herald

Thursday 15 November 2018

Music legend Dolores found dead at hotel

Dolores O’Riordan with her bandmates from rock group The Cranberries Photo: Getty
Dolores O’Riordan with her bandmates from rock group The Cranberries Photo: Getty

Legendary Irish rock singer Dolores O'Riordan has died at the age of 46.

The Cranberries superstar was yesterday found unresponsive shortly after 9am at the five-star London Hilton on Park Lane hotel in Mayfair.

O'Riordan had travelled to London for a short recording session.

The cause of her death has not been established and police have confirmed they are investigating the circumstances of her passing.

The singer had suffered from ill health in recent times.

The hotel expressed its sympathies in a statement.

"It is with deep regret that we can confirm a guest sadly passed away at the hotel," said a spokesman.

The spokesman added that the hotel was cooperating fully with the police investigation and offered its "sincere condolences to their family at this difficult time".

Unexplained

"Police in Westminster are dealing with a sudden death," a Metropolitan Police statement said.

"Officers were called at 9.05am on Monday, 15 January to a hotel in Park Lane, W1. A woman in her mid-40s was pronounced dead at the scene. At this early stage, the death is being treated as unexplained."

O'Riordan's publicist confirmed her death and expressed the sadness of her family.

"The lead singer with the Irish band The Cranberries was in London for a short recording session," her publicist said in statement. "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."

O'Riordan, from Ballybricken, Co Limerick, was renowned for her distinctive singing voice.

She became a multi-award winning musician after becoming lead singer of the band when she was just 18.

The Cranberries were one of Ireland's biggest bands in the last 20 years.

Formed in the late 1980s, they shot to fame after their debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?, released in 1993.

Linger became the band's first major hit in 1993, peaking at No3 in Ireland, No8 in the US and No14 in the UK.

Their follow-up LP, No Need to Argue, was released in 1994 and it produced the hit singles Zombie, an evocative anti-war song, I Can't Be With You and Ode To My Family. The band have sold more than 40 million records worldwide.

They had seven studio album releases in total, the most recent of which was last year's Something Else.

Health

However, a tour to support the acoustic LP was cancelled due to O'Riordan's health issues.

In recent years, O'Riordan also fronted a band called D.A.R.K.

She split from her husband Don Burton - Duran Duran's former tour manager - in 2014 after 20 years together.

They have three children, Taylor (20), Molly (16) and Dakota (12).

In May 2017, The Cranberries cancelled a string of shows after O'Riordan was instructed by her doctors to stop working for a month for medical reasons associated with a back problem.

"The decision has not been taken lightly, but Dolores' health is paramount," said a statement from management at the time.

They cancelled a total of 14 gigs on their tour.

A spokesman for O'Riordan told the Herald at the time she had cancelled all plans for the foreseeable future. "She needs to not be doing anything for the next few weeks," the spokesman said. On December 20, O'Riordan tweeted from the band's official account.

Assaults

"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.

"Really enjoyed it! Happy Christmas to all our fans!! Xo," she wrote.

In 2014 she was ordered to pay €6,000 to charity after an air rage incident.

She admitted three assaults and obstructing a garda after being taken off an Aer Lingus flight from New York's JFK to Ireland on November 10, 2014.

In February 2016, O'Riordan said she would use "music, dancing and performing to improve her mental health" after avoiding a criminal conviction for the incident.

Medical reports produced for the trial at Ennis District Court revealed she had been suffering from mania, mental illness and severely impaired judgment at the time of the incident, and that she remembered nothing about it.

President Michael D Higgins was among those to pay tribute to the star last night.

"It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Dolores O'Riordan, musician, singer and songwriter," he said.

"Dolores and The Cranberries had an immense influence on rock and pop music.

"I recall with fondness the late Limerick TD Jim Kemmy's introduction of her and The Cranberries to me, and the pride he and so many others took in their successes.

Loss

"To all those who follow and support Irish music, Irish musicians and the performing arts, her death will be a big loss."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: "For anyone who grew up in Ireland in the 1990s, Dolores O'Riordan was the voice of a generation. As the female lead singer of a hugely successful rock band, she blazed a trail and might just have been Limerick's greatest ever rock star. RIP," he said.

Irish band Kodaline also offered condolences, writing on Twitter: 'Absolutely shocked to hear about the passing of Dolores O'Riordan!"

A book of condolence was due to be opened at Limerick City and County Council's Corporate Headquarters at Merchant's Quay in Limerick today at 10am. An online book of condolence was also due to be opened at www.limerick.ie.

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