Laura's Biography

Laura Branigan, singer and songwriter, was born in the upstate New York town of Brewster. After high school, Laura moved to Manhattan and attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. 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 to a multi-album deal by Atlantic Records founder and legend, Ahmet Ertegun. Ertegun was extremely fond of Laura and often spoke of her as one of his "greatest finds".

“I first heard Laura Branigan sing live in my brother Nesuhi’s apartment, where we had gone because he had a very good piano. I immediately realized that she had a great pop voice, in the classical sense. Laura had an instinctive feel for music and melody, and her delivery was sensational. Everybody at Atlantic knew that we had a winner in this young lady, and she came through with great hits that will be remembered for many years to come. I consider Laura to be one of my best signings, and I am proud to have had such a great singer in my career in the record business. We miss her dearly.”

- Ahmet Ertegun, 2005 (quote provided exclusively to Other Half Entertainment)

Laura’s first major appearance on the pop scene was when her dance anthem “Gloria” broke in 1982, with this Platinum hit single becoming the signature song of her career. The track is from Laura’s debut album, Branigan (Gold). "Gloria" rose to the top of the Billboard charts, and continued its residence on the charts for an amazing thirty-six week run. Laura received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocalist Female for the song.

In 1983, Laura released Branigan 2 (Gold) and had two more Top 10 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 (Platinum) was released with the title track giving Laura yet another Top 10 hit. "Self Control" became Laura's biggest international hit single. Another single from the album, "The Lucky One", went Top 40. In addition, Laura 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 spawned the Top 40 hit “Spanish Eddie”. In 1987 Touch was released. With this album, Laura became more personally involved with the recording process. A ballad from the album, "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, she added producing to her repertoire with her cover of the disco-era "Turn The Beat Around." Laura's seventh studio 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."

Laura's US album and single sales have exceeded ten million, with her multiple international greatest hits compilations having sold additional millions in every world market. These cumulative sales have garnered Laura various Gold and Platinum record awards from both the RIAA in the US and similar entities in other countries. She performed for audiences in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, and Africa, touring the world several times with consistently sold-out shows to her credit. In reference to performing live, she said, “When you're on stage, 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.”

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 the films "Mugsy’s Girls" and "Backstage".

In the mid 90's Laura took a hiatus 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 dealing with her loss, Laura 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."

Click the picture to see a larger view

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 re-mixers, which feature stunning, newly-recorded vocals by Laura. During this time Laura was 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 is pure Branigan! Sadly, Laura passed away suddenly on August 26, 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. History was made in 2010 when Warner Music Gallo Africa released Shine On: The Ultimate Collection" on CD+DVD, with the groundbreaking inclusion of Laura's Atlantic music videos on DVD for the first time ever!

The distinctiveness of Laura's voice is undeniably recognized as being hers and hers alone. Her range coupled with the incredible but precisely controlled power of her voice simply blows the listener away. Laura said that she wanted to stand on her voice alone - for her, it was always about the "big" voice, the power, and the emotion in every note. The way she delivered a lyric was always very genuine, very real. To listen to Laura's interpretation of a song is to become immersed with her in its emotion. She expressed, "I want to touch people's hearts, to get right down to their souls."


In addition to her gift of voice and emotive expression in her music, Laura demonstrated a warm, caring spirit - whether it was through performing for various charities, helping to provide for a South African orphanage, or joining in the fight for AIDS awareness. She also possessed a wicked sense of humor, often playing practical jokes on the unsuspecting. At heart she remained a shy country girl.

Laura lives on through her music and through the wonderful memories of her family, friends, and fans worldwide. She sought to make a personal connection with her fans and she greatly succeeded in that endeavor, touching lives in very meaningful ways, making each and every one feel as if she were singing just for them. Laura's fans are found in every country and they remain a very devoted group even years after her passing, who are dedicated to do what they can to ensure that she is never forgotten. It's with great excitement that there is a new generation of fans coming into the fold, many as teenagers and young adults, who are eager to get hold of her albums and to learn all they can about her artistry and life.

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. This weekend event was held near the Long Island, New York home where Laura last resided while caring for her mother. The memorial gathering was a very special time of coming together to remember Laura and to celebrate her life and artistry.  Fans look forward to future annual "Spirit of Love" Memorial Gatherings.

Other Half Entertainment, Laura's management company at the time of her death, continues to oversee her career legacy through her official website, www.LauraBraniganOnline.com, her official MySpace and Facebook pages, by taking part in various media opportunities, sponsoring and hosting the "Spirit Of Love" Memorial Gatherings, as well as through relationships with Warner Music Group and other entertainment industry entities. Other Half Entertainment serves as the comprehensive, official voice for her legacy interests, while keeping Laura's artistic visions and standards at the heart of its operations.

Laura Branigan was a unique, magnificently gifted singer who had an unbridled passion for life - with these attributes ensuring that she will never be far from the minds of those who love her, both for her many contributions to the music world and for the indelible impression she has made upon the lives she has touched and continues to touch. The voice, the passion, the power ... Her legacy lives on.






Official Laura Branigan Biography.  Written by Kathy Golik.  Original content authorized by Laura Branigan. Copyright © 2004-2010, Other Half Entertainment.  Ahmet Ertegun quote provided exclusively to Other Half Entertainment, 2005. Unauthorized duplication prohibited by law.  See Terms of Use for reprint requests.



Site Map