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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