Dolores O’Riordan Death: How The Cranberries Dominated Pop Culture In The 1990s And Beyond

The music of the late Cranberries frontwoman has appeared on everything from ‘Clueless’ to ‘The Bachelorette’

Bruno BebertAP Images

The death of Dolores O’Riordan has left music fans heartbroken. The beloved Cranberries frontwoman passed away in a London hotel room at age 46. While there is no additional information on Dolores’ death, fans are remembering the Irish rock star’s life and her contributions to the entertainment industry. There is no doubt that Dolores O’Riordan was one of the most distinctive voices of the 1990s.

While Dolores O’Riordan was best known for her hit songs with The Cranberries, including “Linger,” “Dreams,” and “Zombie,” unsuspecting movie and TV fans also got to know her work. During The Cranberries’ heyday in the 1990s and early 2000s, Dolores’ iconic voice was the soundtrack to dozens of scenes on the big and small screen.

By the time Dolores O’Riordan and The Cranberries reached international fame in the early 1990s, they were everywhere. A glance at the band’s IMDB page shows more than 60 soundtrack credits on everything from The Next Karate Kid to Mission Impossible.

The Cranberries were so popular that in the 1992 movie Clueless, the Irish band got a major mention at a time when there were a lot of up and coming bands to choose from. In one memorable scene, the Cranberries song “Away” is playing in the car. And who can forget the classroom scene when Jeremy Sisto’s character, Elton, is looking for an excuse to get out of class and he tells Mr. Hall (Wallace Shawn): “I can’t find my Cranberries CD, I gotta go to the quad before somebody snags it.”

Dolores O’Riordan’s music regularly appeared on TV shows such as My So-Called Life, Beverly Hills 90210 and Party of Five in the 1990s. In 1999, The Cranberries even made a cameo on the Season 2 Charmed episode,“She’s a Man, Baby, a Man!” where they performed the song “Just My Imagination.”

In the 1994 Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan movie You’ve Got Mail, the Cranberries debut single, “Dreams,” was prominently featured on the soundtrack. The song played during a scene early in the movie when Ryan’s character, Kathleen Kelly, wondered aloud when she would get an email from Hanks’ character. This was back in AOL’s dial-up days, by the way, so the wait was real.

In more recent years, Dolores O’Riordan’s song “Linger” also got a lot of TV and movie play, despite the fact that the song was released in 1993. “Linger” was June’s (Dreama Walker) breakup song on the ABC sitcom Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 and Dolores O’Riordan actually performed the song in the 2006 movie Click. More recently, O’Riordan and The Cranberries performed “Linger” during a dream date on Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season of ABC’s The Bachelorette.

In a 2017 interview with i-D magazine, Dolores O’Riordan revealed that “Linger” is one of the songs she is most proud of.

There’s a timelessness to it. It doesn’t really go out of fashion,” Dolores said. “Even when it came out, it was very different to what was being played at the time on MTV.”

Dolores O'Riordan Dead Ar 46
Featured image credit: Anthony Pidgeon AP Images

Dolores O’Riordan also said that she hoped to be remembered for the songs “Linger” and “Zombie.”