Dear Ms O’Connor,

The news tells me you’re doing poorly and I’m really sorry to hear it. You were there when I needed you, so I wanted to return the favor.

It’s true, you don’t know me. But I feel like I know you. I have spent countless hours with your music, which is uncompromising and honest to the point where it’s hard to listen; your surprising and thoughtful writings; and your inspiring performances as a no-nonsense interview subject. I bought my first pair of Dr Martens to emulate you. From you, I learnt fundamental lessons about feminism, ethics, sexuality, music, power, romantic partnerships and honest communication.

Without your records, Sinéad, I would be a very different person. Less of a person.

So I just wanted to say that you mean a lot to me; and thousands of other people like me. You taught us to never compromise on the things that matter to us, and that has made our lives incalculably richer. Thank you.

Your fan,