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Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of the Cranberries, dies at 46

FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008 file photo, Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan performs during the European Border Breakers awards, or EBBA awards, in Cannes, southern France. O'Riordan, lead singer of Irish band The Cranberries, has died. She was 46, it was announced on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Bruno Bebert, File) LON125
FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008 file photo, Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan performs during the European Border Breakers awards, or EBBA awards, in Cannes, southern France. O'Riordan, lead singer of Irish band The Cranberries, has died. She was 46, it was announced on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Bruno Bebert, File) LON125
Published Jan. 15, 2018

Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of the Irish rock band the Cranberries, died Monday in London. She was 46.

Her death was announced by her publicist, who did not specify the cause.

"Irish and international singer Dolores O'Riordan has died suddenly in London today," Lindsey Holmes, the publicist, said in an emailed statement, adding that Ms. O'Riordan had been in London for a recording session.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said Monday that police were called to a Park Lane hotel in Westminster about 9:05 a.m. and that Ms. O'Riordan was pronounced dead at the scene. Her death is being treated as "unexplained," the spokeswoman said.

Ms. O'Riordan wrote lyrics and often music for the Cranberries' 1990s hits, including Linger (which remained on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 24 weeks) and Dreams, which proclaimed both vulnerability and steadfastness. She was the sole writer of the noisier, angrier Zombie, a response to an Irish Republican Army terrorist bombing in 1993.

In the band, her voice — high and breathy, but far more determined than fragile — rode atop a rich wash of electric guitars. Her unmistakable Irish accent and the Celtic inflections of her melodies gave her singing a plaintive individuality and a flinty core.

After Zombie, the Cranberries, who were formed in 1989, lost much of their pop audience as their late 1990s albums grew harsher and more concerned with sociopolitical messages than with love songs. The band disbanded in 2003.

Ms. O'Riordan was born Sept. 6, 1971, and grew up in the Ballybricken area of County Limerick, Ireland. In 1994, she married Don Burton, a former tour manager for Duran Duran; the couple divorced in 2014. She is survived by her three children, Taylor, Molly and Dakota, and her mother, Eileen O'Riordan.