Dolores O’Riordan was an Irish singer, songwriter and musician.
She was the lead vocalist for the rock band The Cranberries from 1990 until their dissolution in 2003 and again from 2009 until her death in 2018.
Her first solo album, Are You Listening?, was released in 2007.
Dolores O’Riordan won numerous awards throughout her career, including two Grammy Awards, four World Music Awards, and five MTV Europe Music Awards.
O’Riordan was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2015.
O’Riordan was an outspoken advocate for animal rights and a vegetarian. She was also a supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
O’Riordan was known for her lilting mezzo-soprano voice and her distinctive Irish accent.
She is widely remembered as one of the most important and influential Irish singers of the 20th century.
Dolores O’Riordan: Her Childhood
Dolores O’Riordan was born on September 6, 1971, in Ballybricken, County Limerick, Ireland. She was the youngest of nine children.
Her father, Terence, worked as a farmhand, while her mother, Eileen, was a homemaker.
The family was quite poor and often struggled to make ends meet.
O’Riordan’s parents were both very musical and encouraged their children to pursue their talents.
O’Riordan began singing and playing the piano at a young age. She later took up the guitar and began writing her own songs.
The Cranberries Debut Album: Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?
In 1990, O’Riordan auditioned for the Irish rock band The Cranberries. She was immediately recruited as the lead singer.
The band released their debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?, in 1993.
The album was a commercial success, selling over five million copies in the United States alone.
It was also a critical success, receiving positive reviews from music critics.
NME called it “a record of rare beauty and intelligence” while Rolling Stone praised its “clear-eyed vision.”
The album has been cited as an influence by many subsequent artists.
The album was recorded over a period of six weeks in Dublin, Ireland, and London, England.
The Cranberries began recording the album in January 1992 with producer Stephen Street, who had previously worked with The Smiths.
The majority of the album was recorded at Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin; additional sessions were held at Broadhurst Gardens in London.
The album’s title comes from a line in the song “Linger”, which O’Riordan has said is about “the physical side of a relationship and how when you first get involved with somebody, it’s all new and exciting and you can’t keep your hands off each other”.
The album’s artwork was designed by Ciaran Byrne and includes a photograph of O’Riordan taken by Adrian Boot.
“Linger” was the first single released from the album, and it became the band’s breakthrough hit, reaching number three on the US Billboard Hot 100.
“Dreams” was also a successful single, peaking at number eight on the charts.
The Cranberries Second Album: No Need To Argue
The album was a commercial success, debuting at number one in Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 in the United States.
It is The Cranberries’ best-selling album to date with 18 million copies sold worldwide.
The album was recorded in Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin from March to May 1994. The album was produced by Stephen Street, who also worked on the band’s debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?.
The first single from the album was “Zombie”. The song was written by Dolores O’Riordan in memory of two boys who were killed in an IRA bombing in Warrington, England in 1993.
The song became an international hit, and peaked at number one in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and New Zealand.
In the United States, the song peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance.
The second single from the album was “Ode to My Family”. The song was written by O’Riordan and is about her childhood growing up in Ireland.
The song peaked at number four in Australia, Belgium and Germany, and number seven in the United Kingdom.
The third single from the album was “Ridiculous Thoughts”. The song was written by O’Riordan and is about an ex-boyfriend of hers.
The song peaked at number eight in Australia and the United Kingdom, and number nine in Belgium.
The fourth single from the album was “I Can’t Be with You”. The song was written by O’Riordan and is about her then-boyfriend, and now husband, Don Burton. The song peaked at number three in Australia and the United Kingdom.
The fifth and final single from the album was “Empty”. The song was written by O’Riordan and is about loneliness and isolation.
The song peaked at number 19 in the United Kingdom.
The album was certified six times platinum in Australia, five times platinum in the United States, four times platinum in Canada and three times platinum in the United Kingdom.
In 1995, the album won an MTV Europe Music Award for Best Album.
Dolores O’Riordan: ‘Zombie’ The Story & Meaning Behind The Cranberries Biggest Hit
The song is about the 1993 Warrington bomb attacks, which killed two children.
On 20 March 1993, two bombs were detonated in Warrington, Cheshire, England. The first bomb exploded at 12:27 pm on a busy Saturday afternoon in the town centre, outside of a Boots store.
