Published Thursday, 23 January 2014
The Dubliner insists the mental health issues she grew up with would have taken over her life had it not been for prayer and song.
In a new interview for Oprah Winfrey's Where Are They Now? interview show, which airs in America on Friday, O'Connor explained: "To me music is the holy spirit. I was a person who was going to jail. I used to steal and if I hadn't found music I would be in trouble.
"It wasn't open to me to be a priest because I was a girl, which is the only other thing I would've wanted to do. To me prayer is dreadfully important; I'm not of any specific religion. I sort of believe in everything and nothing but prayer is an enormous part of my pre-ritual everywhere we're going.
"I even have the word 'pray' on my monitor, so if I get nervous (during a gig) I can focus on that."