EAST QUOGUE, N.Y. – Laura Branigan, a Grammy-nominated pop singer best known for her 1982 platinum hit “Gloria,” has died. She was 52.
Branigan died Thursday in her sleep at her home, said her manager, John Bowers. He would not disclose the cause, although Vince Golik, webmaster for her official Web site, said she died of a brain aneurysm.
“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, 1952, and grew up in Armonk, 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.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on Dec. 16, 2016 to reflect Branigan’s correct age, per a request from the Associated Press. The AP moved a corrected version of the obituary more than eight years after the fact after a Branigan fan contacted the agency about a discrepancy in the singer’s age, which had been reported as 47. “The AP conducted a thorough review and established that she had actually been 52 when she died. School records, newspaper articles written about her in the 1950s and 1960s, and testimonials from childhood friends all indicate she was born in 1952.” They also changed the name of the town she primarily grew up in.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.