Singer Dolores O’Riordan dies at age 46
Dolores O’Riordan, the lead singer of popular Irish rock band The Cranberries, died last week in London. She was 46.
“Irish and international singer Dolores O’Riordan has died suddenly in London today. She was 46 years old. The lead singer with the Irish band The Cranberries, was in London for a short recording session,” the band said in a statement on Facebook.
The statement from the band and an earlier one from her publicist did not clarify the cause of the singer’s untimely death.
Surviving band members Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawler took to Twitter to remember their late bandmate.
“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,” the trio said in a statement.
O’Riordan rose to fame as the gentle voice behind The Cranberries’ biggest hits, including “Zombie” and “Linger,” the latter of which, a lilting love song, served as the band’s breakthrough hit in 1993. The tune, with its distinctive string section, peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.
It also featured prominently in the 2006 Adam Sandler movie “Click,” prompting a brief cameo by O’Riordan to sing the song in a wedding scene.
The Limerick, Ireland, native got her start with an audition to join brothers Noel and Mike Hogan in their band the Cranberry Saw Us.
The audition proved successful, and before long, the band, with O’Riordan front and center, was an international hit on the back of their debut album “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?”
After five albums — and the pressures that come with being dubbed “Ireland’s biggest musical export since U2” by Rolling Stone — The Cranberries went on hiatus in 2003.
After some time apart, the band regrouped in 2009, and was slated for a European tour this past summer.
That tour, as well as its North American leg, was canceled as O’Riordan recovered from an “ongoing back prob- lem,” according to The Cranberries’ website.
“Unfortunately Dolores O’Riordan’s recovery from her ongoing back problem which forced the cancellation of most of the band’s European tour this Summer has not been going as well as expected to such extent that her Doctors have now instructed her to cancel her upcoming almost sold out tour of North America with the band,” the statement read.
The band’s f i nal album with O’Riordan at the microphone, an acoustic compilation record called “Something Else,” was released in April.
O’Riordan split from her husband, former Duran Duran tour manager Don Burton, in 2014 after 20 years of marriage and three children: Taylor Baxter, Molly Leigh and Dakota Rain.
The singer said in May that she was more than happy to swap her time in the spotlight for time at home.
“The best time in my life was the years spent at home with my family. I love being a mum. My kids don’t see me as a famous person, or have any kind of expectation; I’m just their mom,” she told the Irish News.
It’s no surprise O’Riordan expressed a sense of calm at living her life off stage.
In a recent interview, she said the sudden burst of fame The Cranberries experienced in the mid-’90s, particularly after the 1996 release of their third album “To the Faithful Departed,” was almost too much to handle.
“For as long as I could, I held on to those years like I was gripping a roller coaster ride,” she told the Irish Times in May. “I got sick, had a meltdown — it was too much work that caused it.”
O’Riordan also revealed in May that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2015.
Just two years prior, in 2013, she tried to overdose, telling the Irish Independent that she suffered from anorexia, nervous breakdowns and suicidal thoughts.
“I suppose I am meant to stay here for the kids,” the singer said.
The Cranberries wouldn’t go on hiatus for another seven years after her self-proclaimed “meltdown,” but putting the brakes on their success seemed to serve O’Riordan well: She released two solo albums during the break, “Are You Listening?” in 2007 and “No Baggage” in 2009.