Music producer speaks of phone message with O’Riordan night before death

Band due to record with the singer ‘heartbroken’ after her sudden death

A band who were set to record a song with Dolores O’Riordan have said they are “heartbroken” the collaboration will not go ahead after the death of the Cranberries singer.

Hard rock band Bad Wolves were due to record a cover of Cranberries hit Zombie with O'Riordan on Tuesday.

The band posted a message on Facebook saying they were "shocked and saddened" at the news of O'Riordan's death at the age of 46.

The tribute from singer Tommy Vext said: "Zombie is an incredibly personal song and although we are a hard rock band, we always felt the rawness and honesty she projected on stage and in her recordings was something to which all bands should aspire to, regardless of genre.

“When we heard she liked our version and wanted to sing on it, it was the greatest compliment a new band, or any band for that matter, could have received.”

Music producer and friend Dan Waite also paid tribute to the singer, revealing she left him a message the night before the recording session in which she sounded "full of life".

He said: "Dolores left me a voice message just after midnight last night stating how much she loved Bad Wolves version of Zombie; she was looking forward to seeing me in the studio and recording vocals.

“She sounded full of life, was joking and excited to see me and and my wife this week. The news of her passing is devastating and my thoughts are with Don her ex-husband, her children, and her mother.”

The Cranberries have also said they are “devastated” at the death of their former band member, saying “the world has lost a true artist”.

The singer was found dead at a hotel on London's Park Lane.

O'Riordan, from Friarstown, Kilmallock, Co Limerick, was renowned for her distinctive singing voice and the Cranberries enjoyed huge success in the 1990s with tracks including Zombie and Linger.

The Limerick man who introduced O’Riordan to the band that would go on to be the Cranberries, said he will remember her as a “somewhat shy but very talented kid”.

Niall Quinn was the singer with the band Cranberry Saw Us in 1990 when he decided to leave. He said he knew the band wanted a new singer and mentioned this to a friend who put him in contact with Dolores O’Riordan.

“She came up and did a meet and greet. It wasn’t an audition. The band might have been auditioning for her as much as she was auditioning for them,” he said.

“I went along to play a few tunes, then she brought out a keyboard, she plugged it in and sang a Sinead O’Connor song. Everybody’s jaws just dropped, it was obvious that she had a superb voice with an amazing quality to it.

“That’s where my part in history ends, I walked out the door and left them to it.”

Mr Quinn told RTÉ's News at One the singer's shyness has been overstated as he always found her very friendly and personable.

“There was a warmth to her. She’d talk to you, lean over and put a hand on your forearm as if there was a big secret.”

He said within months the new band had their first gig at which they already had the songs Linger and Sunday. By the following spring "there were planeloads of A&R men coming to Limerick looking to sign them. The following summer again they'd gone to America to support Suede. By the end of the tour Suede were playing support to them."

Mr Quinn said he will remember her as “a somewhat shy but very talented kid who had insecurities for sure, but behind it all knew she could go a long way, and knew what she wanted to do. Fair play to her.” – with PA