Laura BraniganDied when: 47 years 54 days
Star Sign: Cancer
Laura Ann Branigan (July 3, 1952 – August 26, 2004) was an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Her signature song, the platinum-certified 1982 single "Gloria", stayed on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for 36 weeks, then a record for a female artist, peaking at No. 2. It also reached number one in Australia and Canada. In 1984, she reached number one in Canada and Germany with the U.S. No. 4 hit "Self Control". She also had success in the United Kingdom with both "Gloria" and "Self Control" making the Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart. Seeing her greatest level of success in the 1980s, Branigan's other singles included the Top 10 hit "Solitaire" (1983), the U.S. AC chart number one "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" (1983), the Australian No. 2 hit "Ti amo" (1984), and "The Power of Love" (1987). Her most successful album was 1984's platinum-selling Self Control. She also contributed songs to motion picture and television soundtracks, including the Grammy and Academy Award-winning Flashdance soundtrack (1983), and the Ghostbusters soundtrack (1984). In 1985, she won the Tokyo Music Festival with the song "The Lucky One". Her chart success began to wane as the decade closed and after her last two albums Laura Branigan (1990) and Over My Heart (1993) garnered little attention, she generally retired from public life for the rest of the 1990s. She began returning to performing in the early 2000s, most notably appearing as Janis Joplin in the off-Broadway musical Love, Janis. As she was recording new music and preparing a comeback to the music industry, she died at her home in 2004 from a previously undiagnosed cerebral aneurysm. Branigan and her music saw renewed popularity and public interest in 2019 in the US after "Gloria" was adopted by the NHL's St. Louis Blues as their unofficial victory song while they completed a historic mid-season turnaround to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, leading to the song entering ice hockey lore as an "unlikely championship anthem". Branigan's legacy manager and representative Kathy Golik embraced the trend and traveled to St. Louis to publicly represent Branigan among the Blues fanbase during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, later stating her belief that Branigan and "Gloria" "will forever be intertwined" with the Blues and the city of St. Louis.
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