An In-Depth Behind-The-Scenes Look At Sinead O'Connor's Controversial 'SNL' Appearance

It has been a wild and interesting life for Irish-born singer/songwriter Sinead O'Connor. Her breakout album The Lion and the Cobra put her in the spotlight, and her timeless 1990 cover of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U" generated a sudden, meteoric rise to fame. However, her most infamous performance took place a couple of years later in 1992 on Saturday Night Live, of all places. Her appearance that night changed the trajectory of O'Connor's career and her relationship with the wider public.

The past was cruel to O'Connor, the present more vindicating. Today, she is well known for her outspoken stances on women's liberation, organized religion, and child abuse. In her SNL showing, she checked every one of those boxes, slamming the Catholic Church on national television and desecrating a photograph of the Pope in front of a live studio audience. The act brought her instant infamy.

Though she found continued success in later years, the long-term effects of her controversial, career-defining moment on Saturday Night Live are still felt years later.