Branigan studied at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and worked as a waitress while in school. She was the lead singer for a band named Meadow, whose album was titled The Friend Ship (released 1973). She eventually got a job singing back-up vocals for Leonard Cohen. She was signed by Ahmet Ertegun to Atlantic Records in 1979, but the label was at first unsure how to categorize Branigan, given her strong dramatic voice that had a five octave range. She eventually recorded Branigan, the album that contained Gloria, and the song, originally a hit only in Italy, became an international hit.
She occasionally made acting appearances in independent films such as Mugsy's Girls (aka Delta Pi, 1985) with Ruth Gordon, and Backstage (1988). In addition, she made guest appearances on TV shows such as CHiPs and Automan.
Ironically, three of Branigan's hit singles later became even bigger hits for other singers who lacked the power of her voice: I Found Someone for Cher in 1987; How Am I Supposed to Live without You? for Michael Bolton (who actually wrote those last two songs) in 1989; and Jennifer Rush's The Power of Love for Céline Dion in 1994).
She largely left the music industry in 1994 following her husband Larry Kruteck being diagnosed with colon cancer. He died in 1996. Branigan broke both legs after a fall from a ladder outside her Westchester County house in 2001. In 2002, she made a comeback as Janis Joplin in the off-Broadway musical Love, Janis.
Her sudden death in August 2004 was attributed to a brain aneurysm, which also caused the deaths of her father and her paternal grandfather.
Laura Branigan Facts
|Birthday||July 3, 1957|
|Birthplace||Brewster, New York, USA|
|Date of death||August 26, 2004 (age 47)|