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Sinéad O'Connor's daughter performs emotional cover of 'Nothing Compares 2 U' at tribute concert

Roisin Waters was among the many musicians who took the stage for a Carnegie Hall show celebrating O'Connor and fellow Irish singer Shane MacGowan.

Months after the death of legendary singer-songwriter Sinéad O'Connor, a host of musicians joined forces to honor her legacy at a New York tribute concert — including her daughter, Roisin Waters.

Sinéad & Shane at Carnegie Hall was held in memory of O’Connor and fellow Irish singer Shane MacGowan, of the Pogues, who both died last year. Among those who took the stage to celebrate their work were Cat Power, the Mountain Goats, Dropkick Murphys, Glen Hansard, Imelda May, Lisa Hannigan, and David Gray, who delivered moving covers of some of their most beloved songs.

Among the final numbers was an emotional rendition of O’Connor’s biggest hit, “Nothing Compares 2 U,” performed by her 28-year-old daughter.

<p>Paul Natkin/Getty; Al Pereira</p> Sinead O'Connor and her daughter, Roisin Waters

Paul Natkin/Getty; Al Pereira

Sinead O'Connor and her daughter, Roisin Waters

“Sing along if you like,” Waters told the crowd, as shown in a video of the performance shared on YouTube. She then began her cover, backed by a live band. The audience cheered her on throughout, and when she concluded, Waters received rapturous applause.

Dresden Dolls singer Amanda Palmer, who also performed at the tribute concert, shared her own clip of the performance on Instagram.

“I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house,” Palmer captioned the video. “Every other performer was crammed [to the] side of stage to watch this bittersweet majesty unfold.”

She continued, “And my God, could you feel the power of musical alchemy in the hall last night. The soaring sharp needle of sung and played notes that tear us asunder and stitch us back together. The way it isn’t about any one thing. The way music can communicate more than mere words ever can.”

O’Connor’s rendition of the song, originally written by Prince for his side project the Family, is often credited with launching her stardom. She covered the obscure track for her 1990 album, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, with a new arrangement by her and producer Nellee Hooper, and it became a No. 1 hit.

<p>Al Pereira</p> Roisin Waters

Al Pereira

Roisin Waters

Other covers of O’Connor’s music at the tribute included Bettye LaVette singing “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got,” while Hansard and May teamed up to perform the MacGowan and O’Connor duet “Haunted.”

O’Connor died at age 56 in July 2023. Not primarily a singer, Waters works as a pastry chef and leads a private life — though she has previously shared the stage with her Grammy-winning mother for rare performances. She is also the daughter of Irish journalist John Waters.

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