Irish musician Dolores O’Riordan, the lead singer of the ’90s rock group, The Cranberries, has died at the age of 46. Perhaps best known for her dynamic vocals and Limerick accent, O’Riordan co-wrote all of the band’s biggest hits, including “Zombie,” “Linger,” and “Dreams.”
According to the BBC, the band’s publicist confirmed of O’Riordan’s passing. “The lead singer with the Irish band The Cranberries was in London for a short recording session,” he stated. “No further details are available at this time.” It was also indicated that “family members are devastated to hear the news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
The Cranberries achieved commercial acclaim with the release of their 1993 debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? which debuted at no. 1 on the UK album charts and has sold more than 40 million records worldwide. The band stayed together for 13 years before taking a six-year hiatus in 2003, eventually reuniting in 2009. During the hiatus, she also released her debut solo album Are You Listening? (2007).
In May 2017, O’Riordan told Metro UK that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder though it is unclear if it has anything to do with her sudden passing. Around the same time last year, the band was on tour when they canceled halfway through their European performances due to “medical reasons associated with a back problem” which prevented O’Riordan from performing.
O’Riordan is survived by her bandmates, guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan, and drummer Fergal Lawler; her ex-husband, Don Burton, the former tour manager of Duran Duran; and her three children, Taylor Baxter, Molly Leigh and Dakota Rain.
Following the announcement of her death, the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins issued a statement about the passing of the beloved singer-songwriter.
“Dolores O’Riordan and The Cranberries had an immense influence on rock and pop music in Ireland and internationally,” Higgins said in his statement. “I recall with fondness the late Limerick TD Jim Kemmy’s introduction of her and The Cranberries to me, and the pride he and so many others took in their successes. To all those who follow and support Irish music, Irish musicians and the performing arts her death will be a big loss.”
Her music touched many lives and had even been sampled by a great many artists, including, most recently, Eminem, who sampled “Zombie” for his track “In Your Head.” Following the announcement, many friends, fans, and celebrities have shared their thoughts on Twitter:
I once met Delores O’Riordan when I was 15. She was kind and lovely, I got her autograph on my train ticket and it made my day. She had the most amazing voice and presence. So sorry to hear that she’s passed away today x
— James Corden (@JKCorden) January 15, 2018
Absolutely shocked to hear about the passing of Dolores O'Riordan! @The_Cranberries gave us our first big support when we toured with them around France years ago! Thoughts are with her family and friends
— Kodaline (@Kodaline) January 15, 2018
I’m really shocked that #DoloresORiordan has passed so suddenly
– I was talking to her a couple weeks before Christmas she seemed happy and well – we even spoke about maybe writing some songs together – unbelievable god bless her pic.twitter.com/Pk2QyAaaBw
— Dave Davies (@davedavieskinks) January 15, 2018