Sinead O’Connor is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating, fearless and iconoclastic musicians of our time, but the last few years have found more people focusing on her personal life than her music.
While O’Connor aims to change that with her hook-filled new album I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss, the Irish singer-songwriter also opened up about her personal life while talking to Billboard in our latest cover story, out Friday.
Here are five revelations from her illuminating interview with Frank DiGiacomo.
She’s Married, But Single: Although O’Connor and her fourth husband, Barry Herridge, split after just 16 days of marriage back in 2011, they’re technically still married.
Her New Album Gets Personal: “How About I Be Me” is inspired by her public solicitations for sex in 2011 and the media’s frenzied response. Looking back on it, she tells Billboard, “The more scandalized people were, the funnier the child in me found it.”
Sheryl Sandberg Inspired the Album Title and Cover Art: The title of I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss takes its cue from the Facebook COO’s “Ban Bossy” campaign, which points out the inherent sexism in calling ambitious women “bossy.”
That SNL Incident Was Her “Proudest Night Ever”: Despite the controversy that ensued when she tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live in 1992, O’Connor stands by it: “[It was an] artistic gesture made by an Irish female Catholic survivor of child abuse,” she says.
O’Connor Doesn’t Care If You Think She’s Weird: “I gave being a ‘regular’ woman a good few tries,” the singer tells Billboard. “There is pressure to be a ‘regular’ woman from the minute you’re born, so I was duty-bound to try. But I’m ‘irregular.’ I don’t try not to be irregular anymore.”
Read Billboard’s full cover story when it’s out Friday, Aug. 8, and grab O’Connor’s I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss when it drops next week.