The second bomb exploded two hours later at a gas station on the outskirts of town.
A total of five people were killed in the attacks, including two children: three-year-old Johnathan Ball and twelve-year-old Tim Parry.
More than 60 people were injured.
The Warrington bomb attacks were carried out by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in an attempt to destabilize the British government’s peace talks with Northern Ireland. The bombings sparked widespread outrage in the UK and led to a temporary halt in the peace process.
In an interview, O’Riordan said that she wrote the song as a way to express her anger and frustration at the violence of the IRA.
She has said that the song is meant to be but a plea for peace and understanding.
The lyrics of “Zombie” describe the pain and grief of those affected by the Warrington bombings.
The first verse is from the perspective of Johnathan Ball’s mother, who is struggling to comprehend the senseless loss of her child.
The second verse is from the perspective of Tim Parry’s father, who is angry and filled with hate.
The chorus pleads for an end to the violence.
The song became an anthem for the Irish peace process.
“Zombie” was released as a single in October 1994, reaching No. 1 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart and No. 6 on the UK Singles Chart.
The song has sold over one million copies in the United States and has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
“Zombie” remains one of The Cranberries’ best-known songs, and its lyrics continue to resonate with those affected by violence and terrorism.
In 2018, following O’Riordan’s death, the song re-entered the UK Singles Chart at No. 21, making it the band’s highest-charting single in the UK.
In 2020, it became the first Irish song to be viewed more than a billion times on YouTube, and, as of 2022, it’s the most streamed Irish song on Spotify.
The song has been covered by a number of artists, including Bad Wolves, who released their version as a single in 2018.
The song was used in the 2016 film Suicide Squad and featured on its soundtrack album.
Dolores O’Riordan: Marriage to Husband Don Burton
Dolores O’Riordan was married to Don Burton, a tour manager for Duran Duran, from 1994 until their divorce in 2014.
The couple met when The Cranberries toured as the opening act for Duran Duran’s US tour in the early 1990s.
The couple had three children together: Taylor, Molly, and Dakota.
O’Riordan was in a relationship with Olé Koretsky, a member of the band D.A.R.K., from 2015 until her death in 2018.
Dolores O’Riordan: Her Children
Dolores O’Riordan was survived by her three children: Taylor, Molly and Dakota.
Dolores O’Riordan: Cause of Death
The Irish singer was found dead in a hotel room in London on January 15, 2018.
She was 46 years old.
The cause of death was not immediately known, but her family said she had been suffering from health problems for some time.
Dolores O’Riordan: Autopsy Results
The cause of death has been determined to be drowning.
The autopsy, which was conducted at St. Thomas’ Hospital, showed that O’Riordan had consumed alcohol prior to her death.
However, the exact cause of death was determined to be drowning.
The coroner’s report stated that there was no evidence of foul play and that O’Riordan’s death was an accident.
Dolores O’Riordan: Funereal
The funeral for Dolores O’Riordan was a sombre and emotional affair.
The Cranberries singer was remembered by her family, friends, and fans as a kind and gentle soul with a gift for music. Her death has left a gaping hole in the lives of those who loved her.
The service was held at Saint Ailbe’s Church in her hometown of Limerick, Ireland. The church was packed with mourners, many of whom had travelled from all over the world to pay their respects.
The funeral mass was led by Father Brendan Hoban, a close friend of the family. In his homily, he spoke of Dolores’ kindness, her love for her children, and her passion for music. He also spoke of the pain her death has caused, and how difficult it is to say goodbye to someone so loved.
The Cranberries performed several of their hits during the service, including “Linger” and “Dreams.” The band was joined by Dolores’ solo keyboardist, Mike Hogan, for a stirring rendition of “The Glory of Love.”
Dolores’ children, Taylor and Dakota, gave readings during the mass. They spoke of their mother’s love for them, and how much she meant to them.
At the end of the service, Dolores’ sister, Angela, spoke to the assembled mourners. She thanked everyone for their support, and asked that we remember her sister not just for her music, but for the kind and wonderful person she was.
Dolores O’Riordan: Grave
Dolores O’riordan is buried next to her father in her hometown in Ballybricken, Ireland.
Dolores O’Riordan Net Worth
Dolores O’Riordan’s net worth was estimated to be $30 million at the time of her death.
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