Hozier Calls Sinéad O’Connor a “Moral Force”

Hozier has some powerful words to share in regard to the late Sinéad O’Connor. As a fellow singer from Ireland, Hozier credits O’Connor for paving the way for him to make honest music. She passed away in July 2023 at the age of 56.

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“What I was struck with on that day of hearing of her passing was it felt as though some great sort of psychic and moral force just disappeared. And this incredible creative and moral force that of course we took for granted,” Hozier expressed to Record Bin Radio with Kelly McCartney on Apple Music, calling her death a “huge loss.”

Comparing O’Connor to a “sharp spear” that possessed the power to “rattle people’s sensibilities,” Hozier points to when O’Connor famously shredded a photo of then Pope John Paul II live during her performance on Saturday Night Live in 1992 in protest of the Catholic Church’s history of child abuse. The “Nothing Compares 2 U” singer received serious backlash to the statement-making moment, with Madonna and Frank Sinatra among those who hurled criticism at her.

[RELATED: The 10 Best Sinéad O’Connor Quotes: Fierce Words to Live By]

“Looking back, we noticed she was not incorrect in the observations that she made, and here was the searing, courageous moral vision and moral courage, and she was unapologetic, and she was such a brilliant artist,” Hozier continued. “As a result, as is always the case when people collectively don’t have the moral courage or the stomach to look at a difficult question, they can offer a huge amount of criticism and dismissal.”

Like O’Connor, Hozier also took aim at the Catholic Church in his breakthrough 2013 debut single “Take Me to Church” which reflected his frustration with the institution’s “hypocrisy.” “The difference between how much I’ve been rewarded for my truth-telling and the reactions that Sinéad got in her time…she paved these roads, at great costs, that I’m thriving on and walking on,” he observed. “I’m incredibly grateful to her. I think I owe her a huge amount as an artist, and I think Ireland owes her a huge amount as a collective group.”

Hozier has just added new dates to his tour! Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to see Hozier live in concert.

Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images

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