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Laura Branigan
Background information
Birth name Laura Ann Branigan
Born (1952-07-03)July 3, 1952
Brewster, New York, U.S.
Died August 26, 2004(2004-08-26) (aged 52)
East Quogue, New York, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
  • Vocals
  • piano
Years active 1972–1996, 2002–2004
Labels Atlantic

Laura Branigan (July 3, 1952 – August 26, 2004) was an American singer, songwriter and actress. She was best known for her 1982 platinum hit "Gloria". She also starred on several television shows. Branigan's songs were featured in soundtracks for the movies Flashdance and Ghostbusters.

Early life

Branigan was born on July 3, 1952 in Brewster, New York, United States. Her father was an account executive and mutual funds broker. In 1970, she graduated from high school and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.


After graduating from H.S. in 1969 she went an arts school in New York. She was breifly in a band but then when out on her own.

Branigan toured Europe as a backup singer with Leonard Cohen. She started her solo career in 1982. Her first album, Branigan, was released in 1982.

A song "Gloria" from that album stayed on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for 36 weeks, then a record for a female artist, peaking at No. 2. It also reached number one in Australia and Canada.

In 1984, she reached number one in Canada and Germany with the U.S. No. 4 hit "Self Control". It reached number six on the British pop charts. It was a remake of an Italian song from the 1970s. The song got her a nomination for a Grammy for best female pop singer. She was nominated for three more during her career.

She released seven more albums. She co-wrote the song How Am I Supposed To Live Without You? with a then unknown Michael Bolton.

In 1981 Branigan appeared on German television in An American Girl in Berlin. She was a guest on the American TV show, CHiPS. She starred in the movie Mugsy's Girls in 1984.

She also appeared in the 1988 movie Backstage.

In 2002 she starred in the Off-Broadway production of Love, Janis, playing Janis Joplin. She received rave (very good) reviews for her performance.


In 1978, Branigan met Larry Kruteck at a combined St. Patricks Day and birthday party in Manhattan and married him in the same year. In 1994 her husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. She quit singing to take care of him full time. Kruteck died in 1996.

In 2001, as she was just returning to singing again, she fell from a ladder at her home and broke both her legs. Branigan was in physical therapy for six months.

On August 26, 2004, Branigan died of a brain aneurysm. She died in her sleep at her home in East Quogue, New York. She was 52 years old.

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