughout her career.
The Grammy-winning singer, who has died aged 56, was propelled to international stardom in 1990 with her version of the ballad, which was originally written and composed by Prince.
She had to give a percentage of her income for the song, known as ‘mechanical royalties’, to Prince, who died in 2016 – but she then kept the rest of the money.
In 2021, Irish sources estimated that she had a net worth of £4million. However, the troubled singer has given the appearance of financial struggles in recent years – and the true state of her bank account in her final years is unclear, with some estimates reaching as low as £400,000.
It is also unknown which relatives will receive money from her estate, with the singer having married four times and having had four children – although her third child, Shane, died tragically in 2022.
Sinead O’Connor performs at Downing Stadium on Randall’s Island in New York in June 1997
Nothing Compares 2 U was released as a single in 1990 and was a massive hit for O’Connor
She gave a percentage of royalties for the song, known as ‘mechanical royalties’, to Prince
Sinead O’Connor with her daughter Roisin Waters at the Electric Picnic 2014 festival in Ireland
Sinead O’Connor with sons Shane (left) and Yeshua (right) outside RTE in Dublin in 2012
O’Connor’s son Shane O’Connor, who died in 2022, came from her romance with Donal Lunny
Born in December 1966, the singer released her first critically acclaimed album The Lion And The Cobra in 1987 and also made decent money from royalties on this.
Four marriages and four children: Sinead O’Connor’s love life
Here is a list of Sinead O’Connor’s relationships:
John Reynolds (married 1987-1991, divorced, son Jake)
She had her first son Jake with her first husband, drummer and music producer John Reynolds. He worked on multiple albums with her including Universal Mother and they married in 1987 before their union broke down in 1991.
Jake later had a son – O’Connor’s first grandson aged 48 – with his girlfriend Lia in 2015.
John Waters (never married, daughter Roisin)
Roisin’s father is Irish reporter John Waters – and the couple had a lengthy custody battle in the mid-1990s which culminated in O’Connor agreeing for her daughter to live with Waters in Dublin.
Nick Sommerlad (married 2001-2004, divorced, no children)
She married the British journalist Nick Sommerlad in a secret ceremony in the summer of 2001 after a whirlwind romance but they soon split up.
Donal Lunny (never married, son Shane)
O’Connor had her third child Shane with Irish musician Donal Lunny in 2004, around the time she said she was retiring from music – although she later restarted her career again.
Frank Bonadio (never married, son Yeshua)
In 2006, Sinéad began a relationship with Frank Bonadio, the estranged husband of singer Mary Coughlan, that produced a son, Yeshua. They split in early 2007 but remained friends.
Steve Cooney (married 2010-2011, divorced)
O’Connor married her longtime friend and frequent collaborator Steve Cooney in July 2010 but their union only lasted until the following April.
Barry Herridge (married in 2011, separated, no children)
She wed Barry Herridge, an Irish therapist who helped her with her son was ill, in 2011 in Las Vegas but the marriage lasted for a mere three weeks – and they only lived together for seven days. Although they separated, they are not believed to have legally divorced.
O’Connor’s second studio album, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, followed in 1990 and continued the singer’s success as it received glowing reviews.
The record was awarded the Grammy for best alternative music performance, and also contained the single Nothing Compares 2 U.
The track earned her multiple Grammy nominations, including for the record of the year award as well as best female pop vocal performance and best music video.
The single was originally composed by Prince, who was worth about £120million, and wrote it for an album by his side project The Family, a funk band set up in 1985.
The song was never released as a single by The Family, but O’Connor’s version topped the charts around the world in 1990, in Britain, Ireland, the US and Australia.
She released a further eight studio albums, the last being 2014’s I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss.
Her net worth was estimated in the Irish Daily Mail in 2021 as $5million (£4million), but the website Celebrity Net Worth estimated it today as $500,000 (£400,000).
But attention will soon turn to which friends and relatives could receive money from her estate.
Her first marriage in 1987 to musician John Reynolds, who co-produced several of her albums, including Universal Mother, saw the birth of her first son, Jake. However, the marriage ended in 1991.
Another short-lived marriage, to Daily Mirror journalist Nick Sommerlad, followed, and lasted from July 2001 to February 2004.
O’Connor had her daughter Roísín from her relationship with Irish newspaper columnist John Waters, while her son Shane, who died in January 2022, was born during her romance with musician Donal Lunny.
O’Connor also had a lengthy on/off relationship with journalist Dermott Hayes and another that lasted about a year from 2006 with American businessman Frank Bonadio, who is the father of her son Yeshua.
She wed long-time friend and fellow musician Steve Cooney in July 2010, but the marriage lasted less than a year. Mr Cooney previously played in the band Stockton’s Wing, as well with Kerry-based musician Séamus Begley.
At the time of the wedding, while O’Connor was on tour, she was 45 years old and Cooney was 57.
O’Connor was quoted at the time of the break-up, saying: ‘Steve is lovely so it’s not his fault but mine. It was an extremely happy marriage. I’m heartbroken about it breaking up.’
In 2011, O’Connor married her fourth husband, therapist Barry Herridge.
But just 16 days after the wedding, the couple split, though they had an on-again, off-again relationship for months after.
Sinead O’Connor with her first husband John Reynolds in London in 1994 following their split
O’Connor had her daughter Roísín from her relationship with John Waters (pictured in 1996)
Sinead O’Connor’s second husband Nick Sommerlad, pictured aged 27 when working for PA
O’Connor had her son Shane with Irish musician Donal Lunny (pictured together in 2003)
O’Connor began seeing Frank Bonadio in 2006 (pictured that year) and they had a son, Yeshua
Sinead O’Connor with her third husband Steve Cooney at the RTE studios in Dublin in 2010
O’Connor married her fourth husband Barry Herridge in Las Vegas in 2011
Following their initial split, Ms O’Connor revealed that she and Mr Herridge actually lived together as husband and wife for just seven days before ending their relationship on Christmas Eve, 16 days after their Las Vegas union.
She told her fans that the pair had parted amicably and that she still loved Mr Herridge ‘very much’ – but that he was too nice ‘to trap’.
She wrote: ‘From the moment myself and my husband got together not long ago, there was intense pressure placed upon him by certain people in his life, not to be involved with me.
‘These were people who had never met me but had formed opinions of me based on what they read about ‘Sinéad O’Connor’ in the media etc.’
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