×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

How the Cranberries’ ‘Zombie’ Got a Second Life Thanks to Hard Rock Band Bad Wolves

The group recently donated $250,000 from sales of their cover to Dolores O’Riordan’s children.

When Cranberries’ lead singer Dolores O’Riordan passed away in a London hotel room on January 15, the 46-year-old was due to enter the recording studio the very next day to lay down a vocal track for L.A.-based hard rock supergroup Bad Wolves’ version of her 1994 hit, “Zombie.”

“We received a voicemail from her the night before talking about how excited she was to be involved,” said Eleven Seven Label Group SVP of radio promotion Jackie Kajzer.

Bad Wolves consists of members of underground hard rock groups like Divine Heresy, Snot, God Forbid, Bury Your Dead and In This Moment, managed by Five Finger Death Punch’s Zoltan Bathory. The song is included on their just-released debut album, “Disobey,” for veteran industry exec Allen Kovac’s label.

O’Riordan’s sudden death inspired the band to release the single earlier this year, and pledge to donate the proceeds to the late singer-songwriter’s four children with ex-husband Don Burton – daughters Dakota, 13, and Molly, 17, son Taylor, 20 and stepson Don Jr., 28.

Tuesday night in New York City, the two sons and their father were presented with a check for $250,000 by the Bad Wolves prior to a performance at Gramercy Theater, accepting on behalf of the entire family, including their younger sisters.

The band’s front man Tommy Vext reflected, “Our sadness the day Dolores passed was nothing compared to that of her children and her family. In light of the tragedy, donating our proceeds to her children was the only thing that made sense.”

“The connection that people have to this song, the stories, the memories and the kids who are hearing this song through Bad Wolves for the first time — it’s a true testament to the timelessness of their mother’s songwriting that will live on forever, and we are so grateful to be able to do this for them.”

Bad Wolves Zombie Check

The label’s Kovac (who managed the Cranberries) and Eleven Seven managing director Europe Dan Waite both had prior relationships with the O’Riordan family and initiated the idea.

The song was the first hard rock song in a decade to climb to No. 1 on the U.S. iTunes overall, peaking at No. 49 on the Top 40 (where it is still at No. 52), while also topping the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs, Spotify’s Global Viral 50 and Active Rock radio chart, the latter for three consecutive weeks. The track racked up 48 million total streams globally on Spotify and Apple, with 126 million views of the video (82 million on YouTube alone) and 440,000 downloads of the single worldwide. “Zombie” also went Top 25 at Alternative, and scored No. 1 Shazam ratings in several cities, including Minneapolis and Indianapolis, with Hot AC and Top 40 play, respectively.

“It was a global phenomenon,” enthuses Kajzer. “This was like lightning in a bottle. No radio programmer expected this to explode. Like the original, this version resonated with and moved people. The audience led and radio had no choice but to follow.”

Added the band’s Vext, “The ultimate goal is to present her family with a $1,000,000 check — and the fact we’re a quarter of the way there is beyond incredible.”

“At this point, it’s all about her kids,” says Kajzer. “The song keeps the legacy alive for an iconic performer, band and a tremendous song that will continue as a tribute to her.”

More Music

  • Guy Moot

    Is Sony/ATV’s Guy Moot Headed for Top Job at Warner/Chappell?

    Ever since Jon Platt announced in September that he will be stepping down from his post at the helm of Warner/Chappell Publishing to take the top job at Sony/ATV when Martin Bandier’s contract is up at the end of March, speculation has been rife about who will take over for him. One name has been [...]

  • (L to R) MAHERSHALA ALI and

    Scores from 'Green Book,' 'Solo,' Others Disqualified from Oscar Race (EXCLUSIVE)

    First-round voting is underway for Oscar’s Original Song and Original Score categories, but Academy music-branch voters are discovering that four talked-about scores are missing from the eligibility list. Music for “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” “Green Book,” “Mandy” and “The Other Side of the Wind” has been disqualified for various reasons, Variety has learned. More [...]

  • Marcus Mumford of the band Mumford

    Concert Review: Mumford & Sons Ride 'Delta' During U.S. Tour Opener in Philly

    Mumford & Sons have come a long way from their raw and rustic roots to have happily come no way at all.  Even though the British quartet smoothed and softened elements of the rough, intimate folk of their 2007 origin story to include flickering arena-rock guitars (on 2015’s “Wilder Mind”) and windy synths (2018’s “Delta”), [...]

  • The King Eric Clapton A Life

    Rashida Jones, Lili Zanuck Talk Grammy Nominations and the Music-Documentary Gold Rush

    Nothing takes you back to time and a place like the music of a particular era. That’s one big reason why music documentaries are flourishing at a time of enormous demand for high-end docu productions. This year’s five Grammy Award nominees for best music film reflect the appetite for stories about renowned and beloved musical figures, [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Varèse Sarabande's Top 10 Sellers List Led by 'Ghost,' 'T2,' 'Star Wars' Albums

    John Carpenter’s “Halloween” music? A “Star Wars” compendium? It’s no shock to see these show up on a list of soundtrack label Varèse Sarabande’s historical 10 biggest selling albums. More surprising? Non-genre soundtracks like “Rudy” and “The Man from Snowy River,” which film music fans snatched up in numbers matching some of the more obvious [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content