Nothing Compares 2 Sinead.
Last night in a church in Hackney, East London our designer Laura saw Irish legend Sinead O'Connor perform live. Laura and everyone at Miista has loved this Irish firecracker since she first started 20 years ago. It's always kind of hard to go see a live performance from a musician that you've loved for so long -- will they still be good live? Am I going to walk away totally disappointed with one of my favorite artists now ruined in my mind? Those questions will always lurk. Thankfully Sinead is still completely amazing. The show was more than could have ever been expected and it looks like we'll be first in line to buy her new album How About I Be Me and You Be
You in 2012.
Laura snapped a few photos on Instagram inside the venue and at the end got close enough to see the lights bouncing off that gorgeous infamously bald head.
[caption id="attachment_4693" align="aligncenter" width="612" caption="Laura, Wybe & Ewald outside St. John's Church"]
Since we always like to celebrate #musicmonday in the studio, we figured Sinead would be perfect for this week's edition. She has been making music since the late '80s and her outspoken and politically motivated ways have left her no stranger to controversy. Her first major hit was the incomparable Nothing Compares 2 U. She performs it live below and she is just so incredible with that shaved head and white cotton gown.
This song took Sinead to international fame and she used that fame to not only bring great music but to also speak on her social and political beliefs. A victim of child abuse and also a strong Catholic, Sinead had vehement reaction to the charges of rape that fell on many priests in the early '90s. In 1992 she appeared on SNL and performed Bob Marley's War acapella. She tweaked the lyrics and sang the song in protest of sexual abuse. When she got to the lyrics "EVIL" she stared into the camera and ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II. When she finished singing she exclaimed "Fight the real enemy!" The audience was dead silent.
The media went bananas. People were outraged; NBC received over 4,000 calls with only 7 in support of her actions. Madonna, who was in the midst of a major publicity tour for her album Erotica and her book Sex, slammed Sinead in the press calling her "more of a gimmick than a real singer." The New York Times called it "professional jealousy" as Sinead was detracting from Madonna's promotions and it's hilarious to think of MADONNA - the woman who was CONDEMNED by the Vatican for the Like a Prayer video - coming forward to criticize someone for their use of religious imagery.
To top it off, Sinead recounts Madonna's critique of her appearance, "Madonna said I look like I had a run-in with a lawn mower and that I was about as sexy as a Venetian blind. Now there's a woman that America looks up to as being a compaigner for women, slagging off another woman for not being sexy." It didn't end there. Frank Sinatra is quoted as saying he would "kick her ass" and Joe Pesci claimed "I would have gave her such a smack."
With the negativity swirling, Sinead never backed down and she never apologized for what she did. It takes one hell of a woman to stand strong in the face of this kind of media sh*t storm. Her strong beliefs and refusal to ever back down had gotten her into trouble even before the SNL event. In 1990 while performing in New Jersey the venue had planned on playing the National Anthem before her set. She has a policy of never performing after ANY country's national anthem. Her policy got her songs banned from a few radio stations around the country and made tabloid headlines.
She loves to challenge society's traditional view of women, and we love her for that. She is strong and outspoken. She shaves her head. She is even an ordained priest in the Irish Orthodox Catholic church -- female priests are not recognized by the Roman Catholic church. It's important to note that Sinead is actually a highly religious individual. Many were outraged by her actions on SNL because they thought she was attacking something that was theirs, but really she was defending something that was hers. She credits Christianity for getting her through childhood abuse and remains a deeply religious woman to this day.
Misunderstood, enigmatic and so incredibly talented, Sinead O'Connor is a total Miista role model.
PS we also wanted to mention that she performed yesterday with the band King Creosote, check out their videos below!
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