Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of the Irish band the Cranberries, died Monday in London. She was 46. The Cranberries’ Noel and Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawler said, “We are devastated on the passing of our friend Dolores. She was an extraordinary talent and we feel very privileged to have been part of her life from 1989 when we started the Cranberries. The world has lost a true artist today.”
The Irish Times notes that the Cranberries were forced to cancel tour dates in 2017 due to O’Riordan’s ill health; the band cited “medical reasons associated with a back problem.” O’Riordan had also been diagnosed as bi-polar in 2014.
President of Ireland Michael Higgins said in a statement, “It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Dolores O’Riordan, musician, singer and song writer. Dolores O’Riordan and The Cranberries had an immense influence on rock and pop music in Ireland and internationally. 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. To all those who follow and support Irish music, Irish musicians and the performing arts her death will be a big loss.”
“The band are floored but it’s of course her family we’re all thinking of right now,” U2 said in a statement. “Out of the West came this storm of a voice – she had such strength of conviction, yet she could speak to the fragility in all of us. Limerick’s ‘Bel canto.'”
She was raised as a Catholic. Her mother chose her daughter’s name in honour of Our Lady of the Dolours. Ms O’Riordan admired Pope John Paul II. After meeting him, Ms O’Riordan said: “(He) was lovely, very saintly. I was mad about him. I thought he really cared for the poor and he loved to meet the people. I saw him when he came to Limerick, when I was a kid. So it was pretty mindblowing to take my mum out to meet him.” She met Pope John Paul II twice, in 2001 and 2002.
She performed at the invitation of Pope Francis in 2013 at the Vatican’s Christmas concert. Ms O’Riordan said in 2013 her faith as one of her greatest musical influences. “The Church influenced a lot of my development as an artist and as a musician. I learned an awful lot of my music through the church and stuff like that. For me It’s always been a good thing, a positive thing in my life,” she said.
To read the Rolling Stone article, click HERE.
To read the Catholic Leader article, click HERE.