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'We are crushed': Duran Duran, James Corden, more react to death of Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan

The multi-platinum 'Zombie' and 'Linger' singer, who had strong Canadian ties, died suddenly at 46

The multi-platinum 'Zombie' and 'Linger' singer, who had strong Canadian ties, died suddenly at 46

Former Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan performs solo material from 2009's "No Baggage". (Ryan Couldrey/CBC)

Fans of multi-platinum band the Cranberries are shocked to hear the news that lead singer Dolores O'Riordan has died suddenly. She was just 46.

O'Riordan was reportedly in London for a short recording session. Her publicist released a short statement confirming her death, saying "No further details are available at this time. Family members are devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time."

The Cranberries were a mainstay of the early-'90s music scene, with their debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? selling over 40 million copies worldwide. Singles including "Zombie" and "Linger" were ubiquitous in cafés, shops, film soundtracks and on the radio.

In 2017 the band announced a reunion tour, but it was cancelled due to O'Riordan's health issues; the official website cited "a back problem." The singer also suffered from bi-polar disorder. 

Just last month, O'Riordan tweeted that she was feeling good and performed a few songs at the Billboard staff holiday party in New York. 

O'Riordan was originally from Limerick, Ireland, but she later married Canadian Don Burton and for a time lived with him and their three kids in a cabin in Northern Ontario. The pair split in 2014. 

"I'm always writing — it's part of you, it's part of your soul, of who you are. It's a gift you are given," said the singer in a 2009 interview with CBC. In it, she talked about how the Ontario bush had been an inspiration, and that she had seen foxes, bears and wolves, and loved being surrounded by trees.

Now condolences are pouring in from performers and fans alike. "We are crushed to hear the news about the passing of Dolores O'Riordan," wrote Duran Duran on Twitter. "Our thoughts go out to her family at this terrible time."

"My first time hearing Dolores O'Riordan's voice was unforgettable," wrote Hozier. "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."

"I once met Delores O'Riordan when I was 15," wrote comedian and TV host James Corden. "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."

Questlove, Margaret Cho and Liz Phair were among the other high-profile performers to comment on the sudden loss.

In her final tweets, O'Riordan says she's on her way to Toronto to visit her "babies," and then was on her way back to Ireland.

About the Author

Jennifer Van Evra is a Vancouver-based journalist and digital producer for q. She can be found on Twitter @jvanevra or email jennifer.vanevra@cbc.ca.

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