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Dolores O'Riordan dead; The Cranberries singer was 46

The Cranberries became international stars in the ’90s with hits including “Zombie” and “Linger.”

Dolores O'Riordan from The Cranberries performs at F1

Dolores O'Riordan from The Cranberries performs at F1 Rocks! Melbourne at Sidney Myer Music Bowl on March 17, 2012, in Melbourne, Australia. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Paul Jeffers

Dolores O’Riordan, the feisty lead singer of Irish rock band The Cranberries known for her distinctive wail in ’90s hits like “Linger” and “Zombie,” died unexpectedly on Monday. She was 46.

O’Riordan died in London, where she was recording, publicist Lindsey Holmes said. “No further details are available at this time,” Holmes said, adding that the singer’s family was “devastated” by the news.

Formed in Limerick, Ireland, at the end of the 1980s, The Cranberries became Ireland’s biggest band behind only U2. The ’90s alternative scene embraced the band’s eclectic tastes that ran from ’50s ballads in “Ode to My Family” to punk in “Salvation,” while infusing all their songs with their Celtic heritage. However, it was the band’s live show, driven by O’Riordan’s energetic performance and powerful voice that set them apart.

Irish President Michael D. Higgins said O’Riordan and the band “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 in a statement.

O’Riordan was The Cranberries’ chief lyricist and co-songwriter, and her powerful, sometimes wailing, voice was key to the band’s distinctive sound.

The group’s 1993 debut album “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?” sold millions of copies and produced the hit single “Linger.”

The follow-up, “No Need to Argue,” sold in even greater numbers and contained “Zombie,” a howl against Northern Ireland’s violent Troubles that topped singles charts in several countries.

The band released three more studio albums before splitting up in 2003. O’Riordan released a solo album, “Are You Listening,” in 2007, and another, “No Baggage,” in 2009.

The members of The Cranberries reunited that year, releasing the album “Roses” in 2012.

The Cranberries released the acoustic album “Something Else” in 2017 and had been due to tour Europe and North America. The tour was cut short because O’Riordan was suffering from back problems.

In 2014, O’Riordan was accused of assaulting three police officers and a flight attendant during a flight from New York to Ireland. She pleaded guilty and was fined 6,000 euros ($6,600).

Medical records given to the court indicated she was mentally ill at the time of the altercation. After her court hearing O’Riordan urged other people suffering mental illness to seek help.

O’Riordan is survived by her ex-husband, the former Duran Duran tour manager Don Burton, and their three children.

With AP

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