Born in Brewster, New York on July 3, 1952, pop vocalist Laura Branigan was one of the best-selling female artists during the first half of the 1980s, scoring worldwide hits with singles such as “Gloria” and “Self Control”. Her powerful voice was perfectly suited for most genres including rock, pop, synthpop, and disco. She was one of the first artists to successfully bring Europop and Italo Disco to the American charts. Branigan’s own career began in the early 1970s as a member of folk rock band Meadow, releasing one album, The Friend Ship, in 1973 before splitting up. She continued to work as a session vocalist with many artists including Leonard Cohen. In 1979, she was signed by Ahmet Ertegun to his Atlantic Records label. After a few singles and a shelved 1981 album, her official debut album, Branigan, was released in 1982. The album featured the worldwide hit “Gloria”, which earned Branigan a Grammy nomination and became one of the biggest selling singles of the year. Branigan 2 was release in 1983 and included the hits “Solitaire” and “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” (later a hit for the song’s co-writer Michael Bolton). Her third album, Self Control, was released in 1984 and became a phenomenal success. The title track, originally by Italian pop artist RAF, went Top 5 in many countries, hitting the Number 1 spot in Austria, Canada, France, and Germany. The album also included the hits “The Lucky One” and “Ti Amo”. Branigan released her fourth album Hold Me in 1985, another collection of Euro-influenced Pop. While each successive release expanded her musical repertoire, her albums Touch (1987), Laura Branigan (1990), and Over My Heart (1993) were not as commercially successful in the U.S. She did manage to maintain a devoted audience in Europe, where she would often tour. In 1994, she took a hiatus to care for her cancer-stricken husband, who sadly passed away in 1996. Branigan did make a few brief returns to the stage but did not head back into the studio to record new material. Laura Branigan died in her sleep on August 26, 2004 of a ventricular brain aneurysm. She was 52 years old.