Laura Ann Branigan (July 3, 1952 – August 26, 2004)
Pop singer and actress Laura Branigan was born in 1952 in the upstate New York town of Brewster. It wasn't until her senior year in high school that Branigan thought of pursuing a musical career, after she landed a lead role in a school musical, which led to her acceptance at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City by the mid-'70s. Branigan then signed on as a backing vocalist for Leonard Cohen and toured the world with the renowned singer/songwriter throughout the late '70s. As a result, she landed a recording contract with Atlantic. Work on her solo debut was held up by a breach-of-contract lawsuit that resulted after Branigan changed management. With all issues sorted out by the early '80s, Branigan was free to launch her solo career, and her debut, Branigan, was issued in 1982.