Laura Branigan


US singer, songwriter and actress, born 3 July 1952 in Mount Kisco, Westchester County, New York; died 26 August 2004 in East Quogue, Suffolk County, New York, aged 52.

Laura Branigan studied at Byram Hills High School, Armonk, graduating in June 1970, then studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Manhattan, from 1970 to 1972. Her recording career began in 1972, with folk group Meadow. She toured with [a=Leonard Cohen] in 1976, as a backing singer on his first European tour. [a=Ahmet Ertegun] and [a=Doug Morris] signed her to [l=Atlantic] Records in 1979.

Her first Atlantic single, [r=1534719] charted at no. 62. Her next single, a remake of [a=Umberto Tozzi]'s [r=573708] charted at no. 2 in the US. Branigan's music was influenced by [a=Donna Summer], [a=Aretha Franklin], [a=Gladys Knight], and [a=Stevie Nicks]. Her big hits included [r=320669], [r=1617185], [r=330720], and [r=1174614]. After the release of her seventh album [r=1534707] for Atlantic in 1993, she semi-retired from the music industry to care for her husband, Larry Kruteck, who was suffering from cancer. He died in 1996.

Alongside her recording career, Branigan starred in the films 'Mugsy's Girls' (1985) and 'Backstage' (1988), and appeared on several TV shows, including 'CHiPS' (1983), 'Automan' (1984)' and 'Monsters' (1991). She portrayed [a=Janis Joplin] in the stage production 'Love, Janis' (2002), but dropped out after only two performances.

Branigan died in her sleep from an undiagnosed ventricular brain aneurysm in 2004.