All-American power-pop lassie, who made an impact upon the UK charts in the first half of the 1980s.
Although she began her musical career in the early '70s, Branigan's most succesfull era was in the following decade, when she attained huge fame in the US. She is mostly remembered in the British Isles for her hits 'Gloria' and 'Self Control', both of which were actually English language versions of European songs ('Gloria' was originally German, and 'Self Control' Italian). The former reached number 7 in the Top 40 in the Christmas of '82, the latter became something of a soundtrack for the long, sultry Summer of '84.
Although one of her songs ('Hot Night') featured on the soundtrack of the film 'Ghostbusters', and she attracted some interest in mid-'85 with 'Spanish Eddie', her two chart successes this side of the Atlantic were unusually atmospheric for her usual style of bland, characterless Hollywood rock. She was also a small-part actress in various American television series's, including the Californian motorcycle cop classic 'CHiPS'.
Tragically, Laura died in the August of 2004 aged just 52, of an undiagnosed brain embolism. One of the kindest, most generous-hearted of women, she was a vehement anti-Apartheid campaigner who sponsored a South African orphanage, did much for AIDS research, and performed free gigs for a number of charities. A big lady in life (over 6ft tall), she was even bigger-hearted, and although she had no children she always referred to her fans as 'her other half'. Her ashes were scattered on Long Island, New York, in sight of that other big lady of the United States- the Statue of Liberty.