Laura Branigan, the high-volume, Grammy-nominated pop singer best known for her 1982 platinum hit “Gloria,” died of a brain aneurysm Thursday in her sleep at her home in East Quogue, N.Y., said her brother Mark Branigan. She was 47.
He said that she had complained to a friend of a headache for about two weeks before she died but had not sought medical attention, the Associated Press reports.
After touring as a backup singer with Canadian songwriter Leonard Cohen, Branigan released her first album, Branigan, which contained “Gloria.” The song stayed at the top of the pop charts for 36 weeks and earned her a Grammy nomination for best female pop vocalist, the first of four nominations in her career.
After Branigan, there were seven more albums, and such songs as “Solitaire,” “Self Control,” and “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” which was co-written with Michael Bolton. Her songs also appeared on soundtracks for the films Flashdance (the song “Imagination”) and Ghostbusters.
In 1994, she sang a duet with David Hasselhoff called “I Believe” for the Baywatch soundtrack and released a 13-track Best of Branigan LP the next year – though, as her brother said, she remained best known for “Gloria.”
After the death of her husband, Lawrence Kruteck, in 1996, Branigan stopped performing but returned to the recording studio in 2001. In 2002 she earned respectable reviews starring as Janis Joplin in the off-Broadway musical Love, Janis.
She is survived by her mother, two brothers and a sister. Funeral services were scheduled for Monday.