Can We Let Her Linger? The Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan Dies At 46
Even rock and roll couldn't save her.
Irish rock singer Dolores O'Riordan passed away on the morning of January 15 at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, London. She was visiting the city to work on new material at the studio then was found lifeless in her hotel room some days after her arrival. The cause of her death has yet to be identified. Dolores was the lead and anchor of worldwide rock music phenomenon, The Cranberries.
The alternative rock and grunge icon's death came as a shock to everyone who knew her: friends and family expressed disbelief at the news, while colleagues and industry partners, who had spoken to her days before her death, were quick to claim that she had been doing well. Suspicions of foul play have arisen around the incident, but London police have released statements assuring the public that no dubious circumstances surround her death.
But a deeper probe into the life of the inimitable singer and mother of three reveals a painful past that may have contributed to this tragedy. Suicide has not been ruled out as a possible cause of death, and many are speculating if Dolores' challenges in managing her mental health and substance use played a role in her irreversible fate.
In 2011, Dolores openly discussed the effects of the death of her father and mother-in-law with reporters, the former of which she lost after a difficult battle with cancer.
In a 2013 interview with LIFE magazine, the Ballybricken native didn't hold back as she recounted being sexually abused as an 8-year-old girl by a close family member. The abuse stopped a lengthy four years after, but the trauma had stayed with her until adulthood.
She also spoke about the challenges of rapidly rising to fame and the stress that came with sustaining it and meeting expectations. Previously just a singer from a small Irish town, she shares that her creative bounds were put to the test, day in and day out.
In the same year, Dolores developed anorexia, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression, and admitted to having a drinking problem and dependence on sleeping pills. She ultimately attempted to commit suicide by overdosing, but lived through it.
She later went on to tell her fans and reporters that her thwarted suicide attempt was a sign that she was bound for better things, and that she needed to keep getting better to be able to be a good mother to her three young children.
Dolores' eventful life would deal her yet another blow in 2014 when her 20-year marriage to Don Burton, a previous tour manager of legendary British rock band Duran Duran, came to an end. Dolores' mother confirmed to the press that she was put under the care of a psychiatric doctor after her divorce.
Seeming to get her life back on track, Dolores, who was once named one of Ireland's richest women, stepped back into the limelight after several years of living quietly.
Looking back at her groundbreaking music career, Dolores, and in particular The Cranberries, rose to prominence in the 90s and enjoyed a fan base that spanned continents. She was a mere 18-year-old when the band achieved worldwide success.
Eventually hitting a whopping 40-million record sales record, The Cranberries' greatest chart-topping hits were songs written by Dolores. Their most popular singles include "Linger," "Zombie," "Dreams," "Ode to my Family," and "When You're Gone."
Much more than her bandmates, Dolores became one of the most admired counter-cultural icons of her generation. With her combat boots, hair that went from raven black to platinum blond then vice-versa, irreverent sense of style, unparalleled songwriting prowess, and beautifully haunting voice, there was no one else like her—and now that she's gone, the world is left with an unspeakable sense of loss.
The Cranberries disbanded in 2003 after declining popularity then reunited in 2009. Dolores ventured into a solo career during this time, but the venture was short-lived. The Cranberries' latest—and last—album was their 2017 acoustic record, Something Else. They had originally planned a tour to promote this album but had to cancel due to incapacitating back pain that prevented Dolores from performing.
No one could have foreseen she would die just a few months after.
Very sad to learn that Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of the iconic rock band The Cranberries, has unfortunately passed away at the young age of 46. A amazingly unique voice, behind many hits including "Linger", "Zombie", "Dreams" & "Ode To My Family", she truly had us wrapped around her finger. Her words and tone had a way of taking you to a completely different state of mind. The world is at a loss of an extraordinary talent and a beautiful voice. Fly high, Angel. ? #DoloresOriordan #TheCranberries Mental health is not a joke. Depression is an illness. 1 800-273-8255 You are not alone.
Dolores is survived by her bandmates, Noel and Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawler, as well as her mother and three children, 20-year-old Taylor, 16-year-old Molly, and 12-year-old Dakota.
A book of condolence for Dolores will be opened in her hometown of Limerick, Ireland, for her friends, family, and fans to sign and leave dedications in.
Photos from @brain296924