Cruise was best known for her work with director David Lynch and composer Angelo Badalamenti
Julee Cruise, the American singer best known for her collaborations with composer Angelo Badalamenti and film director David Lynch, has died. She was 65.
The news was announced on Facebook by Cruise’s husband Edward Grinnan.
In 2018, Cruise told fans she was suffering from systemic lupus.
“The pain is so bad I cry and snap at people,” she wrote. “I can hardly walk. And now it’s difficult to stand.”
Cruise, Lynch and Badalamenti began working together on Lynch’s 1986 film blue-velvetbefore teaming up to make Cruise’s debut album, 1989’s Floating Into The Night.
“I didn’t think it would get me anywhere,” Cruise told triple j in 1989. “I wasn’t saying, ‘Hey, I can be a big recording star now!’. I just thought it was a fluke.
“People started calling up David and Angelo and saying, ‘Who is this Julee Cruise? What is the Julie Cruise music? Can we have a whole album?'”
It was an unorthodox approach to making music, but it was effective.
“The three of us got along real well, we’re all kind of crazy, and we made this beautiful album,” Cruise told triple j.
“David would direct me almost like you would an actress. David’s not a musician and he doesn’t know how to speak in musical terms, so he would describe things visually.”
They had a hit in 1991 with ‘Falling’, a version of the theme from Lynch’s celebrated TV series Twin Peaks with added vocals, which went to number one on the Australian charts.
Cruise also appeared in the show several times across its three television seasons, including the 2017 comeback, and its 1992 film Fire Walk With Me.
The trio’s work in the late 80s and early 90s has seen them considered some of the progenitors of dream pop, and their work went on to influence a huge number of artists that would explore that genre in coming years.
Between 1992 and 1999, Cruise toured as a member of The B-52’s, where she filled in for vocalist Cindy Wilson.
Writing about her passing, her husband said that these years were particularly happy ones for Cruise.
“Having had such a varied music career, she often said that the time she spent as a B filling in for Cindy while she was having a family was the happiest time of her performing life,” he wrote.
“She will forever be grateful to them.
“When she first stepped up to the mic with Fred and Kate, she said it was like joining The Beatles. She will love them always and never forget their travels together around the world.
“I played her ‘Roam’ during her transition. Now she will roam forever.”
Australian electronic duo B(if)tek enlisted Cruise to sing on their 2000 single ‘Wired For Sound’, a cover of the 1981 Cliff Richard song.
Cruise’s final album was 2011’s My Secret Lifein collaboration with Deee-lite’s DJ Dmitry.