I was a HUGE Laura Branigan fan in the 80s and early 90s.  In fact, Laura is one of my favorite singers from those two decades and one of my top three all-time concert disappointments.  In the mid 90s, she was booked to play a WDJX Birthday Bash in Louisville.  I was a student at UL at the time and I was pumped I was finally getting to see Laura live.  The day of the concert, however, she canceled.  If memory serves me correctly, there was some medical issue with her father.  Well, it was a medical issue that eventually claimed Laura's life.  She died in her sleep, at the young age of 52, on August 26th, 2004. The culprit?  An undiagnosed brain aneurysm.  It was an unexpected and tragic end to her life and career.

For me, Laura Branigan had one of the most unique and underappreciated voices of the 80s.  She only had a handful of hits, but left behind CDs that were full of songs that showed off that raw, rough and emotional voice.  It was seemingly untrained, but huge and you could hear heartache ring out of it..  Many of my favorite songs of Laura's were album tracks (and, yes, I still own every one of them).  However, for My 80s Weekends, I'll share Laura's biggest chart hits, with just one slight amendment.

We'll start with the biggest hit of her career.  The one that put her on the map.

GLORIA (peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100)

SELF CONTROL (peaked at #4)

SOLITAIRE (peaked at #7)

HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIVE WITHOUT YOU (peaked at #12)

POWER OF LOVE (peaked at #26)

Now, here's why I mentioned "amendment" earlier.  Laura actually had a song that charted higher than #26 on the Billboard Hot 100.  In 1984, she landed a spot in the Top 20 with a song called "The Lucky One".  However, for me, that song doesn't hold a candle to Laura's gut-wrenching and vocal chord shattering "Power Of Love," which I think is the definitive version of that song.  Sorry, Celine!

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