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Carson Daly Pays Tribute to Sinead O'Connor and Their "Unlikely Friendship"

Carson Daly, Mariska Hargitay, and Ice T remember O'Connor, who died at the age of 56 on July 27, 2023.

By Jackie Manno

Irish singer Sinead O'Connor died on July 26, 2023, at the age of 56, 18 months after her son Shane died by suicide at the age of 17. A cause of death for O'Connor has not been revealed.

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In the wake of her passing, many public figures have then gone on to honor the late singer's music career that was deeply linked with her activism work. Read some of their touching words below. 

Carson Daly

In 2021, O'Connor appeared on TODAY to discuss her controversial 1992 Saturday Night Live appearance where she tore a picture of the Pope as an outcry against child sexual abuse within the Catholic church. 

"Sinead O'Connor was never meant to be a pop star. I was really a protest singer." O'Connor explained to Daly. "Ten years after the Pope ripping episode, you all then found out in America that this was going on. We always say, Americans, they think nothing happened 'til they found out about it."

Images of Sinead O'Connor and Carson Daly.

However, O'Connor had a leveled mindset about how the controversy affected her career. "It was a blessing because I had to make my living doing the thing I love doing, just making music live," she said reflectively. 

Daly paid his respects to the late singer in the caption of his Instagram post of the interview

"I was so sad to hear the news of Sinéad O’Connor’s passing today, we formed a recent & unlikely friendship after my interview with her back in 2021 on @todayshow. She spoke passionately about life, music & mental health. I pray she is resting in eternal peace with her beloved son, Shane," Daly wrote.

RELATED: Mariska Hargitay Received an Honorary Doctorate and Dedicated it to Assault Survivors

Mariska Hargitay

The Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star took to her official Instagram page to share a vintage black and white photograph of the "Nothing Compares 2 U" singer, calling her "brave" and a "truth teller."

O'Connor's courage resonates strongly with Mariska Hargitay, as Hargitay is also committed to fighting against sexual violence in society herself. In 2004, after five years of playing Captain Olivia Benson, Hargitay founded The Joyful Heart Foundation, a non profit dedicated to "transform[ing] society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, support survivors’ healing, and end this violence forever."

Images of Sinead O'Connor and Mariska Hargitay with Ice T.

Ice T

Another central Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star also posted the same minimalist photo on his official Instagram page, showing O'Connor looking vulnerably at the camera. 

"Respect to Sinead….. She stood for something… Unlike most people…. Rest Easy," Ice T wrote in the caption with sincerity.