The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan dies suddenly aged 46

Dolores O'Riordan, the lead singer of Irish rock band The Cranberries, has died in London at the age of 46.

A statement from her publicist said: "Irish and international singer Dolores O'Riordan has died suddenly in London today. She was 46 years old.

"The lead singer with the Irish band The Cranberries was in London for a short recording session. No further details are available at this time.

"Family members are devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time."

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said officers were called to a hotel on Park Lane at 9.05am on Monday.

"A woman in her mid 40s was pronounced dead at the scene," the spokesman said.

"At this early stage the death is being treated as unexplained."

Police said inquires were ongoing.

The singer was in London for a short recording session at the time.

O'Riordan had suffered from a back problem in 2017. Credit: PA

O'Riordan, from Friarstown, Kilmallock, Co Limerick, was renowned for her distinctive singing voice.

She became a multi award-winning musician after becoming lead singer of the band when she was just 18 and went on to sell tens of millions of records.

In May 2017 The Cranberries cancelled a string of shows after O'Riordan was instructed by her doctors to stop working for a month for medical reasons associated with a back problem.

A further set of shows in North America, due to take place in September and October, were cancelled in July.

In February 2016 O'Riordan said she would use "music, dancing and performing to improve her mental health" after avoiding a criminal conviction for assault at an airport.

She was ordered to pay 6,000 euro to charity for headbutting, kicking, hitting and spitting on police officers following an alleged air rage incident.

O'Riordan at Ennis District Court in 2015. Credit: PA

The singer had previously admitted three assaults and obstructing a garda after being taken off an Aer Lingus flight from New York's JFK to Ireland on November 10 2014.

Medical reports produced for the trial at Ennis District Court revealed she had been suffering from mania, mental illness and severely impaired judgment at the time of the incident, and that she remembered nothing about it.

The Limerick band became international stars in the 1990s with hits including Zombie and Linger.

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins led tributes to the singer.

"Dolores O'Riordan and The Cranberries had an immense influence on rock and pop music in Ireland and internationally," he said.

"I recall with fondness the late Limerick TD Jim Kemmy's introduction of her and The Cranberries to me, and the pride he and so many others took in their successes.

"To all those who follow and support Irish music, Irish musicians and the performing arts her death will be a big loss."

The Cranberries enjoyed worldwide success in the 1990s. Credit: PA

O'Riordan split from her husband of 20 years, the former tour manager of Duran Duran, Don Burton, in 2014.

The pair had a son and two daughters.

Duran Duran's official Twitter account said the band was "crushed" by the news..

Dave Davies, founding member of UK rock band The Kinks, shared a picture of himself with O'Riordan in New York and said he had spoken to her before Christmas.

Irish pop star Ronan Keating said she was "and incredible talent and a lovely soul".

Jim Corr, drummer of fellow Irish band The Corrs, also passed on his condolences to O'Riordan's family.

Comedian and TV star James Corden said he met the singer when he was 15.