Sinéad O'connor

updated 12/31/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/31/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

The song that made her a star was "Nothing Compares 2 U," and certainly nobody in music quite compared with Irish-born Sinéad O'Connor, 23. Backed by that heartbreak single and an LP of love-gone-wrong songs, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, the buzz-cut singer mixed heavenly pop and feisty politics into a potent cocktail. Iconoclastic as rockers of old, O'Connor thumbed her nose at TV bigs by boycotting Saturday Night Live (a protest, she declared, against its sexist host, Andrew Dice Clay) and seeded another storm by nixing the national anthem before a concert ("I'm not into standing onstage after a song that glorifies, fire in the sky and bombs in the air," she said). If her newfound fame created some celebrity angst at times—"It's quite a lonely life in general, being a famous person," she laments—O'Connor shows no signs of changing. Estranged from her husband of nearly two years and living in L.A. with their son, Jake, 3, she promises that her next LP "is going to be quite disturbing, but quite liberating for me. Disturbance and disruption is a good thing."

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