Laura Branigan Biography
Last updated: 11/19/2011 11:00:00 AM
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 held its position at the top of Billboard's Top Ten for 22 weeks, so it's not surprising that many consider this to be her signature song. However, Laura Branigan, a four-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 describes herself as being "obsessed with music" and says that as much as she enjoys working with other musicians in the studio --she's recorded eight albums and is currently working on another--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 five 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. Impressive as her career has been, however, Laura doesn't believe in looking back. Instead she is focused on the work she is doing now.
"In the beginning" she says "all I wanted was to express myself emotionally with my voice. That's all that mattered to me. But over the years I learned a lot about the different elements it takes to make a song work. 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." Laura's Gloria-99 The Remix and Back In Control were released in 199
Laura Branigan, singer and actress, was born on July 3, 1957 and raised in the upstate New York town of Brewster. It wasn't till 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 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 by Atlantic Records.
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 an enormous 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. 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. 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 the ballad, "The Power of Love", returning 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
During the 90's, Laura released Laura Branigan in 1990 and Over My Heart in 1993. In 1995, a US greatest hits collection called The Best of Branigan was released. There have been several international greatest hits compilations released also, the most recent being the South African Back In Control in 1999. Laura has performed for audiences in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa, touring the world several times.
Laura's acting credits have included television's "CHiPs", among others, and the films Mugsy's Girls and Backstage.
During the late 90's, Laura took a hiatus from performing, doing 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 has seen 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. Currently, Laura is at work performing concerts at various venues, as well as continuing to record her album of new material, and it is with great expectation and anticipation that fans everywhere are awaiting its release. Laura is back touching audiences once again with the unique four-octave range voice, consuming passion, and undeniable power that is pure Branigan!