'80s hitmaker Laura Branigan dies -- The ''Gloria'' singer was 47

By Gary Susman
Updated August 30, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

Laura Branigan, the 1980s singer-songwriter best known for her hit ”Gloria,” died Thursday night at her home in East Quogue, N.Y., the Associated Press reports. The 47-year-old, who had been complaining of a headache for two weeks but had not sought medical attention, succumbed to a brain aneurysm, according to her brother, Mark Branigan.

A belter who boasted a four-octave range, Branigan got her start as a touring backup singer for Leonard Cohen. As a solo artist, she enjoyed a chart-topping hit in 1982 with the rock anthem ”Gloria,” from her debut album ”Branigan.” The song stayed on the charts for 36 weeks and earned her the first of four Grammy nominations. Other hits followed, including ”Self-Control,” ”Solitaire,” and ”How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” co-written with Michael Bolton, who had his own hit with the song.

In the late ’90s, Branigan had largely retired from performing, but she emerged in 2002 as the star of the off-Broadway musical ”Love, Janis,” in which she played Janis Joplin. She was reportedly recording new material at the time of her death.