UNCOMPROMISING Irish singer Sinead O’Connor has been announced as the act closing this year’s WOMAD festival.

O’Connor will appear on the Open Air Stage at Charlton Park near Malmesbury on the final night of the event.

She replaces legendary soul star Bobby Womack who died on June 27.

Womack had been due to close the four-day festival which will be held in the grounds of the Earl and Countess of Suffolk’s estate.

Womack, who had worked with and written songs for some of the greatest musicians of the 20th century, was 70 when he died after a long battle against cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

Now the organisers, who were thrilled earlier this year after finally clinching Womack’s signature for the event, have secured the compulsive O’Connor.

The singer, now 47, shot to international fame with a poignant version of the Prince-penned song, Nothing Compares 2 U in the Nineties.

She also courted headlines with her outspoken views on religion, child abuse and politics during the height of her fame.

At WOMAD, O’Connor is expected to perform some of her most acclaimed hits and debut some tracks from her new album, I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss, out on August 11 on Nettwerk Records.

Her debut album The Lion and the Cobra, released in 1987, immediately marked her out as a sensational young talent, while the single Mandinka took her to glory across the world, meaning that by the end of the decade she was a Grammy-nominated rock chanteuse with the world at her feet.

Also joining this year’s line up is 27-year-old Samantha Crain, an Oklahoman of Choctaw heritage who writes charmingly tuneful country-folk.

She will appear on the Ecotricity Stage on Sunday evening replacing Soema Montenegro.

Last year WOMAD, the planet’s largest world music festival, had to find a short notice replacement for another legend, reggae singer Toots Hibbert, who had to pull out after being hit on the head with a bottle at a gig in America. They managed to replace him with a performer of equal status, zany reggae genius Lee Perry.

Some 30,000 fans are expected to attend the World Of Music Art and Dance festival and major acts include folk-rock giant Richard Thompson and acclaimed Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour.

The WOMAD Festival takes place at Charlton Park, Malmesbury, SN16 9DG on July 24-27.

Ticket prices and other information available on 0118 960 6060 or online at: www.womad.co.uk