The Texas native recorded a cover of O'Connor's iconic hit, ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, as part of his acclaimed new all-female covers album, What Is It Even?, which was released earlier in August.
Speaking about O'Connor's passing, which was announced the day before the interview, Joshua Ray Walker underlined, “It's very sad. It’s hard when you see someone who’s struggling with mental health for such a long time and make it so far into life yet still not make it out”.
He went on to stress, “She was such a rebel. History changes the narrative, and her career was cancelled because she ripped up a picture of the Pope. I think most people looking back have probably changed their opinion at some point based on what we know now”.
During Sinéad O'Connor's appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1992, the legendary singer-songwriter ripped up an image of Pope John Paul II as part of a performance of Bob Marley’s ‘War’. The act was to protest the sexual abuse of children by the Catholic Church, but O'Connor faced widespread condemnation following the stunt.
Joshua Ray Walker highlighted how society's perception of that incident has changed over the years, “Most of the time if someone’s being cancelled it’s usually for good reason these days, I’d say”.
He then outlined, “It’s not like when Morgan Wallen said the n-word, or Jason Aldean’s music video being shot at a lynching site. It was just her trying to stand up for people without a voice, so it just came from a different place. It feels like culture as a whole has kind of shifted”.
In addition to a special rendition of Sinéad O'Connor's chart-topping ballad, Joshua Ray Walker's new project, What Is It Even?, also includes covers of Cher, Lizzo, Sia, LeAnn Rimes, Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton, Beyonce and more.
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