Sinead O’Connor Had Another Prince Cover Fans Might Not Know About

via Sinéad O'Connor / Youtube

Sinead O’Connor, the iconic Irish singer-songwriter, left an indelible mark on the music industry with her powerful vocals and emotional performances. While her rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U” remains one of her most famous hits, not many know about another Prince cover she recorded.

The Complex Relationship with Prince

Sinead O’Connor’s association with Prince was marked by a mix of admiration and tension. “Nothing Compares 2 U,” a song written by Prince, catapulted O’Connor to global fame. Although Prince publicly supported the success of the song, their relationship behind the scenes was far from harmonious. O’Connor’s candid interviews, often peppered with curses, displeased Prince, leading to heated confrontations between the two artists.

“I don’t like the language you’re using in your print interviews… I don’t like you swearing,” Prince reportedly told Irish singer one night at his house (as detailed in O’Connor’s memoir Rememberings). “I don’t work for you,” she responded. “If you don’t like it, you can fuck yourself.”

Later that same evening, Prince instigated a pillow fight with O’Connor, but allegedly put heavy items in his pillowcase with the intent to hurt her.

O’Connor maintained respect for Prince’s work, but admitted she “didn’t like the man.” She vowed to never record another one of his songs, but decades later she relented.

The Reggae Connection and Second Prince Cover

In 2013, O’Connor crossed paths with Frank Benbini during a charity gig in Dublin. Benbini was working on an album of Prince reggae covers with his side project, Radio Riddler. Discovering O’Connor’s love for reggae music, he saw an opportunity to collaborate. Benbini suggested that O’Connor lend her vocals to their reggae rendition of “I Would Die 4 U,” a song he believed she would sound amazing on.

“I discovered that she had a massive love for reggae music – which those that have followed her career will know,” Benbini recalled to Sky News. “We just hit it off.”

Initially hesitant due to her vow not to cover another Prince song, O’Connor eventually listened to the demo and agreed to collaborate. According to Benbini, the Irish singer was a pleasure to work with – a far cry from her reputation of being difficult.

“She was super humble and really funny,” the drummer recalled. “She was nothing like she’d been perceived to be over the years… there was an air of shyness about her but also an air of, she knew what she wanted, knew who she was. She didn’t have any airs or graces, she was very much down to earth, which is quite rare in rock’n’roll.”

The Release and Reception

In 2014, Radio Riddler’s album “Purple Reggae” featuring Sinead O’Connor’s cover of “I Would Die 4 U” was released. Despite receiving positive reviews, the album failed to make a significant impact on mainstream audiences. Nevertheless, Benbini remained proud of the collaboration and the beauty of O’Connor’s rendition.

“She said she’d vowed she’d never cover another Prince song. But I think coming from the world of reggae… that was really what got her to do ‘I Would Die 4 U,'” he explained.

The song showcased O’Connor’s versatility and demonstrated her willingness to explore different musical styles.