Dolores O’Riordan, who fronted the Irish alternative band the Cranberries that became an international sensation in the 1990s, died Monday. She was 46.
The cause of death hasn’t been made public. O’Riordan “died suddenly” in London, where she had been for a short recording session, according to a statement released by the band.
“No further details are available at this time,” the statement read. “Family members are devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
The Cranberries, known for hits including “Zombie” and “Linger,” formed in 1990 in Limerick. Their 1993 debut album “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?” became a huge commercial success. Over the course of the band’s career, they’ve released seven studio albums and sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.
O’Riordan’s trademark powerful, unique voice, with its yodels and Irish accent, came to characterize the band’s sound.
The band, which includes guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan and drummer Fergal Lawler, went on a hiatus in 2003 but reunited in 2009.
In April 2017, the Cranberries released a compilation album that included acoustic versions of some of their biggest hits. Several months later, the band canceled most of their European summer and North American fall tour dates due to “O’Riordan’s recovery from her ongoing back problem.”
“The outpouring of support The Cranberries have received from fans and followers during the past several months is greatly appreciated,” the July statement from the group read. “Dolores and the band are very disappointed that it has come to this and send their sincere apologies to all fans and ticket holders, and hope to see you all again in the future when Dolores is well again.”
In December, O’Riordan posted a message on the band’s Facebook page.
“Feeling good! I did my first bit of gigging in months at the weekend, performed a few songs at the Billboard annual staff holiday party in New York with the house band,” O’Riordan wrote Dec. 20. “Really enjoyed it! Happy Christmas to all our fans!! Xo”
News of O’Riordan’s death was met with an outpouring of grief on social media, including from fellow musicians and entertainers.
Duran Duran tweeted:
“We are crushed to hear the news about the passing of Dolores O’Riordan. Our thoughts go out to her family at this terrible time.”
“My first time hearing Dolores O’Riordan’s voice was unforgettable. It threw into question what a voice could sound like in that context of Rock. I’d never heard somebody use their instrument in that way. Shocked and saddened to hear of her passing, thoughts are with her family.”
Lane Moore tweeted:
“Dolores O’Riordan died today & my heart is shattered & im crying in public. @The_Cranberries have always been one of my biggest influences & greatest comforts as a musician & human being. She was only 46. Her music helped me not die when I thought life would kill me.I feel gutted”
Cameron Esposito tweeted:
“Oh wow. Dolores O’Riordan was a BIG part of my childhood. Helped me give myself permission to be.”
Follow the Bangor Daily News on Facebook for the latest Maine news.