Laura Branigan, a Grammy-nominated pop singer, died on Aug. 26 of a brain aneurysm. She was 47.
The New York native attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan, then spent the mid-1970s touring Europe as a backing singer for Leonard Cohen. In 1979, she signed a record deal with Atlantic Records and launched her career as a solo artist.
Branigan’s self-titled debut album sped up the charts in 1982 with the release of the song “Gloria.” Her powerful, five-octave voice propelled the platinum hit to #2 on the Billboard pop chart, where it remained for 22 weeks. “Gloria” also earned Branigan her first Grammy nomination for best pop vocal performance from a female artist.
Over the next two decades, Branigan released three Top 20 singles, recorded eight albums and earned three more Grammy nominations. She put her performing career on hold, however, to care for her husband Lawrence Kruteck after he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He died in 1996.
Branigan returned to the stage in 2002 to star as Janis Joplin in the off-Broadway rock musical “Love, Janis.” Outside of music, she enjoyed working out, playing tennis, swimming and cooking with friends. At the time of her death, Branigan was working on material for a new album.