Singer Laura Branigan Dead

Gloria singer suffered brain aneurysm

August 30, 2004 12:00 AM ET
Singer Laura Branigan, who scored her first hit with her 1982 song "Gloria," died of a brain aneurysm Thursday at her New York home. She was forty-seven.

Branigan began her career as a backup singer for Leonard Cohen before releasing her 1982 self-titled, solo debut. The album featured "Gloria," a remake of a Seventies Italian pop song, that propelled her to the top of the charts and earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocalist. Branigan received four Grammy nominations throughout her career.

Branigan spawned a handful of successful singles over the course of her seven albums. Her second record, 1983's Branigan 2, included "Solitaire," which peaked at Number Seven, and the Michael Bolton cowritten "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You." Her other hits included 1984's "Self Control" and "Spanish Eddie."

Her work also appeared on movie soundtracks including "Imagination," her Grammy nominated contribution to the Flashdance soundtrack. And Branigan dabbled in acting from her guest stint on CHiPs to roles in films Delta Pi and the drama Backstage.

During the Nineties, Branigan teamed with David Hasselhoff to record a duet, "I Believe," which appeared on the Baywatch soundtrack. She returned to the studio in 2001 and hit the stage that year to portray Janis Joplin in the off-Broadway musical, Love, Janis. In 2002, Branigan issued The Essentials, a greatest hits collection.

Branigan is survived by her mother, two brothers and a sister.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »