Julee Cruise, the heavenly singer who performed the theme song “Falling” to David Lynch’s 1990s surrealist soap opera Twin Peaks, died Thursday. She was 65.
According to a Facebook post by her husband, Edward Grinnan, Cruise “left this realm on her own terms. No regret. She’s at peace.” Grinnan told NPR that Cruise died by suicide and had struggled with “lupus, depression, and alcohol and drug addictions” in the past.
Cruise’s delicate vocals provided a dreamy and eerie counterpoint to the lush orchestrations by Angelo Badalamenti, the composer who was a key collaborator with film director David Lynch. Cruise’s collaborations with Badalamenti and Lynch shaped her career, leading to her breakthrough and steady work to the end of her life with “Falling” – a variation on Badalmenti’s instrumental “Twin Peaks” theme. Cruise also occasionally toured the B-52s, filling in for an absent Cindy Wilson.
Upon learning of Cruise’s death, Lynch posted a tribute to the singer on YouTube, saying, “I just found out that the amazing Julee Cruise has passed away. Very sad news. So it might be a good time to celebrate all the good music she made and remember her as a great musician, great singer and great people.”
Duncan Jones, son of David Bowie, tweeted that “Dad would say [Julee Cruise’s album] “Floating Into the Night” runs as “dinner music” almost every night. a stack”
Julee Cruise, a native of Creston, Iowa, was born on December 1, 1956. Cruise was drawn to the arts from an early age, doing acting and playing the French horn in high school. After graduating from Drake University, she spent time with the Des Moines Symphony but was drawn to the theater stage. She left the French horn behind and moved to Minneapolis, where she became part of the Guthrie Theater and was a member of the Children’s Theater Company in the early 1980s.
In the mid-1980s, Cruise moved to New York and settled in the East Village. She appeared as Janis Joplin in a production called Beehive before becoming part of Angelo Badalamenti’s theater workshop. Back then, the composer set music to David Lynch’s postmodern noir film Blue Velvet. Lynch wanted to stage the spooky This Mortal Coil cover of Tim Buckley’s Song to the Siren, but when the music rights proved too expensive, he asked Badalamenti to write his own song in a similar style. Badalamenti suggested Cruise as the singer for the resulting “Mysteries of Love,” which featured lyrics by Lynch.
Mysteries of Love ushered in a period of extended collaboration between Cruise, Badalamenti and Lynch, a partnership that spanned record, stage and screen. At the heart of the collaboration were the original songs Badalamenti and Lynch wrote for Cruise’s 1989 debut album, Floating into the Night. Much of this music was included in Industrial Symphony No. 1, a Lynch theatrical production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music starring Cruise, but found a much wider audience when she appeared in Twin Peaks, the surreal soap opera Lynch developed for network television.
Twin Peaks debuted on ABC in April 1990 and became a pop culture sensation that also put Cruise in the spotlight. “Falling,” the vocal variation on Badalamenti’s haunting title track, became a chart hit in the UK and Europe, while “Floating into the Night” became a cult hit in the United States. Cruise was a frequent performer on “Twin Peaks” and singing at biker bar The Roadhouse, her smooth and mellow presence providing a convincing contrast to the bully’s setting. When Sinead O’Connor withdrew from Saturday Night Live in May 1990 in protest at guest host Andrew Dice Clay, Cruise stepped in as a last-minute musical guest.
Cruise maintained a fruitful working relationship with Lynch and Badalamenti through the mid-1990s. After contributing a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Summer Kisses, Winter Tears” to the soundtrack of Wim Wenders’ “Until the End of the World,” the trio worked on their 1993 album “The Voice of Love,” in which they performed “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me,” the 1992 television series sequel. During this time, Cruise toured the B-52s while Cindy Wilson took a leave of absence to focus on family. Her husband later said she found her time with the B-52s to be “the happiest time of her artistic life.”
Cruise’s solo career slowed in the late 1990s. She has performed on stage and occasionally worked in the studio with a variety of other musicians – the most prominent of which was an appearance on The Handsome Boy Modeling School’s 2004 album White People – but new music from her has been rare. She released The Art of Being a Girl, her first album of self-penned material, in 2002, and then waited almost a decade before releasing My Secret Life, a 2011 album produced by DJ Dmitry of Deee-Lite.
Cruise reunited with Lynch for “Twin Peaks: The Return,” which starred in the penultimate episode of 2017. A year later, she announced on Facebook that she was retiring from live performances due to her diagnosis of systemic lupus.
Cruise is survived by her husband Grinnan.
In the farewell note he posted to the B-52’s Facebook page, Grinnan wrote, “I played her [the B-52’s song] ‘Roam’ during their transition. Now she will roam forever. Rest in peace my love.”
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2022-06-10/julee-cruise-twin-peaks-david-lynch-falling-dies Julee Cruise, “Twin Peaks” singer, dies at 65