Hozier reflects on “outrageously courageous” Sinéad O’Connor: “I owe her a great deal as an artist”

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The late Sinéad O’Connor is nominated to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2024, marking the first time she’s ever been on the ballot.

Speaking with ABC Audio shortly after her passing in July, fellow Irish musician Hozier reflected on O’Connor’s legacy, noting, “As is too often the case, the significance of Sinéad’s contribution is being measured only now after she’s gone.”

In particular, Hozier spoke of O’Connor’s “searing moral vision and moral clarity” and the “brilliance of her art.” O’Connor, of course, infamously ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II during a performance on Saturday Night Live in protest of child abuse by the Catholic Church, which greatly damaged her mainstream popularity.

“Sinéad was so outrageously courageous in the way that she presented her moral vision,” Hozier said. “Her truth-telling and the way that she did, it cost her, at times, a great deal.”

Hozier also felt that O’Connor’s music and actions helped open doors for a song like his breakout hit, “Take Me to Church.”

“She was the sharp, searing, pointy edge of a spear that rattled the sensibilities that probably softened to the questions that I ask in a song like that,” Hozier said. “So in that regard, I owe her a great deal as an artist. I think we all do, I think Ireland owes her a huge amount as an artist, and as a person who had the courage to stand up and ask questions that needed to be asked.”

He added, “I’m kind of aware now in the aftermath of her loss that I’m definitely walking on roads that she paved, and paved at great cost.”

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