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Dolores O'Riordan Has Died

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When I prepped to interview Dolores O'Riordan last year, I learned that she had been through some horrors, and often retreated from public view. This 2013 piece in the Ireland Independent is particularly troubling, as she reveals years of abuse from ages 8-12.

In the magazine archives, a pattern emerged where the British press, once smitten with her, became harshly critical when The Cranberries took more of a political turn on their 1994 album No Need To Argue - the one with "Zombie." At the end of the decade, she suffered debilitating panic attacks, forcing her out of action.

She spent much of the '00s raising her three children; after making a Cranberries album in 2001 (Wake Up And Smell The Coffee), they didn't make another until 2012 (Roses). 

It was great to see her emerge with another project last year - a Cranberries album called Something Else recorded with the Irish Chamber Orchestra. When I spoke with her in April, it seemed she was mired in melancholy. She was polite, but it was clear she did not want to talk - even about her songs. I asked one question after another, every time getting an answer that would last seconds, with no further explanation. She felt no need to fill the silences. In fact, that's when she seemed most comfortable.

Knowing her history, I simply tried to remind her how much her songs mean to so many people. Nothing seemed to move her.

That May, she set out on tour with The Cranberries, but it was cancelled after a few shows, with management citing her back problems. She made some appearances at the end of last year, including a corporate party for Billboard in December, which sadly appears to be her last performance.


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