Julee Cruise

Julee Cruise Headshot

Singer • Songwriter • Actress • Musician

Birth Date: December 1, 1956

Death Date: June 9, 2022

Birth Place: Creston, Iowa

Best-known for her involvement with David Lynch, singer and actress Julee Cruise grew up a dentist's daughter from Creston, Iowa. After graduating from Drake University she moved to New York in the mid-'80s and did some acting, including playing Janis Joplin in a revue show. Here she began her notable collaboration with the composer Angelo Badalamenti.

When he was enlisted for Lynch's film "Blue Velvet" (1986), Cruise worked initially as his talent scout, and then as Isabella Rosellini's vocal coach. But Lynch found in Cruise's voice the haunting quality he was looking for and had her sing the movie's finale, "Mysteries of Love." The noir mood of "Blue Velvet" was maintained for Cruise's first album, 1989's Floating Into the Night, written for her by Badalamenti (music) and Lynch (lyrics).

Lynch incorporated many of the songs written for Cruise into an avant-garde live show, Industrial Symphony No. 1, in which she performed songs from the LP in a surreal dreamscape. The collaboration peaked with Lynch's next project, the TV series "Twin Peaks" (ABC 1990-91). While the series' main theme "Falling" was played as an instrumental, Cruise did a vocal version on the soundtrack album and made a handful of appearances onscreen.

During the peak of the show's popularity she also performed "Falling" on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC 1975- ), filling in at the last moment when Sinead O'Connor refused to appear on the show with Andrew Dice Clay.

The collaboration continued on Cruise's second album The Voice of Love (1994) which included two songs from the movie "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" (1993). This however would be their last collaboration for decades. Cruise continued to work as both an actress and singer, appearing in the off-Broadway musical Return to the Forbidden Planet.

More surprisingly she joined the B-52's in 1992 when Cindy Wilson left the group; she toured with them twice before Wilson returned in 1994. Her solo recording career resumed with 2002's The Art of Being a Girl and 2011's My Secret Life, the latter produced by former Deee-lite member DJ Dmitry. Both albums were largely written by her; the first also included a remake of "Falling" and the latter had a cover of Donovan's "Season of the Witch."

She also guested on tracks by Moby ("Drown Disco"), Handsome Boy Modeling School and others. Cruise appeared in Lynch's revival series "Twin Peaks: The Return" (Showtime 2017), whose cast member Chrysta Bell recorded a new version of Cruise's signature song "Falling."

Julee Cruise died on June 9, 2022 at the age of 65.

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