Laura Branigan Biography

3 July 1957, Brewster, New York, USA, d. 26 August 2004, East Quogue, New York, USA. A former backing vocalist with Leonard Cohen, Branigan’s breakthrough came in 1982, when her energetic voice was demonstrated to its full effect on a belting rendition of Umberto Tozzi’s 1979 Italian hit ‘Gloria’. It reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and stayed in the charts for eight months. The song was a transatlantic bestseller, reaching number 6 in the UK. Her debut album Branigan, achieved a million sales and broke into the US Top 40. The follow-up, Branigan 2, was another million-seller, and included ‘Solitaire’, another US Top 10 smash in 1983. She was first choice to sing ‘All Time High’, the title tune to the James Bond movie Octopussy, but lost out to Rita Coolidge. Branigan’s US chart success continued with 1983’s emotional ‘How Am I Supposed To Live Without You’ (a US number 1 for Michael Bolton in 1989), which reached number 12, and ‘Self Control’, a US and UK Top 5 hit the following year. After several minor hits she returned to the US Top 30 in late 1987 with her rousing interpretation of Jennifer Rush’s 1985 UK chart-topper, ‘The Power Of Love’. Her recording career subsequently took a back seat to acting work, including starring as Janis Joplin in the off-Broadway musical Love, Janis, before her untimely death, of a brain aneurysm, in August 2004.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.