Dolores O'Riordan

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Dolores O'Riordan
The Cranberries en Barcelona 2.jpg
O'Riordan performing in Barcelona in 2010
Born Dolores Mary Eileen O'Riordan
(1971-09-06)6 September 1971
Ballybricken, County Limerick, Ireland
Died 15 January 2018(2018-01-15) (aged 46)
Mayfair, London, England
  • Singer
  • musician
  • songwriter
Spouse(s) Don Burton
(m. 1994; div. 2014)
Partner(s) Olé Koretsky
Children 3
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • keyboards
  • bass
Years active 1990–2018
Associated acts
Dolores O'Riordan Signature 2.jpg

Dolores Mary Eileen O'Riordan (/ˈrɪərdən/; 6 September 1971 – 15 January 2018) was an Irish musician and singer-songwriter. She led the rock band the Cranberries for 13 years before the band took a break starting in 2003, reuniting in 2009.[1]

Her first solo album, Are You Listening?, was released in May 2007 and was followed up by No Baggage in 2009. O'Riordan was known for her lilting mezzo-soprano voice,[2] her emphasized use of yodelling and for her strong Limerick accent.[3] She appeared as a judge on RTÉ's The Voice of Ireland during the 2013–14 season. In April 2014, O'Riordan joined and began recording new material with the trio D.A.R.K.

O'Riordan died unexpectedly on 15 January 2018, aged 46, while she was in London, England, for a recording session.

Early life[edit]

Dolores Mary Eileen O'Riordan was born and brought up in Ballybricken, a town in County Limerick, Ireland. She was born as the youngest of nine children (two of whom died in infancy) and one of two girls in the family.[4] Her six siblings include Terence, Brendan, Donal, PJ, Joseph and Angela.[5] Her father, Terence Patrick "Terry" O’Riordan (1937–2011),[5] was a farm labourer who was left unable to work due to brain damage caused by a motorbike accident in 1968. [4] Her mother, Eileen, was a school caterer. She attended Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ school in Limerick.[6][7]

In 2013 O'Riordan described how, from the age of eight, she was sexually abused for four years by someone she trusted.[8]


The Cranberries[edit]

The Cranberries performing at the Roxy Bar show at Bologna, 1995

In 1990 O'Riordan auditioned for and won the role of lead singer for a band called the Cranberry Saw Us (later changed to the Cranberries).[9] The band released five albums: Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? (1993), No Need to Argue (1994), To the Faithful Departed (1996), Bury the Hatchet (1999) and Wake Up and Smell the Coffee (2001) and a greatest-hits compilation entitled Stars: The Best of 1992–2002 (2002), before they went on hiatus in 2003.[10]

O'Riordan has been recognized as a style icon, sporting a pixie cut or buzzed hair in the 1990s.[11]

In January 2009, the University Philosophical Society (Trinity College, Dublin) invited The Cranberries to reunite for a concert celebrating O'Riordan's appointment as an honorary member of the Society, which led the band members to consider reuniting for a tour and a recording session.[12][13][14] On 25 August 2009, while promoting her solo album No Baggage in New York City on 101.9 RXP radio, O'Riordan announced the reunion of the Cranberries for a world tour. The tour began in North America in mid-November, followed by South America in mid-January 2010 and Europe in March 2010.[15] Also touring with the original members of The Cranberries was Denny DeMarchi, who played the keyboard for O'Riordan's solo albums.[16]

The band played songs from O'Riordan's solo albums, many of the Cranberries' classics, as well as new songs the band had been working on. On 9 June 2010 The Cranberries performed at the Special Olympics opening ceremony at Thomond Park in Limerick. This was the first time the band had performed in their native city in over 15 years.[17]

On 26 May 2016, the band announced that they planned to start a tour in Europe. The first show was held on 3 June.[18]

Solo career[edit]

In 2004, she appeared with the Italian artist Zucchero on the album Zu & Co., with the song "Pure Love". The album also featured other artists such as Sting, Sheryl Crow, Luciano Pavarotti, Miles Davis, John Lee Hooker, Macy Gray and Eric Clapton. The same year she worked with composer Angelo Badalamenti of Twin Peaks fame on the Evilenko soundtrack, providing vocals on several tracks, including "Angels Go to Heaven", the movie's theme song.[19][20]

In 2005, she appeared on the Jam & Spoon's album Tripomatic Fairytales 3003 as a guest vocalist on the track "Mirror Lover".[21] O'Riordan also made a cameo appearance in the Adam Sandler comedy Click, released on 23 June 2006, as a wedding singer performing an alternate version of The Cranberries' song "Linger", set to strings. Her first single, "Ordinary Day", was produced by BRIT Awards winner, Youth, whose previous credits include The Verve, Embrace, Primal Scream, U2 and Paul McCartney.[22] O'Riordan made an appearance live on The Late Late Show on 20 April 2007.[23]

