Sinéad O’Connor had specific directions for her kids in the event of her death. In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE from 2021 about her memoir Rememberings, the Irish singer-songwriter revealed that she stressed the importance of protecting her art and finances to her kids if she died. O’Connor told them they should call her accountant before they call 911. ‘See, when the artists are dead, they’re much more valuable than when they’re alive.
Tupac has released way more albums since he died than he ever did alive, so it’s kind of gross what record companies do,’ she told PEOPLE at the time. O’Connor continued, ‘That’s why I’ve always instructed my children since they were very small, ‘If your mother drops dead tomorrow, before you called 911, call my accountant and make sure the record companies don’t start releasing my records and not telling you where the money is.”
The topic arose as O’Connor — who had recorded Prince’s song ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ — was recalling a strange encounter she had with ‘The Purple One’ that was included in her book. While the Dublin musician ultimately ‘came away not liking him very much,’ it didn’t affect how she felt about him as an artist. In fact, the ‘All Apologies’ singer came to his defense when discussing the way that record labels had profited off of his music following his death in 2016. ‘One of the things that’s a great bugbear with me, I get very angry when I think of it, is the fact that they’re raping his vault,’ she told PEOPLE. O’Connor continued, ‘All musicians, we have songs that we really are embarrassed about that are crap.
We don’t want anyone hearing them. Now this is a man who released every song he ever recorded, so if he went to the trouble of building a vault, which is a pretty strong thing to do, that means he really did not want these songs released. And I can’t stand that people are, as I put it, raping the vault.’ The late singer-songwriter added that she doesn’t believe Prince would be able to ‘stomach’ hearing his 1984 classic ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ in a credit card commercial. ‘That’s a song about appreciation, friendship, and love and not the material things in life. It’s a song about, ‘Look, we could die anytime now. Let’s love each other and appreciate.’ I think he will be turning in his grave over it being used to sell a credit card,’ she remarked.
O’Connor died on Wednesday aged 56. ‘It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad,’ her family confirmed in a statement to RTE and the BBC. ‘Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.’ A cause of death was not disclosed. O’Connor’s death was initially reported by The Irish Times. A rep for O’Connor did not immediately reply to PEOPLE’s request for comment.