Irish band Cranberries’ lead singer Dolores O’Riordan was found dead in her hotel room at the London Hilton Monday morning. She was forty-six.
“It is with deep regret that we can confirm a guest sadly passed away at the hotel on Monday 15th January,” said a spokesperson for the swanky hotel.
“We offer our sincere condolences to their family at this difficult time. Team members acted swiftly to alert the Metropolitan Police and we are co-operating fully with their investigation,” she added.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed the Irish star’s death:
“Police in Westminster are dealing with a sudden death. Officers were called at 09.05hrs on Monday, 15 January to a hotel in Park Lane. A woman in her mid-40s was pronounced dead at the scene. At this early stage, the death is being treated as unexplained. Inquiries continue.”
According to O’Riordan’s publicist, she was in the capital for a recording session.
“The lead singer with the Irish band The Cranberries was in London for a short recording session,” said the publicist in a statement. “No further details are available at this time.”
Her publicist also said that O’Riordan’s “family members are devastated to hear the news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
Bandmates Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan, and Fergal Lawler paid their tribute with a Twitter post the following day, calling the singer “an extraordinary talent” and that they felt “privileged to have been part of her life” from the time the band was formed in 1989. They said they were “devastated” by the loss.
We are devastated on the passing of our friend Dolores. She was an extraordinary talent and we feel very privileged to have been part of her life from 1989 when we started the Cranberries. The world has lost a true artist today.
Noel, Mike and Fergal
— The Cranberries (@The_Cranberries) January 15, 2018
Honoring the deceased singer, Irish president Michael D Higgins released the following statement:
“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.”
Condolences and tributes from musicians and friends started coming in on social media following the news of her death.
Songwriter Hozier tweeted that he was “shocked and saddened to hear of her passing” and his “thoughts are with her family.”
“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,” he wrote.
“I’d never heard somebody use their instrument in that way. Shocked and saddened to hear of her passing, thoughts are with her family, he added.
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.
— Hozier (@Hozier) January 15, 2018
Duran Duran said they were “crushed” and their “thoughts go to her family at this terrible time.”
— Duran Duran (@duranduran) January 15, 2018
For those who don’t know, Duran Duran’s tour manager Don Burton was married to the singer for over twenty years and had three children with her; they are Taylor Baxter, Molly Leigh, and Dakota Rain. The couple divorced in 2014.
In November 2014 O’Riordan was detained by the Irish Police for questioning over allegations of assault against her.
She had, reportedly, attacked and injured a stewardess onboard the Aer Lingus flight EI 110 as the New York-originated flight was preparing to land at the Shannon Airport in Ireland.
The police officer who boarded the plane after it had landed was also, allegedly, head-butted and spat on by O’Riordan, who at the time was going through a rather lean phase in her life, having been hospitalized for a nervous-breakdown following her divorce earlier that year.
“I can confirm that the incident took place on board Aer Lingus’ daily service from New York to Shannon. An arrest was made following arrival at 4.47am,” a Shanon Airport spokesman had said at the time.
At the time of her arrest, she had been suffering from hypomania, sleep deprivation and paranoia and was “receiving ongoing medical treatment and residential treatment” as her lawyer informed the court.
She was later diagnosed with “bipolar disorder” and was fined £4,690, escaping a criminal conviction because of her mental condition.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph in 2014 O’Riordan had said that she had been suffering from a “terrible self-loathing” ever since she was sexually abused as a child.
Earlier she had confessed to journalist Barry Egan saying, “He [the abuser] used to masturbate me when I was eight years old. He made me do oral sex for him and ejaculated on my chest when I was eight years old. It was inappropriate touching. For four years, when I was a little girl I was sexually abused. I was only a kid.”
The troubled singer had even tried to overdose in 2013. “I tried to overdose last year…I suppose I am meant to stay here for the kids,” she admitted during an interview.
“I am pretty good but sometimes I hit the bottle,” she also said during the interview.
“Everything is way worse the next morning. I chain smoke when I drink. I have a bad day when I have bad memories and I can’t control them and I hit the bottle. I kind of binge drink. That is kind of my biggest flaw at the moment,” she confessed.
Born and raised in Limerick, Ireland, O’Riordan joined the Cranberries in 1989 when they were known as “The Cranberry Saw Us.”
After releasing five albums the band took a rather long break in 2003, getting back together again in 2009 when O’Riordan announced the reunion on New York City’s 101.9 RXP radio while promoting her solo album “No Baggage.”
During their first stint together the band released five albums, as aforementioned, and also produced the band’s greatest hits compilation under the title “Stars: The Best of 1992-2002” a year before the band went on hiatus.
“Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We,” released by the Cranberries in 1993, topped the UK and Irish albums charts and sold over five million copies in the United States alone, reaching the 18th position on the US Billboards albums chart, among other successes.
The album was written by O’Riordan and her guitarist Noel Hogan.
Cranberries released their second and most successful album “No Need to Argue” in October 1994, going on to sell 17 million copies of the hit album worldwide.
“To the Faithful Departed (1996)” – Cranberries dedicated this 1996 album to O’Riordan’s grandfather and record producer Denny Cordel; both had passed away that year.
This third Cranberries album has the ignominy of being in Q magazine’s “The 50 Worst Albums Ever!” list in 2006; they were placed 25th.
“Bury the Hatchet” was released in April 1999 and received moderate to poor reviews.
“Wake Up and Smell the Coffee,” released in October 2001, turned out to be the band’s last album before their six-year-long break. The album did moderately well, selling 1.3 million copies worldwide by the end of 2002.