O'Riordan promoting her debut solo album Are You Listening? in 2007

Are You Listening? was released in the Republic of Ireland in 4 May 2007, in Europe on 7 May, and in North America on 15 May. "Ordinary Day" was its first single, released in late April. The video for "Ordinary Day" was shot in Prague. In August "When We Were Young" was released as the second single from the album.[24][25]

In 2006, O'Riordan was listed among the 10 richest women in Ireland.[26]

On 19 November 2007, she cancelled the remainder of her European Tour (Lille, Paris, Luxembourg, Warsaw and Prague) due to illness.[27] In December she performed in a few small American clubs, including Des Moines, Nashville, and a well-received free show in Charlottesville, Virginia.[28] Her second album, No Baggage, featuring 11 tracks, was released in August 2009.[29]

In 2008, O'Riordan won an EBBA Award. Every year the European Border Breakers Awards recognise the success of ten emerging artists or groups who reached audiences outside their own countries with their first internationally released album in the past year.[30]

She appeared as a judge on RTÉ's The Voice of Ireland during the 2013–14 season.[31]


O'Riordan began recording new material with JETLAG, a collaboration between Andy Rourke of The Smiths and Ole Koretsky, in April 2014. They then formed a trio under the name D.A.R.K. Their first album, Science Agrees, was released in September 2016.[32][33]

Personal life[edit]

On 18 July 1994, O'Riordan married Don Burton, the former tour manager of Duran Duran, at Holy Cross Abbey in Tipperary County. The couple had three children. In 1998, the couple bought a 61-hectare (150-acre) stud farm, called Riversfield Stud, located in Kilmallock, County Limerick, selling it in 2004. They then moved to Howth, County Dublin, and spent summers in a log cabin in Buckhorn, Ontario, Canada.[34][35] In 2009, the family moved full-time to Buckhorn.[36]

In August 2013, she returned to live in Ireland. She and Burton ended their relationship in late 2014 after 20 years together.[37] They later divorced.[38]

Dolores O'Riordan and Luciano Pavarotti during their Ave Maria performance in September 1995

O'Riordan was raised as a Roman Catholic. Her mother is a devout Catholic who chose her daughter's name in reference to the Lady of the Seven Dolours.[39] She admired Pope John Paul II,[40] whom she met twice, in 2001 and 2002.[41] She performed at the invitation of Pope Francis in 2013 at the Vatican's annual Christmas concert.[42] In September 1995, Dolores performed Ave Maria along with Luciano Pavarotti; Princess Diana, who attended to the live performance, told O'Riordan that the song brought her to tears.[43]

In November 2014, O'Riordan was arrested and charged in connection with air rage on an Aer Lingus flight from New York to Shannon. During the flight she grew verbally and physically abusive with crew. When police were arresting her after landing, she resisted, reminding them her taxes paid their wages and shouting "I'm the Queen of Limerick! I'm an icon!", headbutting one Garda officer and spitting at another.[44] Later she told the media that she had been stressed from living in New York hotels following the end of her 20-year marriage.[45] The judge hearing her case agreed to dismiss all charges if she apologised in writing to those she injured and contributed €6,000 to the court poor box.[44]

In May 2017, she publicly discussed her bipolar disorder, which she said had been diagnosed two years earlier.[46] That same month, the Cranberries cited her back problems as the reason for cancelling the second part of the group's European tour. In late 2017, O'Riordan said she was recovering and performed at a private event.[47][48]


On 15 January 2018, at the age of 46, while in London for a recording session, O'Riordan died unexpectedly at the London Hilton on Park Lane hotel in Mayfair.[31][49] The cause of death was not immediately made public;[50] police said it was not being treated as suspicious.[51] The coroner's office said the results of its inquiry would not be revealed until April at the earliest.[52]

Irish President Michael D. Higgins was one of the first to pay tribute.[53] Other early tributes came in from across the music world, including Dave Davies (of the Kinks), Hozier and Kodaline.[54] The Taoiseach of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, also paid tribute to O’Riordan.[55]

Funeral plans include a service reserved for extended family and close friends,[56] followed by burial alongside her father in Friarstown, County Limerick.[57][58]

Solo discography[edit]


Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
Are You Listening?
  • Released: 4 May 2007
  • Label: Sanctuary
  • Formats: CD, digital download
15 38 11 39 2 10 28 77
No Baggage 80 75 30 77 6 25
  • Europe: 30,000[64]
"—" denotes items that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
2004 "Pure Love" (with Zucchero) Zu & Co.
2007 "Ordinary Day" 50 2 Are You Listening?
"When We Were Young"
2009 "The Journey" No Baggage
"Switch Off the Moment"
"—" denotes items that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Other appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Bray, Allison (23 February 2012). "Why it's all smelling of 'Roses' for the Cranberries". Irish Independent. 
  2. ^ Roberts, Lauren. "Singing Lessons Carrum Bayside". Vocal studio. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Dolores O'Riordan – 'I went nuts. I was so lonely all that time'". The Independent. London. 12 June 2009. She is also on the brink of releasing her second solo album in August, No Baggage, which still bears her inimitably lyrical, Limerick-accented voice, but with softer and brighter lilts than with The Cranberries. 
  4. ^ a b Quinn, Trevor; Hughes, Edel (15 January 2018). "The highs and lows of Limerick superstar Dolores O'Riordan's life". Irish Mirror. 
  5. ^ a b Egan, Berry (27 November 2011). "Terence O'Riordan, father of Cranberries singer, dies". The Independent Ireland. 
  6. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (16 January 2018). "Dolores O'Riordan obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
  7. ^ "The Secret History of the Cranberries", Hot Press, archived from the original on 9 March 2003 
  8. ^ Chiu, Melody (15 January 2018). "Sexual Abuse, Depression and a Prior Suicide Attempt: Inside Dolores O'Riordan's Difficult Life". People. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
  9. ^ Canfield, David. "The Cranberries frontwoman Dolores O'Riordan dies suddenly at 46". Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  10. ^ Izadi, Elahe (15 January 2018). "Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of the Cranberries, dies at 46". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  11. ^ Fredette, Megan (15 January 2018). "Dolores O'Riordan, Singer In The Cranberries, Dead At 46". Refinery29. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  12. ^ "The Reunited Cranberries Trinity.." Showbiz Ireland. 12 January 2009. Archived from the original on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2018. 
  13. ^ Bray, Allison (23 February 2012). "Why it's all smelling of 'Roses' for the Cranberries". 
  14. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (4 April 2010). "The Cranberries". The Guardian. 
  15. ^ The Cranberries reunion tour (press release), My Space, archived from the original (World Wide Web log) on 9 July 2012 
  16. ^ "Denny DeMarchi", Myspace (profile) 
  17. ^ "Cranberries return for Special Olympics". The Irish Times. 29 April 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  18. ^ "The Cranberries to play "Fête du bruit dans Landerneau" in France". Cranberries World. 11 March 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  19. ^ a b Dolores O'Riordan & Angelo Badalamenti - Angels go to heaven. 7 November 2008. 
  20. ^ a b Dolores O'Riordan - The Woodstrip/There's No Way Out. 25 September 2011. 
  21. ^ a b Jam & Spoon (feat. Dolores O'Riordan) - "Mirror Lover". 25 February 2012. 
  22. ^ "Are You Listening?: Music". Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  23. ^ Dolores O'Riordan - RTE Late Late Show - April 2007 - Part 1. 26 April 2007. 
  24. ^ "Zombieguide News » News archive » "Ordinary Day" 1st single, aired on…". 9 February 2013. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  25. ^ "Billboard News". Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  26. ^ Naughton, Philippe (2 May 2004). "Profile: Dolores O'Riordan: Steely diva who doesn't want fame to linger". The Sunday Times. London, UK. Retrieved 20 November 2007. 
  27. ^ "Dolores O'Riordan annule sa tournée pour raisons de santé". La Dépêche (in French). 19 November 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  28. ^ Spencer, Hawes (6 December 2007). "'Mesmerizing': O'Riordan gives it away at Gravity". The Hook. Charlottesville. Retrieved 24 February 2008. 
  29. ^ "Dolores O'Riordan, 'No Baggage'". The Boston Globe. 24 August 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  30. ^ "Winners of the 2011 European Border Breakers' Awards announced" (Press release). European Commission. 
  31. ^ a b "Dolores O'Riordan suddenly dies in London". RTE news. 15 January 2018. Archived from the original on 15 January 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
  32. ^ "D.A.R.K. - Science Agrees". RTÉ News. 13 September 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  33. ^ Healy, Pat (3 September 2016). "D.A.R.K., Science Agrees". Putchfork. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  34. ^ "Cranberries reunion lures O'Riordan from Ontario cabin". CBC News. Canada: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 28 August 2009. Archived from the original on 3 September 2009. 
  35. ^ "Dolores O'Riordan" (Biography). Ireland. Archived from the original on 15 January 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2010. 
  36. ^ Stevenson, Jane (2 September 2009). "Ex-Cranberries singer planning to live here full-time". The Peterborough Examiner. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
