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R.I.P. Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries

Photo: Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer for Irish rock band The Cranberries, has died. The news has been confirmed by the BBC and by Irish news service RTE, which reports that O’Riordan died suddenly in London of as-yet-unknown causes. In a statement, her publicist says, “The lead singer with the Irish band The Cranberries was in London for a short recording session. No further details are available at this time.” They add, “Family members are devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.” She was 46.

Born in County Limerick in 1971, O’Riordan auditioned for—and got—the role of lead singer for a band then called The Cranberry Saw Us in 1990. They changed their name to The Cranberries shortly thereafter, and rose to worldwide fame thanks to MTV’s heavy rotation of the videos for “Dreams” and “Linger,” off of their debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? (1993). Their next album, No Need To Argue (1994), spawned the worldwide No. 1 hit “Zombie,” marking a heavier musical direction for the band. Their next three albums, To The Faithful Departed (1996), Bury The Hatchet (1999), and Wake Up And Smell The Coffee (2001), all produced diminishing commercial returns, and in 2003 The Cranberries went on an indefinite hiatus.


The Cranberries would eventually reunite for two more albums, Roses (2012) and the acoustic album Something Else (2017), which features orchestral arrangements of earlier Cranberries hits. In the meantime, O’Riordan recorded two solo albums, Are You Listening? (2007) and No Baggage (2009). She also recorded material with the band D.A.R.K., composed of DJ Olé Koretsky and Smiths bassist Andy Rourke, beginning in 2014. In 2016, the group released its debut album, Science Agrees.

In 2017, The Cranberries were forced to cancel their European tour after O’Riordan suffered a back injury; that same year, she revealed that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It’s unclear at this time whether either of these conditions were related in any way to her death. She is survived by three children and her ex-husband Don Burton, from whom she split in 2014 after 20 years of marriage.

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