Lead singer of Irish band The Cranberries, Dolores O'Riordan performs on stage during a concert at Campo Pequeno in Lisbon, Portugal, 10 March 2010. Reports on 15 January 2018 state Dolores O'Riordan has died in London, aged 46.
Lead singer of Irish band The Cranberries, Dolores O'Riordan performs on stage during a concert at Campo Pequeno in Lisbon, Portugal, 10 March 2010. Reports on 15 January 2018 state Dolores O'Riordan has died in London, aged 46. EPA - JOSE SENA GOULAO

Dolores O'Riordan: The Cranberries​ lead singer dies aged 46

DOLORES O'Riordan, frontwoman of the iconic Irish grunge band The Cranberries, has died at the age of 46.

"Irish and international singer Dolores O'Riordan has died suddenly in London today," a spokesperson for the singer told The Limerick Leader.

"She was 46 years old. 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."

The cause of death has not been revealed.

O'Riordan joined The Cranberries, made up of brothers Noel Hogan and Mike Hogan after reading an advertisement in a local paper in 1989

They went on to sell over 40 million records around the world, O'Riordan later releasing the solo records Are You Listening? in 2007 and No Baggage in 2009.

Family and friends have requested privacy at this time. 

Irish President Michael D Higgins led tributes to the singer, saying:

"It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Dolores O'Riordan, musician, singer and songwriter.

"Dolores O'Riordan and The Cranberries had an immense influence on rock and pop music in Ireland and internationally.

"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."

Following the success of their debut album, Everybody Else is Doing It, So Why Can't We?, the band released 1994's No Need to Argue which included the lead single 'Zombie'.

The song, written in the wake of a 1993 IRA bombing in Warrington which killed a three-year-old and a 12-year-old boy, was an angry, anthemic record about The Troubles.

In May O'Riordan announced she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In 2015 she admitted to assaulting an air hostess on an Aer Lingus flight in November 2014 shortly after separating from her husband of 20 years Don Burton.

Medical reports produced for the trial at Ennis District Court revealed she had been suffering from mania, mental illness and severely impaired judgment at the time of the incident, and that she remembered nothing about it.

Ireland's culture minister Josepha Madigan has echoed President Michael D Higgins' comments, saying:

"I am very saddened to hear news about the death of Dolores O'Riordan at the age of just 46.

"Dolores was an enormously successful artist internationally, first as part of The Cranberries and then as a solo artist. She made a huge contribution to the arts internationally, with millions of record sales worldwide.

"She was an inspiration to many across the world and had a truly unique voice. Her haunting vocals on classics such as Linger and Zombie will live on forever.

"I'd like to pass on my condolences to her family at what must be a very difficult time for them."

Dave Davies, a founding member of 60s rock group The Kinks, expressed his sadness and surprise at O'Riordan's death.

He said he had spoken to her shortly before Christmas and they had even spoken about collaborating on some songs.

O'Riordan was just 18 when she joined the band, then called The Cranberry Saw Us, after seeing an advert in the local newspaper in 1990 in her hometown of Limerick.

She later described herself as "just a child back then" and said she had only ever been out of Ireland once to visit her older sister in London.

They then recorded a demo, containing early hits such as "Linger" and "Dreams", which became the subject of a bidding war between major British music labels after being noticed by the music press and the band was propelled to worldwide fame.  

Catholic priest Canon Liam McNarmara, who knew O'Riordan's family in their hometown of Ballybricken near Limerick and was a co-celebrant at her wedding, has also paid tribute.

He told the Limerick Leader:  "My heart goes out to the family. Dolores was their pride and joy. We all loved her very, very much.

"She got on well all the way through her life. I was very disappointed to hear today that she has left us so early in life. Her family did so much for her and supported her all the way through".  



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