Sinéad O'Connor doc Nothing Compares debuts at Sundance without Prince hit ballad
Nothing Compares, Kathryn Ferguson's documentary about the life and career of lionized artist Sinéad O'Connor, premiered at the virtual Sundance Film Festival on Friday, chronicling everything from the Irish singer-songwriter's abusive childhood to her infamous 1992 Saturday Night Live performance when she tore up a photo of the Pope. An essential track, however, is notably absent.
With the exception of a few chords, "Nothing Compares 2 U," a song originally written and composed by the late Prince that became a defining career ballad for O'Connor (and the documentary's namesake) isn't featured in the film. A title card at the end explains: "The Prince estate denied use of Sinéad's recording of 'Nothing Compares 2 U' in this film.
Representatives for Prince's estate did not immediately return EW's request for comment.
Prince had written the track for a side project, but when O'Connor re-recorded it for her second studio album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got in 1990, she made it her own and turned it into a worldwide hit, debuting at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100.
Courtesy of Sundance Institute/Andrew Catlin Sinéad O'Connor in her Sundance documentary 'Nothing Compares'
Despite the song's success, the two singers were not close. In O'Connor's 2021 memoir, Rememberings, she alleged that when the pop icon invited her to his house in 1991 shortly after the release of "Nothing Compares 2 U," he locked her inside and assaulted her. She also alleged Prince chased her after she escaped, calling it "the scariest thing I've seen in my life."
In Nothing Compares, O'Connor looks back on her volatile career as a pop star, offering voiceover retrospectives on fame and public scrutiny, and recounting the mental and physical abuse that she endured from her late mother and the fallout of tearing up a photo of Pope John Paul II from the Studio 8H stage in protest of the Catholic Church.
The documentary's premiere comes a few weeks after O'Connor shared that her son Shane died by suicide. He was 17. "My beautiful son, Nevi'im Nesta Ali Shane O'Connor, the very light of my life, decided to end his earthly struggle today and is now with God," O'Connor tweeted on Jan. 8. "May he rest in peace and may no one follow his example."
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