NEW YORK, N.Y. – When the pop singer Laura Branigan died, The Associated Press, relying on information from her management company, reported in an obituary on Aug. 28, 2004, that she was 47 and had been born on July 3, 1957. After being contacted recently by one of Branigan’s fans, the AP conducted a thorough review and established that she was actually 52 when she died. School records, newspaper articles written about her in the 1950s and 1960s, and testimonials from childhood friends all indicate she was born in 1952. She also is best described as having grown up in Armonk, not Brewster, as the AP’s original obituary said.
The AP issued a correction on Dec. 16, 2016. Since then, the AP has identified other errors in the obituary:
Her hit song “Gloria” was on the U.S. pop chart for 36 weeks, not atop it for that long. Its peak position was No. 2, according to Billboard.com.
She was nominated for two Grammy Awards, not four.
The titles “Solitaire” and “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” are songs, not albums. A reference to the latter song should have made clear she was not credited with co-writing it.
The full name of the school she attended is the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, not the Academy of Dramatic Arts.
She signed with Atlantic Records in 1979, not 1982, according to the record company.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Laura Branigan, ‘Gloria’ singer, dies at 52
Laura Branigan, a Grammy-nominated pop singer best known for her 1982 platinum hit “Gloria,” has died. She was 52.
Branigan died of a brain aneurysm Thursday in her sleep at her home in East Quogue, said her brother Mark Branigan. He said she had complained to a friend of a headache for about two weeks before she died, but had not sought medical attention.
“Gloria,” a signature song from her debut album “Branigan,” stayed on the pop charts for 36 weeks and earned her a Grammy nomination for best female pop vocalist, one of two nominations in her career.
She also made television appearances, including guest spots on “CHiPs,” and in the films “Mugsy’s Girls” and “Backstage.”
Branigan released seven albums after her debut “Branigan.” Other hit singles included “Solitaire,” ”Self Control” and “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” for which Michael Bolton had a songwriting credit. Her songs also appeared on soundtracks for the films “Flashdance” and “Ghostbusters.”
Branigan was born July 3, 1952, and grew up in Armonk, New York. She attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan. During the late 1970s, she toured Europe as a backing vocalist for Canadian singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen. She signed with Atlantic Records in 1979.
After her run of success in the 1980s, her releases in the early 1990s attracted little attention. In 1994, she sang a duet with David Hasselhoff called “I Believe” for the soundtrack of the television show “Baywatch.” She released a 13-track “Best of Branigan” LP the next year.
After the death of her husband, Lawrence Kruteck, in 1996, Branigan stopped performing but returned to the stage in 2001. In 2002 she starred as Janis Joplin in the off-Broadway musical “Love, Janis,” which earned her rave reviews.
Branigan recently had been working on material for a new release.
She is survived by her mother, two brothers and a sister. Funeral services were scheduled for Monday.