The Cranberries singer died suddenly earlier today (January 15)
The Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan must have one of the most distinctive voices in pop history. As soon as you hear her broad Limerick accent lilting and yodelling over a song, you instantly know who it is singing, be that in her work with the ’90s band or on her own solo releases. That compelling, unique voice is undoubtedly what made the likes of ‘Linger’ and ‘Zombie’ – two of The Cranberries’ biggest hits – even more special.
It might have been years since The Cranberries were at their commercial peak, but O’Riordan’s influence on younger generations was evidently still going strong. When news broke of her sudden death earlier today (January 15), newer artists like MUNA and Maggie Rogers were among the first to pay heartfelt tribute to the star. “Dolores O’Riordan’s voice helped my find my place in the world,” wrote Rogers. “Blasting linger a little louder today.”
Another fine way to remember the singer is to give this gorgeous acoustic session a watch. In 2012, a reunited Cranberries took part in NPR’s long-running Tiny Desk Concert series, where they performed a short set in the NPR Music offices and played classic tracks (‘Linger’, ‘Ode To My Family’), new album cuts (‘Tomorrow’, ‘Raining In My Heart’), and even took requests (‘Zombie’).
In the footage, O’Riordan is relaxed, accommodating, and on fine form. Her one-of-a-kind vocals sound as rich and powerful as ever – just check out the way she belts out the chorus of ‘Zombie’, and then immediately dips back to softer register. It’s a beautiful example of just how great a performer and artist the singer was. Rest in peace, Dolores.