By Ankita Gupta
The Cranberries lead singer Dolores O’Riordan has passed away, unexpectedly, at a hotel in London’s Park Lane on January 15. The 46-year-old Irish musician, who originally hailed from Limerick, was visiting the UK for a recording session. Her family, friends and alternative rock music lovers from around the world are devastated by her death.
‘To the Faithful Departed’
O’Riordan’s body was discovered at the Hilton hotel in London on Monday morning. She was pronounced dead at the scene, and the Westminster police were called in to investigate her sudden demise. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said that her death was classified as ‘unexplained’ and they would be continuing their inquiries.
The Irish artist defined the voice of the Cranberries band, leading them to international stardom in the 90’s with hit singles like ‘Linger’, ‘Salvation’ and ‘Zombie’. She traced the music of an entire generation with her captivating lyrics. Michael Higgins, President of Ireland expressed deep sadness at the death of the singer and songwriter. “Dolores O’Riordan and The Cranberries had an immense influence on rock and pop music in Ireland and internationally. To all those who follow and support Irish music, Irish musicians and the performing arts her death will be a big loss,” he said.
The turbulent life of O’Riordan
Dolores O’Riordan was born in the Ballybricken area of Limerick and was the youngest of seven siblings. At the age of 18, she auditioned for the Smiths-inspired band-The Cranberry Saw us, formed by brothers Noel and Mike Hogan. The Cranberries shot to recognition with their debut album— ‘Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?’, released in 1993 which reached the No. 1 spot in the U.K. The band sold 40 million records. O’Riordan’s searing vocals that transcended her pygmy built and pixie cut had a lasting impact on the audience. Her voice had a sonic quality that ranged from an angelic whine to a psychedelic howl.
However, in the recent years, her music was mired in her troubled personal life. She suffered from a nervous breakdown in 2014, after splitting from her husband of 20 years, Don Burton. The musician was arrested over an air rage incident in the same year for headbutting a stewardess. She was subsequently diagnosed with a bipolar disorder in 2015 and suffered from acute depression. O’Riordan reported that her mental illness stemmed from “terrible self-loathing” which was a result of child abuse.
Memories of Dolores: Her voice lingers on
In a fitting tribute to ‘Firebrand’ Dolores O’Riordan, the Cranberries producer Stephen Street wrote, “ Dolores gave so much of herself at the gigs and continued to do so over the next decade or so. Perhaps she could have tempered her behaviour and been more measured but that wasn’t her way.” Her sudden death sent tremors across the music world and emotional tributes poured in from all corners. U2 released a statement calling O’Riordan Limerick’s ‘Bel Canto’, with a voice that had the strength of conviction and a moving fragility. She had cemented her place as the goddess of rock in the hearts of millions of people. The local shops in Limerick paid homage to the artist by playing some of The Cranberries’ most popular tunes. Dolores O’Riordan is gone, but her haunting voice still lingers on, “In your head, In your head, they are cryin’/ In your head, In your head.”
Featured Image Source: Flickr
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