"Your mother was and still is such a powerful presence here on earth. Watching you sing to her makes me cry": watch Sinéad O’Connor's daughter sing Nothing Compares 2 U at New York tribute show

Roisin Waters and Sinead O'Connor
(Image credit: JamieMoroni/YouTube | Paul Bergen/Redferns)

The art and legacies of Irish music legends Sinéad O'Connor and Shane MacGowan were celebrated last night (March 20) at a special tribute concert in New York. O'Connor passed away at her flat in London on July 26 last year, aged 56. Former Pogues frontman MacGowan died in Dublin on November 30, aged 65.

The 'Sinéad & Shane At Carnegie Hall' fund-raiser featured appearances from Dropkick Murphys, Billy Bragg, Cat Power, Glen Handard, Imelda May, former Pogues bassist Cait O'Riordan and more, but the unexpected star of the show was O'Connor's daughter Róisín Waters, who sang Nothing Compares 2 U as an emotional tribute to her mother.

"I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house," noted singer/songwriter Amanda Palmer, who was in attendance at the show, posting  a video of the performance on Instagram. "Every other performer was crammed side of stage to watch this bittersweet majesty unfold.

"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."

Comments beneath a video of Waters' performance posted on YouTube by user Jamie Moroni were equally effusive in their praise for 28-year-old Waters' spine-tingling performance.

"Your mother was and still is such a powerful presence here on earth," wrote one commentator, Kathleen Stanley. "Watching you sing to her makes me cry."

Watch the performance below:

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.