Laura Branigan

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About Laura Branigan

Laura Branigan was a Grammy-nominated pop singer and actress who’s best remembered for her 1982 platinum smash “Gloria.” • In 1972, Branigan met guitarists Walker Daniels and Chris Van Cleave while attending Manhattan’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts. They later formed a folk-rock group called Meadow along with Daniels’ future wife Sharon Storm. • Meadow released one album, 1973’s The Friend Ship, before splitting up. In 1976, Branigan performed as one of Leonard Cohen's backup singers on a European tour. • Branigan signed with Atlantic Records in 1979. Her 1982 single “Gloria” (a cover of Umberto Tozzi’s 1979 single) became an international hit, peaking at No. 2 in the US and No. 6 in the UK. “Gloria” earned a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. • Branigan’s 1983 single “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” (from her sophomore album, Branigan 2) reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart. The song was cowritten by Michael Bolton, who topped the Billboard Hot 100 with his 1989 version. • At the height of her career, Branigan also appeared in ’80s TV series and films like CHiPs, Automan, and Backstage. She also contributed to the soundtracks for Flashdance and Ghostbusters. • Her 1984 album Self Control became the most successful of her career, earning platinum sales. The title track was Branigan’s biggest international hit, topping the charts in several countries and reaching No. 4 in the US. • The “Self Control” music video was one of the first videos to be directed by an Oscar winner—William Friedkin, director of The French Connection and The Exorcist. MTV requested the video be edited due to its sexual imagery. • Branigan went on to release four more albums—culminating with 1993’s Over My Heart—and notch two more Top 40 pop hits: “Spanish Eddie” (1985) and “Power of Love” (1987). She stepped away from music in 1994 to care for her cancer-stricken husband, who died in 1996. • Branigan died in 2004 of a brain aneurysm at age 47. • In the early 2010s, “Gloria” re-emerged as a popular tune after appearing in shows and films like I, Tonya and American Crime Story. In 2019, the NHL’s St. Louis Blues used “Gloria” as their unofficial victory song after a franchise-record 11-game winning streak. “Play Gloria!” became a trending meme and chant for fans, and the song re-entered the iTunes singles and Billboard Digital Song Sales charts.

Brewster, NY, United States
July 3, 1952

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