Dolores O’Riordan’s unmistakable voice was the sound of the ’90s, a voice that many grew up with and one which shaped childhoods. At the tip of our tongues were the lyrics to songs like “Linger” and “Zombie” from The Cranberries, where O’Riordan was the lead singer. No karaoke session would be complete without belting out to these tunes, attempting to hit the notes and mimic O’Riordan’s yodel-like tone.
But then again, not many could replicate her voice. It was one of a kind. Memorable. Iconic, even. And when news of O’Riordan’s passing hit the stands (and social media timelines), tremendous shock hit the hearts of fans and the music industry. The news spread like wildfire, with fans and celebrities clamouring to share stories of how she impacted their lives. Radio stations followed suit with musical tribute segments, reminiscing her angelically unique voice.
Celebrities and those close to O’Riordan were among the first ones to express their heartfelt condolences, including Irish President Michael D. Higgins, who released a statement on her passing:
“It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Dolores O’Riordan, musician, singer and songwriter. 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.”
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.
Noel, Mike and Fergal
— The Cranberries (@The_Cranberries) January 15, 2018
I once met Delores O’Riordan when I was 15. She was kind and lovely, I got her autograph on my train ticket and it made my day. She had the most amazing voice and presence. So sorry to hear that she’s passed away today x
— James Corden (@JKCorden) January 15, 2018
Shocked and heartbroken over Dolores O’Riordan’s death. The Cranberries were pinnacle in showing me that it was possible to fully embrace masculine and feminine energy in one cohesive sound. She was a true pioneer 💔
— Foster The People (@fosterthepeople) January 15, 2018
Absolutely shocked to hear about the passing of Dolores O'Riordan! @The_Cranberries gave us our first big support when we toured with them around France years ago! Thoughts are with her family and friends
— Kodaline (@Kodaline) January 15, 2018
My first time hearing Dolores O'Riordan's voice was unforgettable. It threw into question what a voice could sound like in that context of Rock. I'd never heard somebody use their instrument in that way. Shocked and saddened to hear of her passing, thoughts are with her family.
— Hozier (@Hozier) January 15, 2018
It was not long after that tributes started pouring in from fans in Malaysia too. For many, it started as an ordinary day, especially for those who have The Cranberries on their daily playlist. Some expressed disbelief over her sudden death:
I was listening to #TheCranberries on my way to work just now…
Just found out on the passing of Dolores O’Riordan. #RIP
— Naz (@nazzreen) January 16, 2018
Was just listening and singing along to Zombie yesterday. Woke up today to the news of Dolores O’Riordan’s passing. #RIPDoloresORiordan Thank you for those great tunes. 🙏
— Farouk Zainol Kamal (@farouqq) January 15, 2018
RIP Dolores O'Riordan. 'Ode to My Family' sounds even more despondent with your passing. Thank you for sharing your unique voice.
— Elida Bustaman (@mokciknab) January 16, 2018
There’s No Need to Argue anymore. She was one of the best. May her art continue to Linger on. Rest in peace and hoping that The daffodils look lovely today wherever you are ❤️#Dolores #TheCranberries @thecranberries https://t.co/rVob7MPsrJ
— Julian Fernandez (@JulianLDoses) January 16, 2018
Others took the time to share their personal stories and memories they had of her songs and her signature voice.
the first cd i owned, (which i won in a contest) was Now Thats what i call music. It had Zombie on. I think i drew my mum mad everytime she drove me to school. Her car is the only one with a cd player in the household n i played it every morning fr a yearhttps://t.co/r2m9V3GNO3
— morpheuse (@morpheuse) January 15, 2018
I remembered the first song I’ve ever learn to play on an electric guitar fully was Zombie by The Cranberries years ago. May Dolores O’Riordan rest in peace and thank you for creating such wonderful music all these years.
— サンティ | Yanno (@santiezyan) January 15, 2018
Waktu sekolah rendah dulu, selain dengar heavy metal, punk dan grunge, album ni jugak banyak bagi nostalgia dalam hidup aku. RIP Dolores O'Riordanhttps://t.co/dUzxDQa42l
— nizamnuri (@nizamnuri) January 15, 2018
(Translation: In primary school, besides listening to heavy metal, punk, and grunge, this album is also very nostalgic. RIP Dolores O’Riordan)
O’Riordan died suddenly in London on Monday, January 15, at the age of 46. The Irish singer’s death was confirmed by her publicist, adding that she was in London for a short recording session.
London Metropolitan Police spokesperson said they received a call to head to a hotel in Park Lane as “a woman in her mid-40s” was pronounced dead. They also confirmed that her death is not being treated as suspicious. No cause of death has been revealed.
O’Riordan’s family members have also requested for privacy following news of her death.
In the meantime, here’s a playlist to keep her memory alive and linger on.