She had a soaring, keening voice with such a distinct sound there was no confusing Dolores O’Riordan with anyone else in the world of pop/rock. At 46, Dolores O’Riordan, who fronted the popular band The Cranberries, should have had a long career in front of her. O’Riordan died suddenly Monday of causes that have as yet not been reported.
O’Riordan was in London recording tracks for an upcoming project when she died. A spokensperson for the Metropolitan Police said police were called to a hotel in Park Lane shortly after 09:00 GMT. O’Riordan was pronounced dead at the scene. A statement from her publicist confirmed her passing.
Her bandmates in The Cranberries, Noel Hogan, Fergal Lawler, and Mike Hogan, released a statement on Twitter that read, “We are devastated on the passing of our friend Dolores. She was an extraordinary talent and we feel very privileged to have been part of her life from 1989 when we started the Cranberries. The world has lost a true artist today. Noel, Mike and Fergal.”
O’Riordan, then in her teens. responded to an advertisement seeking a singer/songwriter for a band then-called The Cranberry Saw Us. Upon O’Riordan’s joining the group as lead singer, the group changed the name to The Cranberries in 1990. The group released its debut album, Everybody’s Doing it Why Can’t We in 1993 and quickly achieved international attention with hit singles such as Linger and Dreams. Their second album, No Need to Argue, in 1994, included the hit single, Zombie, a protest song regarding a bombing by the Irish Republican Army. The song cemented the group’s global popularity. That same year, The Cranberries performed at the 25th Anniversary of Woodstock in New York state. In all, The Cranberries had four albums chart in the top 20 on Billboard’s album charts.
Reaction to O’Riordan’s death sparked responses from across the spectrum, from fans, from contemporary artists as well as Irish Politicians. Taoiseach (the equivalent of Prime Minister), Leovarkdar, released a statement in which he stated the band’s music had “captured all of the angst that came with your teenage years”.
The Cranberries took a break in 2003 before rebanding in 2009. In the interim, O’Riordan tried her hand at a solo career. The Cranberries released the EP Something Else in 2017. The band made plans to tour in Europe and North American but were forced to cancel due to O’Riordan’s chronic back problems.
A native of Limerick, O’Riordan is survived by her mother and her three children.
Linger by The Cranberries
Zombie by The Cranberries