The music world was rocked Monday by the unexpected death of the Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan at the age of 46. Following news of the singer’s death, famed producer Stephen Street, who worked with the Cranberries on their first two studio albums – 1993’s Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? and 1994’s No Need to Argue – penned a tribute to the singer he called “my Irish songbird” for Rolling Stone.
In the remembrance, Street notes how O’Riordan transitioned from “nervous” “shrinking wall flower” to rock stardom. “The transformation was incredible to say the least,” Street wrote. “Dolores gave so much of herself at the gigs and continued to do so over the next decade or so. Perhaps she could have tempered her behavior and been more measured but that wasn’t her way.”
Read Street’s tribute to O’Riordan below:
I first met Dolores when she was barely out of her teenage years at a show the Cranberries were playing at the Marquee club in London. Island Records had asked me to go along to see if I would be interested in working with them on recording their debut album.
Dolores was so nervous, she spent most of the gig singing sideways-on to the audience, unable to look the crowd in the eye. However, there was something special there that captivated me and I agreed to go into the studio with them to see what we could create.
The fruit of our labours was the album Everybody Else Is Doing it Why Can’t We? and the subsequent singles including “Dreams” and “Linger.” Whilst making the record I could see Dolores and the boys in the band grow in confidence but nothing could prepare me for the difference I saw in her character 9 months after the release when the band had been gigging nonstop on the road in America and Europe.
The shrinking ‘wall flower’ had been replaced with a strong determined front person who could now look the audience in the eye and say ‘look at me, listen to me’. The transformation was incredible to say the least.
Dolores gave so much of herself at the gigs and continued to do so over the next decade or so. Perhaps she could have tempered her behavior and been more measured but that wasn’t her way. She was a little firebrand that kept everybody on their toes and when she got it ‘right’ in the studio with her vocal performances, the session would come alight.
Now she is gone… She leaves behind a family and friends.
Not least three ‘special’ friends who were with her in the Cranberries. A band that truly worked so very hard to achieve their well deserved magnificent heights of success across the globe.
My thoughts are with her family and Noel, Mike and Fergal. We all benefited from knowing her and being in her presence.
RIP my Irish Songbird.
Stephen Street, 15 Jan 2018, London