Julee Cruise, the alluring pop singer best known for her collaborations with avant garde director David Lynch, has died at age 65. The vocalist’s husband, Edward Grinnan, confirmed the news on Facebook on Thursday (June 9), writing, “I said goodby to my wife, Julee Cruise, today. She left this realm on her own terms. No regrets. She is at peace.”
Grinnan said Cruise’s time as a touring member of the B-52’s from 1992-1999 as a fill-in for member Cindy Wilson was the “happiest time of her performing life. She will be forever grateful to them. When she first stepped up to the mic with Fred and Kate she said it was like joining the Beatles. She will love them always and never forget their travels together around the world.”
As a tribute, Grinnan said he played the Georgia band’s 1989 single “Roam” for Cruise as she transitioned. “Now she will roam forever,” he wrote. Cruise’s best-known work is her single “Falling,” whose instrumental version written by composer Angelo Badalamenti, served as the theme song for Lynch’s belovedly weird 1990 Twin Peaks TV series, later winning a Grammy for best pop instrumental. The singer with the haunting voice also had cameos as a roadhouse crooner in the series and the 1992 spin-off movie, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me; she sang the closing credits on an episode of the 2017 Showtime TV re-boot, Twin Peaks: the Return.
A vocal version of the the song with lyrics written by Lynch became a worldwide hit and was featured on Cruise’s 1989 debut album, the ethereal Floating Into the Night.
Cruise’s long association with Lynch and Badalamenti began in 1986 when Lynch was looking for a song to accompany a scene in his bizarro classic Blue Velvet. Badalamenti, remembering Cruise from a New York theater workshop production he’d worked on, suggested her for the gig and the song they came up with, “Mysteries of Love,” which was also later featured on the Floating album; other tracks from that collection wound up in subsequent Lynch works, including “Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart,” “Into the Night” and “I Float Alone” in the director’s Industrial Symphony No. 1.
The versatile actress and Broadway performer was born in Creston, Iowa on Dec. 1, ,1956 and her other notable credits included singing the theme song for an episode of the USA Network drama Psych, covering Elvis Presley’s “Summer Kisses, Winter Tears” (produced by Lynch and Badalamenti) for the Wim Wenders movie Until the End of the World and collaborating with former Deee-lite DJ Dmitry on her fourth and final studio album, 2011’s My Secret Life.
Over the years, Cruise also collaborated with everyone from Moby to EDM group Hybrid, Delerium and Prince Paul’s Handsome boy Modeling School, among others. The singer revealed in 2018 that she was battling systemic lupus, writing on FB at the time that she could “hardly walk… and now it’s difficult to stand. I can’t walk Gracie anymore. My spine is crumbling, and pinching on nerves.”
Listen to Cruise’s most beloved tracks below.