Chicago-area police issued a well-being check Monday for Irish singer and musician Sinead O’Connor, who reportedly went for a bicycle ride Sunday morning in a northern suburb but never returned.
O’Connor appears to have left Wilmette around 6 a.m. for the bike ride, and police received a call from someone expressing concern after she didn’t return, police Sgt. Michael Robinson said in a statement. It’s unclear why she was in Wilmette, an upper-class suburb about 15 miles north of Chicago along the shores of Lake Michigan.
Police said no other information was immediately available about O’Connor, who scored an international hit 1990 with her rendition of Prince’s ballad “Nothing Compares 2 U.” The gifted but troubled singer-songwriter is known as much for her fierce and expressive voice as her shaved head and blunt criticism of the Catholic Church and other institutions.
Paradigm Talent Agency, which represents O’Connor, declined comment when reached by The Associated Press on Monday. Her publicist didn’t immediately return a message.
O’Connor was sued this month by comedian Arsenio Hall over a Facebook post that stated investigators looking into the supplier of drugs used by Prince should question Hall. She also accused him of drugging her. The lawsuit seeks $5 million.
In November, she posted a message on Facebook saying she had taken an overdose at a hotel somewhere in Ireland. Irish police later said she had been found safe. The next month, O’Connor posted on Facebook that she had been detained in a hospital for mental health evaluation.
Her rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U” topped charts from Europe to Australia, and earned O’Connor multiple Grammy Award nominations. In 1991, O’Connor was named Artist of the Year by Rolling Stone.
But her blunt-spoken manner often drew criticism, especially in the United States.
In 1990, some U.S radio stations refused to play her music after she banned the “Star-Spangled Banner” from her show in New Jersey. An outspoken critic of the Roman Catholic Church over the way it handled sexual abuse by clergy, she drew intense criticism in 1992 when she ripped up a picture of Pope John Paul II on “Saturday Night Live.”
Over the years O’Connor has voiced support for other young female performers facing intense public scrutiny, including Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus.
O’Connor, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder more than a decade ago, has spoken of her mental health problems. She told Oprah Winfrey in 2007 that before her diagnosis she had struggled with thoughts of suicide and overwhelming fear. She said at the time that medication had helped her find more balance, but “it’s a work in progress.”
In 2012, O’Connor she cancelled a planned tour, saying she her doctor had told her to rest after a “very serious breakdown.”
O’Connor, who has been married four times and has four children, signed a deal in 2014 to write a memoir.