The Oscar-winner paid tribute to the late Irish songstress in a touching memorial post.
Crowe, 59, took to Twitter Wednesday evening to reflect on how he met O'Connor recently, and the impact of their unexpected meeting.
"Last year, working in Ireland, having a pint in the cold outside a Dalkey pub with some new friends, a woman with purpose strode past us. Puffy parker zipped to the nape and her bowed head covered in a scarf," Crowe recalled. "One of my new friends muttered an exclamation, jumped up and pursued the woman. Thirty metres down the road the friend and the woman embraced and he waived me over."
"There under streetlights with mist on my breath, I met Sinéad. She looked in my eyes, and uttered with disarming softness 'oh, it’s you Russell'" he continued, in a series of posts. "She came with us back to the table and sat in the cold and ordered a hot tea. In a conversation without fences we roamed through the recent Dublin heatwave, local politics, American politics, the ongoing fight for indigenous recognition in many places, but particularly in Australia, her warm memory of New Zealand, faith, music, movies and her brother the writer."
Crowe said that the conversation gave him "the opportunity to tell her she was a hero of mine."
"When her second cup was taking on the night air, she rose, embraced us all and strode away into the fog-dimmed streetlights," Crowe wrote. "We sat there the four of us and variously expressed the same thing. What an amazing woman. Peace be with your courageous heart Sinéad."
The Irish Times was first to report the news of O'Connor's death on Wednesday, at the age of 56. No cause of death has yet been reported.
"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad," her family confirmed in a statement to RTE. "Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time."
Born in Glenageary, Ireland in 1966, O'Connor went on to become one of the country’s most prominent musicians, joining the ranks of U2, Enya, and The Cranberries, all of whom achieved worldwide fame in the '80s and '90s.
O'Connor's personal life, however, was marred by tragedy and struggles with mental illness. Her son, Shane, died by suicide at 17 in January 2022 after going missing in Ireland, and the singer publicly threatened suicide herself multiple times in recent years.
In the wake of her death, there has been an outpouring of messages and memorials paying tribute to the artist by hundreds of her famous friends and fans, honoring her life and legacy. See the video below fore more on the touching posts.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.