Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Robin Williams: Sinead O'Connor sings tribute to actor and says of suicide: 'It’s a very bad idea, the choice that Robin made'

Robin Williams died at the age of 63
Robin Williams died at the age of 63
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Actor Robin Williams poses for a portrait during the 35th Annual People's Choice Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Caulfield/Getty Images for PCA)
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Actor Robin Williams poses for a portrait during the 35th Annual People's Choice Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Caulfield/Getty Images for PCA)
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Comedian Robin Williams accepts an award onstage at The Comedy Awards 2012 at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 28, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Robin Williams attends CBS 2013 Upfront Presentation at The Tent at Lincoln Center on May 15, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
Robin Williams in Boulevard (Courtesy Tribeca Film Festival)
Actor Robin Williams poses for a portrait during the 35th Annual People's Choicre Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Caulfield/Getty Images for PCA)

Sinead O’Connor dedicated two songs to the memory of the late Robin Williams during her set at the London Roundhouse on Wednesday.

The singer, who has been open about her own battle with depression in the past, sang an a capella version of “I Am Stretched Upon Your Grave”.

She also sang the track “8 Eight Good Reasons” for the actor, who was found dead at his home on Monday (11 August) after he took his own life. He had been suffering from “severe depression”, his publicist confirmed, and also the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

“It’s a very bad idea, the choice that Robin made,” she told the crowd, “and I want to dedicate this song to anyone today who may be contemplating that choice and ask anyone not to.”

O’Connor’s tribute came the day before she praised much of the compassion shown by the media in the wake of Williams’ suicide. However, she said that more should be done by the press to protect vulnerable famous women suffering from mental illness.

Speaking to Sky's Entertainment Week, she said:  “When you admit that you are anything that could be mistakenly, or otherwise, perceived as 'mentally ill' you know that you are going to get treated like dirt so you don't go tell anybody and that's why people die.”

She labelled press coverage of women with mental health problems as “notoriously abusive” and used Britney Spears and Amanda Bynes as examples of famous females she feels had been “lynched” by the press.

Bynes was treated for schizophrenia at a private psychiatric unit in 2013 following a string of run-ins with the police.

O’Connor expressed the importance in not calling “delicate young ladies crazy” in news reports or hounding them in the street.

She also called for the media to make an apology to Bynes for the way she was treated. She did not, however, call for an apology for herself, because, she believes, she’s a “tough cookie”.

The full interview with Sinead O’Connor will air on Sky News from 8.30am today.

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Your dry humour will be very popular. It's always difficult bringing a large group of people together. Everybody feels like they are walking on eggshells. After cracking a few jokes, you'll put the group at ease. Resist the temptation to make fun of relatives, especially the more sensitive members of the group. Nobody likes feeling singled out. Watching a light hearted comedy can also be a great way to generate a festive atmosphere. This is a time when people can put their differences aside.More