Brian Rasic / Getty Images
The world is a whole lot quieter today after the unexpected passing of Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan, found dead yesterday in a London hotel at the age of 46. As of the time this article was written, no official cause of death has been released but it’s been speculated that she died from Fentanyl poisoning, and authorities stress that O’Riordan’s death is not being treated as suspicious.
The news was confirmed by O’Riordan’s stunned and devastated bandmates, who took to Facebook to issue a brief statement about their friend and the journey that took them from humble beginnings in Limerick to one of the biggest bands of the 1990s, international fame arriving upon the release of The Cranberries’ 1993 debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?.
Born Dolores Mary Eileen O’Riordan in Ireland in 1971, the Limerick native joined The Cranberries in 1989, replacing lead singer Niall Quinn after answering an ad; O’Riordan auditioned with melodies and lyrics she’d written for existing demos and was hired after returning with a rough version of “Linger,” the song that would become The Cranberries’ first major hit, peaking at #3 in the Republic of Ireland, #8 in the United States, and #14 in the United Kingdom.
After The Cranberries took a break in 2003, O’Riordan’s solo career took off, releasing two solo albums in 2007 and 2009 respectively and earning the prestigious EBBA Award smack dab in the middle of it all for having reached audiences outside her native Ireland with her first internationally released album.
At the time of her death, Dolores O’Riordan was in London for a brief recording session. In addition to a music career that stretches back three decades, O’Riordan is survived by her three children, bandmates, and a host of fans and friends around the world who are really, really going to miss her something awful.