Unique Irish singer and songwriter Dolores O’Riordan – best known as the voice of The Cranberries – has died at the age of just 46.

The sad news has been confirmed by the band in a Facebook post.

As a teenager of 19 O’Riordan joined The Cranberry Saw Us – who wisely soon after changed their name from that dreadful pun to The Cranberries – and it wasn’t long before they went on to sell over 40 million recordings worldwide, making them the second most successful Irish band ever behind U2.

That success came quickly, with The Cranberries’ debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?, boasting singles Dreams and Linger which went on to become popular hits after massive MTV exposure in the US.

The big one was yet to come, though, and that was Zombie, from The Cranberries’ 1994 album No Need to Argue, which achieved quintuple platinum status in Australia. With her distinctive vocal style at the fore, the track gave Dolores and band their first number one in several countries, including Australia.

Three more albums followed between 1996 and 2002, before The Cranberries went on hiatus in 2003. During this time, Dolores did everything from guest spots on the works of other recording artists ranging from Angelo Badalamenti through to Jam & Spoon, to releasing her first solo album, Are You Listening?, in 2007. In 2013, O’Riordan was a judge on talent show The Voice of Ireland, while also forming D.A.R.K. with Andy Rourke (The Smiths), who released an album in 2016.

O’Riordan, who had endured a back condition for several years and was also recently diagnosed as having bipolar disorder, is said to have “died suddenly” while in London for a recording session.

Vale Dolores O’Riordan.