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.