Sinead O'Connor has revealed that English TV program 'Top of the Pops' inspired her to rip up a picture of the pope on Saturday Night Live in 1992. It was a hugely controversial act.
"When the Boomtown Rats went to No 1 in England with Rat Trap," O'Connor told the Irish magazine Hot Press, according the the Guardian. "[Bob] Geldof went on Top of the Pops and ripped up a photo of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, who had been No 1 for weeks and weeks before. And I thought, 'Yeah, f...! What if someone ripped up a picture of the pope?' Half of me was just like: 'Jesus, I'd love to just see what'd happen.'"
O'Connor was the Saturday Night Live's musical guest on October 3, 1992. She performed an a cappella version of Bob Marley's 'War' but with the lyrics changed to call attention to child abuse within the Catholic church. At the end of the song she ripped a photo of Pope John Paull II in half.
"The photo itself had been on my mother's bedroom wall since the day the (pope) was enthroned in 1978," she said.
In rehearsals she had held up a picture of a refugee child so the show's producers had no idea what she would do.
Here is the video: