Prince's heartbreaking song about loss

Sinead O'Connor, who had a hit with Prince's Nothing Compares 2 U, believes it is an enduring song about loss. It's taken on a new meaning after his death, writes Rebecca Laurence.

It's known as one of the best break-up songs ever written and has also been considered to be one of the greatest songs of all time.

For the artist who had a hit with it, Nothing Compares 2 U is so universal in its emotional resonance because it is about loss - a loss that can mean something different to everyone.

In an interview with BBC Radio 6 Music, Sinead O'Connor - who released a version of the song in 1990 - revealed that its emotional content enabled her to perform it again and again over the years.

"It's really about emotions, it's not about notes… I never sing a song that I can't emotionally identify with," she explained.

Nothing Compares 2 U has always existed in the annals of pop trivia in the 'hit you didn't know was written by' corner - in this case by Prince, who originally penned it for his side project, The Family in 1985.

But Sinead O'Connor's version, along with its famous video, catapulted the song and its singer into the charts and worldwide fame.

In the video, the shaven-headed singer stares directly into the camera, as if addressing a loved one in an emotional plea: "It's been 7 hours and 15 days since you took your love away". And famously as she sings, a tear begins to roll down her cheek.

O'Connor explained that the reason she was able to channel such raw emotion into her performance is in part due to the style of singing that she studied.

"It's called Bel Canto", she told the BBC, "but it's a bit like the Stanislavsky acting method - you have to find emotional stuff inside yourself that you can use.

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