Remembering the Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan

Remembering the Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan


Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries’ impact on young women in the early ’90s was powerful.

Guillaume Souvant/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Popcast is hosted by Jon Caramanica, a pop music critic for The New York Times. It covers the latest in pop music criticism, trends and news.

Last month, Steven Kurutz wrote in The New York Times about “the avalanche of rock ’n’ roll death” — the perception that for music fans of a certain age, heroes are constantly dying. Mr. Kurutz focused on men (in 2017: Tom Petty, Chris Cornell, Fats Domino, Gregg Allman, Chester Bennington, Glen Campbell, Walter Becker, Gord Downie, to name a few). But this week, a heroine of the ’90s died at 46: Dolores O’Riordan, the voice of the Cranberries. Her death is not being treated as suspicious, but its cause is still unknown.

Remembering the Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan

Ms. O’Riordan didn’t speak only to women, but her import to those young fans was particularly striking. “It’s hard to quantify the impact Ms. O’Riordan had on young Irish women,” Una Mullally wrote in The Times this week, noting, “The headiness of young female angst was central to the Cranberries.”

To discuss Ms. O’Riordan’s career and legacy, the Popcast guest host Caryn Ganz, the pop music editor for The Times, was joined by Amanda Petrusich, a staff writer for The New Yorker who wrote about Ms. O’Riordan this week, and Charles Aaron, a freelance writer and editor who was on staff at Spin magazine for 16 years and interviewed the Cranberries in 1994 as the band was in the midst of its most successful commercial period.

The panel discussed Ms. O’Riordan’s role as a frontperson who showed how women could be both beautiful and fierce, how the media positioned bands led by women in the ’90s, the ways in which the Cranberries were an explicitly Irish band (and how “Zombie” changed their trajectory) and how the world is absorbing the deaths of central ’90s figures.

Email your questions, thoughts and ideas about what’s happening in pop music to popcast@nytimes.com.

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