Dolores O'Riordan, singer with The Cranberries, has died aged 46

Alice Vincent
Dolores O'Riordan in 2004 - Reuters

Dolores O'Riordan, singer and frontwoman of Irish indie-rock back The Cranberries, has died aged 46 in London. 

Her publicists released a statement on Monday saying:

Irish and international singer Dolores O’Riordan has died suddenly in London today. She was 46 years old. The lead singer with the Irish band The Cranberries, was in London for a short recording session. No further details are available at this time.

Family members are devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.

The police released a statement saying: 

“Police in Westminster are dealing with a sudden death. Officers were called at 9:05 am on Monday January 15 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 and inquiries continue”.

The Cranberries subsequently shared the statement to their official Facebook page, with a photo of O'Riordan.

On Monday night, The Cranberries' remaining members paid tribute on Twitter:

Career

O'Riordan was still in her teens when she auditioned for the group that would become The Cranberries. Songwriting was always as integral to singing: she landed the gig of frontwoman after writing lyrics and melodies for existing demos, including a rough version of Linger, which became the band's breakthrough hit. 

With The Cranberries, O'Riordan released five albums and achieved mainstream success in the mid-Nineties. It was the popularity of their second album, No Need to Argue, in America which helped them gain recognition in the home country and in the UK. In particular, an scorched-earth performance of Zombie on Saturday Night Live made The Cranberries one of the hit groups of the Nineties.

 In 1997, they won an Ivor Novello award for Zombie, and were nominated for the Best International Group Brit Award in 1995. O'Riordan pursued a solo career in the late-Noughties, releasing the first of two solo albums in 2007. At the time of her death, she had been working with a band called D.A.R.K, which featured Ole Koretsky and Andy Rourke, of The Smiths. 

O'Riordan's life

Her success arrived in spite of O'Riordan's difficult upbringing and mental illness. In 2014 she gave a revelatory interview to the Belfast Telegraph in which she explained that she had been sexually abused during childhood and had been in recovery ever since. She said she suffered from a "terrible self-loathing", which was worsened by her accelerating career and led to anorexia. 

Speaking about the aftermath of her experiences of abuse, O'Riordan said: "It manifested itself in my behaviour and the pathologies I began to develop in my early adult life, such as my eating disorder, depression and eventually the breakdowns." She admitted that she "tried to overdose" in 2012. 

O'Riordan has three children with her ex-husband Don Burton, the former tour manager of Duran Duran. The family are yet to make a statement. Her last Twitter update, posted on January 3, showed her with her cat, Gio.

Tributes

O'Riordan's death has caused shock and upset among her fans and members of the music industry. James Corden, Frank Turner, Irish band Kodaline, Irish food writer Jack Monroe and US singer Josh Groban all shared tributes on Twitter. Hours after the news broke, Irish President Michael D Higgins paid his respects, saying O'Riordan had "an immense influence".