Laura Branigan, was singer, songwriter, and actress, born on 3 July 1957 in the upstate New York town of Brewster and raised in nearby Armonk, New York, USA. It wasn't until her senior year in high school, where she performed the lead role in a school musical, that she began to consider an entertainment career. After graduation from high school, Laura moved to Manhattan and attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
In the early 1970s, Branigan was a member of the band Meadow, which released one album in 1973 called The Friend Ship. In the late 70's, she toured Europe as a backing vocalist for Leonard Cohen. Upon Laura's return to New York, it became clear to her that she wanted to pursue a career as a solo artist. Laura's powerful talent as well as her drive and determination led to her being signed by Atlantic Records founder, Ahmet Ertegun. Her first album, known as Silver Dreams, was to be released in 1981 but it was canceled due to a contract lawsuit with her management.
Laura's first major appearance on the pop scene was with the anthem ?Gloria? in 1982, which has become the signature song of her career. The track came from Laura's debut album, Branigan. ?Gloria? was a multi-platinum hit single, rising to the top of the Billboard charts and staying on the charts for an amazing thirty-six weeks. Laura received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocalist Female for the song.
In 1983, Laura released Branigan 2 and had two more top ten hits with ?Solitaire? and ?How Am I Supposed To Live Without You?, confirming her status as a major artist, with the latter track reaching the #1 position on the adult Contemporary charts. That same year, Laura could also be heard on the Flashdance soundtrack with ?Imagination?. Her musical involvement with the film led her to receive her second Grammy nomination.
In 1984, the album Self Control was released with the title track, "Self Control" reaching the top ten. "Self Control" became Laura's biggest international hit single. Another single from the album, "The Lucky One" went top 40. Laura also won the coveted Grand Prize at the 13th Tokyo Music Festival for her riveting performance of ?The Lucky One.?
Laura's album Hold Me was released in 1985 and included the top 40 hit ?Spanish Eddie?. In 1987 Touch was released. With this album, Laura became more personally involved with the recording process. The ballad, "The Power of Love?, returned Laura to the top 40. Throughout the 80's, Laura's songs also appeared on the Ghostbusters, Body Rock, Coming To America, and Salsa soundtracks.
Laura released Laura Branigan in 1990. With this album, Laura added producing to her repetoire with her cover of the disco-era "Turn The Beat Around." Laura's seventh album, Over My Heart, was released in 1993. This recording was by far her most personally reflective to date. In 1995, a US greatest hits collection called The Best of Branigan was released. This hits compilation included two new cover tracks, "Show Me Heaven" and "Dim All The Lights." There have been several international greatest hits compilations released also. Laura performed for audiences in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, and Africa, touring the world several times.
During her career, Laura appeared frequently on several of the most popular television shows of the day, including "The Merv Griffin Show," American Bandstand," The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," and "Solid Gold."
Laura's acting credits included television's "CHiPs" and "AutoMan", among others, and the films "Mugsy's Girls" and "Backstage".
In the mid 90's Laura took a break from her career and devoted her time to caring for her husband, who was diagnosed with cancer, until his death. During the late 90's while Laura was dealing with the loss of her husband, she performed only the occasional concert. In early 2001 she made her return to the studio. 2002 saw the release of "The Essentials", a digitally remastered hits compilation. During 2002, Laura also performed the role of the singing Janis Joplin in the hit New York City musical "Love, Janis."
2004 saw the release of "Self Control 2004" and "Gloria 2004", collections of remixes of the original Branigan classics produced by some of Europe's top remixers, which feature stunning, newly-recorded vocals by Laura. Laura was currently at work performing concerts at various venues, as well as continuing to record her album of new material, and it was with great expectation and anticipation that fans everywhere were awaiting its release. Laura was back touching audiences once again with the unique four-octave range voice, consuming passion, and undeniable power that was pure Branigan!
Sadly, Laura passed away suddenly on 26 August 2004 ? from a brain aneurysm. At the time of her passing, Laura was working on the production of an EP, a manuscript for a cookbook she was in the process of writing, and the opening of her official online store.
The years since her passing have seen the release of the 2006 UK greatest hits compilation, "The Platinum Collection" and the 2007 repackaging of Laura's US hits compilation, "The Best Of Branigan," as part of Warner Music's "Greatest Hits" series. In 2008, Laura's albums "Touch," "Laura Branigan," and "Over My Heart" were reissued.
Laura Branigan lives on through her music and through the wonderful memories of her family, friends, and fans worldwide.
Laura affectionately referred to her fans many times as her "other half." On the first anniversary of Laura's passing in 2005, Laura's "other half" gathered together for the first Laura Branigan "Spirit Of Love" Memorial Gathering, sponsored by Other Half Entertainment and LauraBraniganOnline.com. This weekend event was held near the Long Island, New York home where Laura last resided while caring for her mother. The subsequent annual memorial gatherings are special times of coming together to remember Laura and to celebrate her life and artistry.