Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of the iconic ‘90s Irish rock band The Cranberries, passed away earlier this week. She was 46. Her death was sudden, and is not being treated as suspicious, Scotland Yard announced Tuesday. A report from the coroner will soon be compiled.
London Police responded to a 9:00 a.m. call Monday and found the singer dead at a Hilton hotel. O’Riordan was in the U.K. capital to record a cover of The Cranberries’ beloved single “Zombie” with metal band Bad Wolves.
“We are shocked and saddened at the news of Dolores’s passing, mere hours before she was to record vocals on our upcoming version of Zombie,” Bad Wolves said in a statement following her death on Facebook. “We have always had deep respect for her as an artist and a vocalist and she was never afraid to bare her soul in her music and lyrics.” They also stated they hope they can “still make her proud” by releasing their cover of “Zombie.”
O’Riordan was known for her evocative voice and poetic, masterful songwriting; she was the only writer of the award-winning “Zombie” and wrote the lyrics for the band’s massive hit “Linger,” as well. She told the Irish Times that it was inspired by an incident with a guy she met at a club; he asked her to dance, and they kissed, but when they saw each other “at the next disco,” he started dancing with her friend instead.
“I was devastated. Everyone saw me being dumped, publicly, at the disco. Everything’s so dramatic when you’re 17, so I poured it into the song,” she explained.”
Years later, when O’Riordan was married, she said the man behind the song had the audacity to write a long letter saying that he’d figured out he was the song’s subject and hadn’t meant to hurt her feelings then. He asked, “Can we meet?”
She retorted: “‘It’s too late. You dumped me!’ I didn’t reply.”
Right on. Rest in power, Dolores.