  37. ^ "Cranberries star Dolores 'very vulnerable' after splitting from husband of 20 years, her mother reveals". Irish Independent. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  38. ^ Clayton-Lea, Tony (15 January 2018). "Dolores O'Riordan: Success rested uneasily on the shoulders of influential singer". The Irish Times. Dublin. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
  39. ^ Kelly, Michael (17 January 2018). "Irish bishop recalls Cranberries' musician for her faith, inspiration". Crux. Catholic News Service. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
  40. ^ "Experience counts as Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan goes solo". The Independent. London, UK. 4 May 2007. Archived from the original on 22 April 2009. 
  41. ^ Kehoe, Michael (9 December 2013). "Cranberries star sings for the Pope at the Vatican". Irish Music Daily. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  42. ^ Sweeney, Ken (7 December 2013). "Dolores to sing at Vatican after meeting Pope". The Independent. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  43. ^ J-P, Mauro (January 15, 2018). "When the Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan sang 'Ave Maria' with Pavarotti". Aleteia. Retrieved January 18, 2018. 
  44. ^ a b Deegan, Gordon (24 February 2016). "Dolores O'Riordan told to pay €6,000 over 'air rage' incident". Irish Times. Retrieved 13 December 2017. 
  45. ^ Egan, Barry (14 December 2017). "'People look at you and see a product. They don't see a soul, but an empty hole' - Barry Egan speaks to Dolores O'Riordan". Irish Independent. Retrieved 13 December 2017. 
  46. ^ "The Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan, 45, on the band's new album, The Voice and being chased by a bear". Archived from the original on 16 September 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2017. 
  47. ^ "Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan dies suddenly aged 46". BBC News. 15 January 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  48. ^ Sheridan, Anne (24 May 2017). "Limerick band The Cranberries forced to cancel 14 tour dates". Lumerick Leader. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  49. ^ Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (15 January 2018). "Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan dies aged 46". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 17 January 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
  50. ^ Hosford, Paul (15 January 2018). "Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan dies aged 46". The Journal. Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
  51. ^ "Dolores O'Riordan: Police say death is not suspicious". BBC News. 16 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018. 
  52. ^ Kreps, Daniel (19 January 2018). "Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan: No Cause of Death Until At Least April". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 20 January 2018. 
  53. ^ "Tributes paid to Dolores O Riordan". Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  54. ^ Dolores O’Riordan, Cranberries lead singer, dies at age of 46. The Irish Times. Published 15 January 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  55. ^ De Burca, Demelza; Hughes, Edel (15 January 2018). "Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and The Cranberries pay tribute to the late Dolores O'Riordan". Irish Mirror. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  56. ^ Joshi, Priya (19 January 2018). "The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan to be buried at a private funeral service in Ireland". IB Times. Retrieved 20 January 2018. 
  57. ^ Curran, Sarah; Gibb, Jessica (January 19, 2018). "When is Dolores O'Riordan's funeral? Cranberries singer will be laid to rest next to her father in Limerick hometown". Daily Mirror. Retrieved January 20, 2018. 
  58. ^ Stroud, Carl (18 January 2018). "Tragic Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan to be buried next to her dad in hometown". The Sun. Retrieved 20 January 2018. 
  59. ^ a b "Discography Dolores O'Riordan". Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  60. ^ a b c d "Are You Listening? (Album)". Retrieved 15 January 2018. ; "No Baggage (Album)". Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  61. ^ a b "Dolores O'Riordan". Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  62. ^ "Dolores O'Riordan". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  63. ^ "Dolores O'Riordan". Billboard. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  64. ^ "New IMPALA Awards". IMPALA. 5 October 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  65. ^ Moose - Soon Is Never Soon Enough. 18 May 2010. 
  66. ^ Touch Of Oliver featuring Dolores O'Riordan - Carousel. 25 September 2011. 
  67. ^ "Биография солистки The Cranberries Долорес О'Риордан". РИА Новости (in Russian). 15 January 2018. 
  68. ^ "La Saga des Cranberries" (in French). RTL. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  69. ^ Kachelrieß, Andrea (16 January 2018). "Ihre Stimme machte The Cranberries unverwechselbar". Stuttgarter Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
  70. ^ Zucchero & Dolores O'riordan- Pure Love(sic). 12 December 2007. 
  71. ^ "Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries, dead at 46". New York Daily News. 15 January 2018. 
  72. ^ Giuliano Sangiorgi (ft. Dolores O'Riordan) - Senza Fiato + lyrics [Official Video HQ]. 4 February 2010. 
  73. ^ Dolores O'Riordan - Centipede Sisters. 24 September 2008. 
  74. ^ "Like a Puppet Show Double Vinyl". 26 November 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  75. ^ "7 of the best songs by The Cranberries". The Independent. 15 January 2018. 

External links[edit]