Dolores O’Riordan, who was the lead singer of The Cranberries, died today in London, and the out-of-nowhere news came from her publicist. The statement only says that Dolores was in London and died “suddenly.” The me of today and the teenage me who put Linger, Zombie” and Dreams on every mixtape he made just screamed “FUCK NOT DOLORES O’RIORDAN” at the same time. She was only 46 years old. Here’s the full statement her publicist released.
“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. No further details are available at this time.
Family members are devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
Wikipedia says that Dolores became the lead singer of The Cranberries in 1990 (which was called The Cranberry Saw Us back then) after seeing an ad and auditioning for the band by writing lyrics and melodies to some of their existing demos. Dolores got the job after she gave them a rough version of Linger. They made an EP, which led to record companies fighting to sign them. They went with Island, and released their first album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? in 1993. It hit #1 in their homeland of Ireland, as well as #1 in the UK. It sold 5 million copies here in the U.S. Linger and Dreams were both on that first album.
The Cranberries didn’t waste one second in the “striking while hot” game, and in 1994, they gave the world their second and biggest selling album No Need To Argue, which had their biggest hit, Zombie, on it. That album sold 7 million copies in the U.S. alone. The Cranberries made five more studio albums, their last one, Something Else, just came out last year.
The Cranberries took a break in 2003, and they all went off to do their own thing. Dolores started her solo career, putting out two albums, Are You Listening? and No Baggage. The Cranberries started making music together and touring again in 2009. When they released Something Else last year, they started to tour it, but all dates in Europe and North America were canceled because Dolores was sick and dealing with back pain.
Dolores had three children with her husband of 20 years (they divorced in 2014) Don Burton.
My angsty teen years would’ve been nothing without The Cranberries and Dolores’ voice, which touched every part of my angsty teen soul. There were a few girls in my school who chopped off their hair and bleached it like Dolores’. They didn’t look anything like Dolores. They looked more like a cracked out Susan Powter, but still. That was Dolores’ influence on us angry and sad teenagers. And when I told a dude friend in high school that I was in love with him, and he told me he was in love with someone else, I blasted Linger on my headphones and mouthed the lyrics at him from afar on the lawn during lunchtimes.
Rest in peace, Dolores. Thank you for giving us the soundtrack to our teenage (and beyond) lives.