The singer formerly known as Sinead O’Connor has converted to Islam and has changed her name to Shuhada Davitt. The 51 year old was keen to share her conversion to the faith on twitter expressing that she is ‘now a Muslim.’
It is not the first time O’Connor (who legally changed her name to Magda Davitt last year) has publicly shared her religious beliefs online. She was for many years a devout Christian and has spoken openly about her wrangles with the Catholic church.
Sinead shows contempt for the Catholic Pope
In 1992, she sparked controversy after ripping up a photograph of the Pope John II and said ‘fight the real enemy’ live on US television in protest of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.
Seven years later, she was ordained by a breakaway church in Lourdes. The Catholic Church did not recognise the ceremony since it does not allow women to become priests.
O’Connor became disillusioned with Catholicism in the wake of child abuse scandals in the church, describing the Vatican as a “nest of devils” in a 2011 newspaper article.
In an open letter published in August this year, she asked Pope Francis to excommunicate her, and said she had made similar previous appeals to Pope Benedict and John Paul II.
Sinead has led a turbulent life
O’Connor famously 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.
Since childhood, Sinead’s life has been somewhat of a roller coaster and she openly admits having issues with mental health.
At the age of 15, her shoplifting and truancy led to her being placed for eighteen months in a Magdalene Asylum. In June 1993, O’Connor wrote a public letter in The Irish Times which asked people to “stop hurting” her. The letter repeated accusations of abuse by her parents as a child.
Her brother Joseph defended their father to the newspaper but agreed regarding their mother’s “extreme and violent abuse both emotionally and physical.” Sinead has said: “Our family is very messed up. We can’t communicate with each other. We are all in agony. I for one am in agony.”
Sinead breaks down publicly on the internet
Just over a year ago in August 2017, Sinead raised concerns about her fragile mental state in posting a troubled video of herself on facebook.
In the 12 minute video, she tearfully explained that she had wanted to kill herself for the past 2 years. Candidly speaking about her illness, she said:
“I am one of millions … people who suffer from mental illness are the most vulnerable people on earth, we can’t take care of ourselves, you’ve got to take care of us,” she said in the video. “My entire life is revolving around not dying, and that’s not living.”
In a previous update in November 2015, she said she had “taken an overdose”, and a police search was launched for her in May 2016 after she briefly went missing in Chicago, sparking fears for her wellbeing.
The musician is diagnosed with bipolar disorder
The troubled star who suffers with bipolar disorder, said she had felt alone since losing custody of her 13-year-old son and revealed she is suffering from three mental illnesses.
Earlier this week, she claimed on Twitter that a healthcare assistant working with her was fired for spiking her “with crystal meth”.
Sinead gives up devout Christian views in favour of Islam
The 51-year-old has long been a devout Christian, but announced yesterday to her fans on twitter that she was now a practising Muslim, saying that her conversion was “the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian’s journey. All scripture study leads to Islam. Which makes all other scriptures redundant.”
In a follow up tweet, she posted a video of herself singing the Adhan, the Islamic call to prayer. ‘Here is my attempt at singing the Asan [sic]. I got some pronouncition [sic] wrong because emotions took me from my page…but there’ll be hundreds of others onstage to come. ‘Sorry re all the mistakes in my Azan…1st attempt. When I’ve practised it 30 times I’m Gonna make the world stop turning.’
She also changed her profile picture to ‘Wear A Hijab: JUST DO IT,’ followed by a Nike tick, a play on the sports company’s tagline.
Sinead, now known as Shuhada (which means Martyr), posted a tweet thanking her ‘Muslim brothers and sisters who have been so kind.’
Sinead is thrilled to wear a hijab
She has since documented her new faith, writing that she was “very, very, very happy” after being given her first hijab which was a gift from her friend, Elaine. ‘My best friend Elaine just gave me my 1st Hijab and she got chills all over her body when I put it on.’ She also posted a YouTube video of her making the Islamic call to prayer.
New music to come from Sinead O’Connor
To date, the talented singer has released 10 solo albums. In August 2018, the singer released her first song in four years, called Milestones made with Northern Irish producer David Holmes, whom she met at a birthday party for Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan. She is preparing a new album called No Mud No Lotus, which, she says, won’t be out before October 2019.
She will be collaborating with Ronnie Wood, from Rolling Stones, as well as actor Cillian Murphy, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason and singer Imelda May.
Other famous converts to Islam
Rapper Ice Cube converted to Islam in the 1990s. In 2017 he said he was still a practicing Muslim but confessed that he “might change religions three or four times before I die”.
Dave Chappelle the comedian became a Muslim in 1998. He has said,”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.”
Cat Stevens whose real name is Steven Demetre Georgiou, converted to Islam in 1977 and gave up his career two years later to focus on work in the Muslim community. He didn’t return to music until the release of a new album in 2006.
Omar Sharif, the Oscar-nominated Egyptian actor 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.