Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of the Cranberries, dies at age 46
A publicist says O'Riordan died suddenly Monday in London, where she was recording. The Cranberries, who formed in Limerick in 1989, became international stars in the 1990s with hits including Zombie and Linger.
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LONDON—Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of Irish band The Cranberries, has died. She was 46.
Publicist Lindsey Holmes says O’Riordan died suddenly Monday in London, where she was recording. The cause of death wasn’t immediately available.
Holmes says the singer’s family is “devastated” by the news.
The Limerick band became international stars in the 1990s with hits including “Zombie” and “Linger” and sold over 40 million records during their career.
By 2012, O’Riordan was married to a Canadian and living part-time in southern Ontario.
“I just wanted to experience life not being in the Cranberries. I wanted to switch off, get the hell away and be human,” is what O’Riordan told the Star’s Ben Rayner in 2012, about leaving the rock ‘n’ roll life.
“People find it hard to understand why you would walk away from that. From the outside, you look like you have everything a band would want. But actually, we just wanted normality in our lives, to be able to go home and do what everybody else does.”
The Cranberries formed in 1989 and rode the emerging wave of alternative rock in the early ’90s with their 1992 album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?, which spawned the hit singles, “Dreams” and “Linger.”
The band released five albums from 1993 until 2001, and then went on hiatus in 2003. They reformed in 2009, and eventually released two more albums, including Something Else, which featured acoustic and orchestral arrangements of songs in 2017. O'Riordan released a solo album, Are You Listening, in 2007, and another, No Baggage, in 2009.
In 2013, she appeared as a judge on The Voice of Ireland, and in 2014 joined the group Jetlag, which featured former Smiths bassist Andy Rourke, and eventually became D.A.R.K.
O’Riordan was born and raised in the Ballybricken area of County Limerick, Ireland, and was the youngest of seven children. Through her musical success, in 2006, she was named one of the 10 richest women in Ireland.
In 1994, she married Don Burton, the former tour manager of Duran Duran, and the couple had three children. The pair bought a home in Buckhorn, Ontario, and they and their two kids and a child from Burton’s previous relationship spent years splitting their time between Ireland and the cottage. The couple reportedly separated sometime before 2014.
“What’s amazing is — I actually have problems getting it into my head — Canada is so big, right? And Ireland’s small you know; you drive from coast to coast in three hours. You can really get lost here, and I like that,” O’Riordan told the Canadian Press in 2009.
“The seasons are so dramatic here — from the snow in the winter to the beauty of the autumn, the colours of the leaves falling — so I have a piano outside my window and sometimes I start off there with ideas, just using nature as a backdrop.”
The singer revealed to Irish media in 2013 that she had been sexually abused for four years as a child, describing the secret as “something that I carried forever.”
“I am just trying to live for my kids. It is all about my kids now. I love them endlessly,” she said in an interview in an Irish magazine. “The kids were actually completely elemental in my healing process.”
In 2014, O’Riordan was arrested and taken off a flight at Shannon Airport in Ireland for head-butting and spitting on a police officer following an alleged air-rage incident. She was eventually released with a fine, but subsequently was reportedly diagnosed with a bipolar disorder.
—With files from Star staff
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