by James PHEBY Irish singer-songwriter Dolores O'Riordan, frontwoman of the multi-million selling rock band The Cranberries, died suddenly in London on Monday, aged 46, her publicist said.
“Irish and international singer Dolores O’Riordan has died suddenly in London today, family members are devastated,” Lindsey Holmes said in a statement.
“The lead singer…was in London for a short recording session,” she added. “No further details are available at this time.”
A spokeswoman for London’s Metropolitan police said officers are “dealing with a sudden death” after they were called to a hotel in Park Lane, in the centre of the British capital, at 0905 GMT this morning.
She did not confirm the identity of the person found.
“A woman in her mid-40s was pronounced dead at the scene,” the spokeswoman said.
“At this early stage it is being treated as unexplained and enquiries continue,” she added.
The Cranberries achieved international success in the 1990s with their debut album “Everyone Else is Doing it, So Why Can’t We?”, which included hit single “Linger”.
Follow-up album “No Need to Argue” went to number one in Australia, France and Germany, and number 6 in the United States.
The album also gave rise to politically-charged single “Zombie”, which hit number one across Europe. The band sold around 40 million records worldwide.
The band, formed in 1989, went on a hiatus in 2003, with O’Riordon telling AFP in a 2012 interview that “we were stuck in a rut. We just needed a break.”
O’Riordan headed to Canada, where she gave birth to her third child, but The Cranberries reformed in 2009 after getting together for a one-off show.
“At home I’m a house-keeper and a mum. The kids are, like, ‘What’s for dinner? Where are my clothes?’. On tour it’s, like: ‘room-service’,” she said of the comeback.
– ‘Immense influence on rock’ – She hit the headlines in 2014 after pleading guilty to assaulting three police officers and a flight attendant during a flight from New York to Ireland, and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder shortly afterwards.
The band was forced to cancel 14 concerts last year due to “medical reasons associated with a back problem” for O’Riordan.
The Limerick-born singer’s last Facebook posting came shortly before Christmas.
“Hi All, Dolores here. Feeling good! I did my first bit of gigging in months at the weekend, performed a few songs at the Billboard annual staff holiday party in New York with the house band,” it read.
“Really enjoyed it! Happy Christmas to all our fans!! Xo”.
The band recently played in South America, with O’Riordan tweeting pictures of a show in Lima, Peru.
Irish President Michael D Higgins led the tributes, calling her death “a big loss”.
“Dolores O’Riordan and The Cranberries had an immense influence on rock and pop music in Ireland and internationally,” he said in a statement.
O’Riordan married Don Burton, former tour manager of Duran Duran, in 1994 but the couple divorced in 2014.
Duran Duran posted on their official Twitter page that “we are crushed to hear the news about the passing of Dolores O’Riordan. Our thoughts go out to her family at this terrible time”.
The band released their final album “Something Else” last year. DM
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