Sad news today for fans of The Cranberries, the Irish band behind hits like "Zombie" and "Linger." Dolores O'Riordan has died at age 46, according to the Associated Press. Her publicist told the outlet that the singer died suddenly on the morning of Jan. 15 in London, where she had been recording. The cause of death was not immediately available, according to the report.
Rolling Stone published a similar statement, in which the publicist added that no further details were available surrounding the situation. "Family members are devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time," the publicist continued, according to Rolling Stone.
The President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, also issued a statement regarding the loss of O'Riordan, according to the same Rolling Stone piece. It reads:
"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."
Though The Cranberries saw most of their success in the 1990s, the band had released new music as recently as 2017, and was planning to tour, though those plans were on hold because O'Riordan was experiencing back pain, the same AP report states.
Once news of the singer's death hit, there was an outpouring on social media from both musicians and everyday people alike — all who had been touched by The Cranberries' music and O'Riordan's voice. The Cranberries' official Facebook page also put out a statement shortly after the news was made public, mostly echoing what had been stated by O'Riordan's publicist.
It's clear that O'Riordan was beloved in her community for not only her extremely unique and stirring voice, but her independent, fiery spirit. In a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone, when The Cranberries were perhaps at their peak, O'Riordan recalled growing up a tomboy, who never quite felt like she fit in. "My mom always had a softer spot for boys, as a lot of Irish women do," she told the outlet. "If you were a girl, you'd have to sing or wear a pretty dress. But boys could just sit there and be brilliant for sitting there and being boys. It makes you that little bit more forward. Pushy. I was singing, always."
She was beloved for how seriously she took the music — she wanted it to be as good as it could be while still remaining different and interesting, and she cared about what kind of show she put on for audiences. In the same 1995 interview, she lamented that perhaps it was "trendy" to be a part of "slob rock & roll," but that wasn't what she wanted to do. "I kind of take it more seriously than that," she said. "The way I see it, there's all these young people out there buying your CD, buying tickets to see your show, and you can't give nothing in return. You have to work, too."
It's clear the importance that O'Riordan held in the music community, not only in creating iconic music and songs that have endured for decades, but also in continuing to create space for badass women in rock and roll. Her absence is already felt, and will definitely leave a hole in the fabric of today's music industry.