Sinéad O’Connor has backed down on her intention to retire, mere days after her initial announcement.
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Over the weekend, the singer announced her retirement from music and touring in a series of tweets, confirming that her forthcoming album No Veteran Dies Alone, will be her last release.
“This is not sad news. It’s staggeringly beautiful news. A warrior knows when he or she should retreat. It’s been a forty year journey. Time to put the feet up and make other dreams come true,” O’Connor said on Saturday (June 5).
Now, the artist has said she will not be retiring and that her initial announcement was a “knee-jerk reaction” to some triggering interviews with UK and Canadian broadcasters, who she referred to as “pigs in lipstick”. She also confirmed she will still be performing all shows currently booked in 2022, apologising to fans and industry workers “for the fright”.
“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. Every fuggin time I go to sell a record for 30 years, it’s ‘aren’t you mental? aren’t you an asshole? aren’t you invalid?’,” O’Connor said.
“I said I was retiring. As I have said many times before in knee-jerk reactions when I was young and made the butt of media abuse on the grounds I’m legally vulnerable. The hugest misconception (I’m always asked this but never answer) of ‘Sinead O’Connor’ is that she is Amazonian. I’m not. I’m a five-foot, four-inch soft-hearted female who is actually very fragile.
“But I love my job. Making music that is. I don’t like the consequences of being a talented (and outspoken woman) being that I have to wade through walls of prejudice every day to make a living. But I am born for live performance and with the astonishing love and support I have received in the last few days and will continue to receive from Rob Prinz and all at ICM, as well as many managers and buyers and fans, I feel safe in retracting my expressed wish to retire.”
Good news. Fuck retiring. I retract. Am not retiring. I was temporarily allowing pigs in lipstick to fuck my head up… here's my statement….. in the form of these three photos. It's 'colourful' but that's me : ) #LetOConnorBeOConnor pic.twitter.com/wKoEKFANPk
— Sinead O'Connor (Shuhada Sadaqat) (@MagdaDavitt77) June 7, 2021
O’Connor criticised the BBC’s Woman’s Hour show after her interview with host Emma Barnett last Tuesday (June 1), who mentioned that The Telegraph‘s music critic Neil McCormick had once described the singer as “the crazy lady in pop’s attic”. On Twitter, O’Connor called the interview “extremely offensive and even misogynistic”.
“Last Tuesday 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,” O’Connor said in the new statement.
“When people wonder what derailed my career? The UK and Irish UK papers’ constant abuse and invalidation of me on the grounds I may or may not have been diagnosed by them as ‘mad’. As if mad makes you invalid.”
No Veteran Dies Alone will follow on from 2014’s I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss and arrive in January next year, with no firm date set. She told the New York Times in a recent interview that it will comprise seven songs. Her memoir, Rememberings, is out now.