Mention Laura Branigan and even the most tone-deaf among us will start to hum Gloria. The chart-topping platinum hit which launched her career. It remained on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for a record 36 weeks, so it’s not surprising that many consider this to be her signature song. However, Laura Branigan, a two-time Grammy Award nominee with album and single sales exceeding ten million in the United States alone, has had three other top ten hits, Self Control, How Am I Suppose To Live Without You, and Solitaire, and many other top forty hits including Power Of Love, The Lucky One, and Spanish Eddie, to name just a few.
Laura described herself as being “obsessed with music” and said that as much as she enjoys working with other musicians in the studio, nothing compares to performing for a live audience. She has performed for audiences in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa, touring the world several times, but the thrill of performing live never fails her.” When you’re on stage”, she says “the audience becomes your other half. It’s the ultimate high you can reach as a musician–an incredible feeling. And no matter where I am it’s the same; there’s a reason we call music the universal language.”
Laura’s four octave range, and sheer power of her vocal instrument, make it possible to not only fill an arena with the wail of raw emotion, but to also caress a lyric so tenderly it seems to shimmer with sound. To even the most causal observer it is clear she was meant to sing. Surprisingly though, it was not always clear to Laura. She talks freely about her development as a musician, explaining that it was only after touring with Leonard Cohen as a background vocalist that she realized what she wanted most was to sing. After returning from Europe with Cohen, she met with music industry legends Ahmet Ertegen and Doug Morris.
The rest of the story is well documented in music history. In addition to platinum sales of her Self Control album and the single Gloria, Laura struck gold with the Self Control title track well as with the albums Branigan and Branigan2.She has sung for audiences on every continent and her Best Of… albums have sold millions in every world market including Europe, Asia, Africa and the Pacific Rim.
After losing her husband to cancer in the mid 90s, Laura returned to the music scene in the early 2000s to work on what would become her final album. “Now I think I’m getting it all down. I know I’m doing the best work of my career and I’m really excited about what the future holds.” Into the mid 2000s Laura continued to perform concerts and refine her upcoming album for its release, with a planned world tour to accompany it. Sadly, in late August of 2004 Laura passed away in her sleep from a brain aneurysm.
Laura’s impact on others will forever live on through her music and the impact she has left on her friends and fans