Rememberings by Sinéad O’Connor review – a tremendous catalogue of misbehaviour

From childhood beatings to a pillow fight with Prince via ripping up a picture of the pope, the singer’s story of losing her way and finding herself

As a young woman starting out in music, Sinéad O’Connor rarely did what she was told. When Nigel Grainge, an executive at her label, asked her to stop wearing her hair short and dress more like a girl, she went straight out and got her head shaved. While recording her first album, she discovered she was pregnant, prompting Grainge to phone her doctor and tell him to warn her against having a baby. The doctor duly told her that women shouldn’t take babies on tour but neither should they go on tour without them. O’Connor ignored them both and had her son anyway.

Then, in 1992, during a performance on Saturday Night Live, she ripped up a picture of Pope John Paul II, and blew up her career. She knew exactly what she was doing. “Everyone wants a pop star, see?” she writes. “But I am a protest singer. I just had stuff to get off my chest. I had no desire for fame.”

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