The young Dolores O’Riordan: ‘Shy and wild, then that voice would explode’

Contemporaries remember the quiet school girl who became ‘Limerick's superstar’

Irish Times Culture Editor Hugh Linehan looks back at the life of Dolores O'Riordan, the shy Limerick girl who went on to achieve global success as a songwriter and lead singer with The Cranberries.

Much has been written about Dolores O’Riordan since her sudden death this week, at the age of 46, in a hotel room in London. For a lot of people the outpouring of appreciation for her is a case of Big Yellow Taxi: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone .”

The Cranberries and O’Riordan occupied a particular position in Ireland. She was a megastar in the US, but O’Riordan and her band were never fully embraced on this side of the Atlantic. What’s also notable is the number of people who didn’t actually know O’Riordan. The Cranberries were never embedded in the Irish music industry, and didn’t have the same tight relationships with the promoters, journalists, managers and PRs who tend to orbit successful Irish acts.

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