Laura Branigan, a Grammy-nominated pop singer best known for her 1982 platinum hit “Gloria,” has died at the age of 47. Branigan died of a brain aneurysm Thursday in her sleep at her home in East Quogue, N.Y., said her brother Mark Branigan. He said she had complained to a friend of a headache for about two weeks before she died, but had not sought medical attention.
“Gloria,” a signature song from her debut album “Branigan,” stayed atop the pop charts for 36 weeks and earned her a Grammy nomination for best female pop vocalist, the first of four nominations in her career.
She also made television appearances, including guest spots on “CHiPs,” and in the films “Mugsy’s Girls” and “Backstage.”
Branigan released seven albums after her debut “Branigan,” including “Solitaire,” “Self Control,” and “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You,” which was co-written with Michael Bolton. Her songs also appeared on soundtracks for the films “Flashdance” and “Ghostbusters.”
Branigan was born July 3, 1957, and grew up in Brewster, N.Y. She attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan. During the late 1970s, she toured Europe as a backing vocalist for Canadian singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen. She signed as a solo artist with Atlantic Records in 1982.
After her run of success in the 1980s, her releases in the early 1990s attracted little attention. In 1994, she sang a duet with David Hasselhoff called “I Believe” for the soundtrack of the television show “Baywatch.” She released a 13-track “Best of Branigan” LP the next year.
After the death of her husband, Lawrence Kruteck, in 1996, Branigan stopped performing but returned to the stage in 2001. In 2002 she starred as Janis Joplin in the off-Broadway musical “Love, Janis,” which earned her rave reviews. Branigan recently had been working on material for a new release.
She is survived by her mother, two brothers and a sister. Funeral services are scheduled for today (Aug. 30).
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