Sinead O’Connor in Manchester, England last Friday night.
Sinead O’Connor first came to the world’s attention three decades ago with a bald head, soaring voice, lithe body and controversy to burn.

She’s still got some of those attributes, but the tabloids are taking her to task because she’s had the nerve to grow a head of hair, and pack on a few pounds in the process.

It’s true that Sinead, now 44 years old and a mother of four, has certainly evolved, looks-wise, since she first burst into the public’s consciousness with her hit “Nothing Compares 2 U.”  She revealed her new look last week at a show in Manchester, England, and to her credit she didn’t seem to give a toss as to what anyone thinks.

Sinead is due to release a new album called Home, and the show previewed a number of songs from the “comeback” disc, which examines all the tried and true O’Connor staples, including swipes at the Pope and struggles with addiction.

She earned rave reviews for the show which bodes well for Home. “The classic ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ sounds like she is singing it for the first time, not the 400th. Motherhood and treatment for bipolar disorder hasn't dulled her intensity,” wrote the critic for The Guardian.

Sinead herself even poked fun at her weight gain, saying that her youngest son has nick-named her “the pot-bellied pig.”  (Hope she gave him a lengthy stay in the time-out chair for that offense!)

But it was odd to see websites like ABC News headline “Sinead O’Connor Sports Impressive Tattoo, Added Weight.”  (The new tat on her left arm is a multi-colored lion with the inscription “king of kings, lord of lords.” Go figure).

The Daily Mail blasted the Irish star for her “mumsy trouser suit” and called her “dowdy” and “slightly heavier” to boot.

Sinead once said that she’d always shave her head no matter what.  “I don't feel like me unless I have my hair shaved. So even when I'm an old lady I'm going to have it,” she said way back in the day.  How times change.