Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan 'drowned in the bath': coroner
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Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan 'drowned in the bath': coroner

Dolores O'Riordan.

Dolores O'Riordan.Credit:EPA

Dublin The lead singer of Irish rock group the Cranberries, Dolores O'Riordan, died by drowning, a coroner's inquest concluded on Thursday.

A police officer told the inquest at Westminster Coroner's Court that O'Riordan was found submerged in her bathtub at a London hotel on the morning of January 15.

The 46-year-old singer didn't leave a note and there was no evidence of self-harm.

Five miniature alcohol bottles and a bottle of champagne were found in the room, and toxicology tests revealed a blood alcohol level four times the legal limit for driving.

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"Therapeutic" amounts of prescription medication were also found, the inquest heard.

Coroner Shirley Radcliffe said that O'Riordan died from drowning because of alcohol intoxication.

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"There's no evidence that this was anything other than an accident," she said.

Inquests are held in Britain to determine the facts in sudden, violent or unexplained deaths. O'Riordan's inquest was held on what would have been her 47th birthday.

O'Riordan, whose distinctive and powerful voice underpinned the group's rapid rise in the early 1990s, had been in London on a recording trip before a planned tour.

Her hits with The Cranberries such as Linger and Zombie catapulted her to fame as a shy 22-year-old.

The band - consisting of O'Riordan, guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan, and drummer Fergal Lawler - formed in Limerick City in Ireland in 1989. They went on to sell more than 40 million records to become Ireland's second-best-selling rock band after U2.

"The world has lost a true artist today," her three "devastated" fellow band members tweeted in January.

Irish President Michael D Higgins described O'Riordan's death as a big loss to Irish music, saying her influence was "immense".

British pop band Duran Duran, whose tour manager, Don Burton, was O'Riordan's husband from 1994 until they separated in 2014 and was father to her children, said in a Twitter post that they were "crushed" by the news.

In 2003, The Cranberries split but reformed in 2009 to tour the US and Europe. In 2012 they toured Australia and New Zealand, as well several Asian countries including Japan and China.

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Since 2014, O'Riordan was also lead vocalist with a three-person band called D.A.R.K which supported The Cranberries world tour in 2017.

In 2016 The Cranberries resumed touring but a back illness suffered by O'Riordan forced the cancellation of many shows across Europe and the United States last year.

Last year, O'Riordan revealed she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was "dealing with it with medication."

"I have bipolar disorder so I've experienced extremes throughout my life ... I was only diagnosed two years ago," she told Metro.

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She said she suffered paranoia and sleep deprivation as a result of her illness.

"There are two ends of the spectrum — you can get extremely depressed and dark and lose interest in the things you love to do, then you can get super manic.

"I was at the hypomanic side of the spectrum on and off for a long period but generally you can only last at that end for around three months before you hit rock bottom and go down into depression," the singer said.

O'Riordan had also recorded the theme song to an animated film released just before Christmas. Angela's Christmas is set in Limerick and based on the only children's book written by Irish author Frank McCourt who won the Pulitzer Prize for his book Angela's Ashes, detailing his mother's hardships in raising her family.

Reuters with Latika Bourke