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Inside the Final Days of Dolores O'Riordan

And how the Cranberries made one final album after her death
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2019 5:19 AM CST
Dolores O'Riordan of Irish rock group "The Cranberries" perfoms at the Sant Jordi Club in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012.   (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

(Newser) – A year past the shocking death of Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan at age 46, the rest of the iconic Irish band—as well as O'Riordan's mother and the old friend who was the recipient of the singer's final voicemail—sit down with Rolling Stone to talk about O'Riordan, her final days, and the making of the Cranberries' final album: In the End, which will be released in April. O'Riordan's death by drowning after a night of drinking in a London hotel room came as a shock to all of them; the singer, who was still a teenager when she joined the band and was in her early twenties when she became an international star, had struggled somewhat with fame and had her ups and downs, but she seemed to be in a good place at the time of her death. After a stint in rehab, she hadn't had wine in three years, says her mom, but when O'Riordan called her mother the night of her death, her mom could tell her daughter had been drinking.

"She said to me, 'Well, it only relaxes me and makes me happy,'" says O'Riordan's mom, who recalls the singer was indeed "full of life" during the call. "I can’t remember what I said to her. I tried to talk her out of it and I thought she would [stop]." She was found dead in the bathtub seven hours later. She and guitarist Noel Hogan had been working on a number of songs meant for the first all-original Cranberries studio album since 2012, and after her death, the rest of the band—with the blessing of O'Riordan's family and their fans—decided to complete the album. Some of the lyrics O'Riordan had written seemed almost to hint at what was to happen to her: "I kind of want to say she could see into the future," says drummer Fergal Lawler. The band says In the End will be their last project as the Cranberries; they have no plans to find a new singer. "I think we’ll leave it on a high with this album," says Hogan. Read the full piece here. (Read more Longform stories.)

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