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Sinéad O’Connor’s Lifelong Friend Recalls Their Final Text Exchange

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Sinéad O’Connor’s friend Bob Geldof is opening up about his final exchange with the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, who died last week at age 56.

Geldof reflected on his friendship with O’Connor after taking the stage at Ireland’s Cavan Calling Festival with his band the Boomtown Rats on Saturday.

“Many, many times Sinead was full of a terrible loneliness and a terrible despair,” said Geldof, according to the Independent. “She was a very good friend of mine. We are talking right up to a couple of weeks ago.”

As for the nature of his conversation with O’Connor, he added: “Some of the texts were laden with desperation and despair and sorrow and some were ecstatically happy. And she was like that.”

Geldof also noted during the show that he and O’Connor grew up in the same Irish neighborhood and even took the same bus together to school.

And as Billboard pointed out, he also suggested that he may have partly inspired O’Connor’s controversial 1992 “Saturday Night Live” appearance, during which she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II.

Bob Geldof performs with his band the Boomtown Rats in England.
Bob Geldof performs with his band the Boomtown Rats in England.

Harry Herd via Getty Images

“She tore up the picture of the pope because she saw me tearing up a picture of John Travolta on ‘Top of the Pops,’” he said, alluding to his 1978 appearance on the long-running BBC music program. “It was a little more extreme than tearing up fucking disco ― tearing up the Vatican is a whole other thing but more correct actually. I should’ve done it.”

Family members confirmed O’Connor’s death July 26 in a statement to the BBC. A cause of death has not yet been made public.

Geldof, who also co-founded the 1980s supergroup Band Aid and was an organizer of the legendary Live Aid and Live 8 charity concerts, joins a growing list of celebrities in paying tribute to O’Connor.

Just hours after O’Connor’s death was confirmed, singers Pink and Brandi Carlile performed a chilling rendition of her signature 1990 hit “Nothing Compares 2 U” during the Cincinnati, Ohio, stop of Pink’s Summer Carnival Tour. On Saturday, Alanis Morissette made a surprise appearance with the Foo Fighters at Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival to perform “Mandinka,” a track from O’Connor’s 1987 debut album, “The Lion and the Cobra.”

If you or someone you know needs help, call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org for mental health support. Additionally, you can find local mental health and crisis resources at dontcallthepolice.com. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention.



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