DUBLIN: Dolores O‘Riordan, the lead singer of rock group The Cranberries, died suddenly on Monday at the age of 46 during a trip to London for a recording session, her publicist said.
The Irish group, which combined indie guitar with O‘Riordan’s distinctive Irish lilt and yoddle, shot to fame with hits like Linger and Zombie to become one of the most successful bands of the 1990s, selling over 40 million records.
“Irish and international singer Dolores O’Riordan has died suddenly in London today,” publicist Lindsey Holmes said in a statement, adding that no further details were present at the moment.
“Family members are devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time,” Holmes said. O‘Riordan, who had three children, was recently divorced.
Holmes said O’Riordan died after travelling to London for a short recording session, but she declined to comment on the possible cause of death.
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 spokesperson said. “At this early stage it is being treated as unexplained and inquiries continue.”
The London Hilton on Park Lane confirmed “with deep regret” that an unnamed guest had “sadly passed away” at its hotel.
“Team members acted swiftly to alert the Metropolitan Police and we are co-operating fully with their investigation,” a spokeswoman said.
O‘Riordan struggled at times with fame after the spectacular success of the Cranberries 1993 debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? cutting short a tour in 1996 citing exhaustion and disillusionment.
The official Cranberries website often cited “medical reasons associated with a back problem” preventing singer Dolores O’Riordan from performing.
She left the Cranberries in 2003 and recorded two solo albums, before the band reformed in 2009.
In 2015 O‘Riordan pleaded guilty to headbutting and spitting at an Irish police officer following an alleged air rage incident.
She was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2015, which she said explained why she was in a “manic” state. In an interview in 2013, she said that she had been abused as a child, which led to her developing an eating disorder, and eventually she suffered a breakdown.
She described her family, especially her children, as her “salvation”.
O’Riordan married Don Burton, former tour manager of Duran Duran, in 1994 but the couple, who had three children together, divorced in 2014.
British 1980s band 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 Cranberries, the second best selling Irish band after U2, last year cancelled a number of concerts in North American and Europe, saying O‘Riordan was suffering from back problems.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar was among the first to pay tributes, calling O’Riordan “the voice of a generation”.
“For anyone who grew up in Ireland in the 1990s, the Cranberries were an iconic band, who captured all of the angst that came with your teenage years,” he said in a statement.
“Her voice and her contribution to music will be remembered far beyond her native county for many years to come.”