The Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan: 6 things to know about her

Irish singer Dolores O'Riordan of The Cranberries performing on stage during the 23th edition of the Cognac Blues Passion festival on July 7, 2016.
Irish singer Dolores O'Riordan of The Cranberries performing on stage during the 23th edition of the Cognac Blues Passion festival on July 7, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Music fans around the world are mourning the death of The Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan, who died in London on Monday (Jan 15) at the age of 46. The cause of death was not immediately available, but reports say that she died suddenly.

Who was this Irish singer known for her distinct, powerful vocals which helped lead The Cranberries to international fame in the 1990s? Here are six things to know about the star.

1. Reportedly, she won an audition in 1990 to front a band known as The Cranberry Saw Us, which later changed its name to the famed The Cranberries.

2. Her unique singing style, which had an Irish drawl and also comprised nuanced yodelling techniques, led The Cranberries to popular acclaim in the 1990s. Some of the four-member band's biggest hits include Linger, Zombie, as well as Dreams.

Dreams was later covered by Cantopop singer Faye Wong in Cantonese, which was used in Wong Kar Wai movie Chungking Express (1994) and became a huge hit single on its own.

3. Besides releasing seven studio albums with The Cranberries, O'Riordan also had two solo albums titled Are You Listening? (2007) and No Baggage (2009). In 2014, she began performing with musicians Ole Koretsky as well as Andy Rourke of The Smiths as a trio act named D.A.R.K.

4. O'Riordan was the mother of three children - she had a 20-year-old son, Taylor, and two daughters, Molly, 16, and Dakota, 12, with her former husband Don Burton, a former tour manager for the band Duran Duran.

5. The Cranberries were due to tour North America and Europe last year to perform their latest album Something Else, but the tour was cut short because O'Riordan was suffering from severe back problems.

In an Instagram post by the band (@thecranberriess) in June last year, they addressed the issue by saying: "There have been some comments suggesting that Dolores could perform if she sat while singing. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as that.


"Dolores' back problem is in the mid to upper area of her spine and the breathing and diaphragmatic movements associated with singing put pressure on the muscles and nerves in that area and exacerbate the pain. Sitting does not give any relief and, at times, in her case, it can actually worsen the pain.

"Please be assured that we would not have cancelled these shows if there was any way that Dolores could perform them."

6. There was darkness in her life since she was a child. Between the ages of eight and 12, she was sexually abused by a family friend. She said in interviews that the trauma from that experience led to her suffering from anorexia as a teenager.

In 2015, she revealed that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and had struggled with the symptoms for years.