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Singer Laura Branigan dies at age 47

EAST QUOGUE, N.Y., Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Singer, actress, and songwriter Laura Branigan, whose signature song "Gloria" was her first hit, has died of an aneurysm in her New York home at age 47.

Born and raised in Brewster, N.Y., Branigan attended The Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York after high school. She toured Europe as a backing vocalist for Leonard Cohen and, on her return, she was signed by Atlantic Records. Her first hit in 1982, "Gloria," was followed by "Solitaire," "Self Control," "The Lucky One," and "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You?" She went on worldwide tours several times.

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Branigan also contributed to film soundtracks including "Flashdance" and "Ghostbusters."

Her acting credits included television's "CHiPs," and the films "Mugsy's Girls" and "Backstage."

Following the death of her husband, Lawrence Kruteck in 1996, she took a hiatus from performing, but in 2002, she performed the role of the singing Janis Joplin in the hit New York City musical "Love, Janis."

At the time of her Thursday death she was working on a new release, her family said in a weekend statement.

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She is survived by her mother, brothers Billy and Mark, and sister Susan. The family said a private funeral service and burial will be held Aug. 31.

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