Julee Cruise, the singer whose ethereal music deepened the drama of David Lynch’s work, has died aged 65.
Her husband, Edward Grinnan, wrote on Facebook: “She left this kingdom on her own terms. No regrets. She’s at peace…I played her [B-52’s song] Roam during his transition. Now she will wander forever. Rest in peace, my love.
Cruise’s best known song was Falling – his instrumental, written by Angelo Badalamenti, was used as the theme song for Twin Peaks, Lynch’s iconic TV show which debuted in 1990. Lynch wrote the lyrics for the version vocals by Cruise, which reached number seven in the UK charts. , was a hit across Europe and topped the Australian Singles Chart. It was featured on his debut album Floating Into the Night, released in 1989.
Born in Iowa in 1956, Cruise began her collaborations with Lynch in 1986 for her film Blue Velvet, which highlights her collaboration Badalamenti Mysteries of Love. In 1990, she appeared as a character called The Dreamself of the Heartbroken Woman in Lynch’s pioneering theatrical production Industrial Symphony No 1, alongside Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern.
His singing talent has earned him a passionate cult following, drawn to Cruise’s deceptively pristine and innocent delivery. “Technically, this music is so delicate that it’s a challenge to sing it,” she said in 1990. “But at the same time, it allows me to be more dramatic, more psychotic than if I were just doing than singing ‘Oh, baby, baby’ into the mic. Some things you can’t overdo while you sing. That, I can overdo and get away with. I can stylize it.
She appeared as a character in Twin Peaks, singing in the town bar and in its spin-off Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. She also starred in Twin Peaks: The Return, the third season of Lynch, in 2017.
In 2018, she said of their working relationship, “It’s like I’m his little sister: you don’t like your big brother telling you what to do. David is stupid. He can have these temper tantrums sometimes. And have you ever seen his temper? Anyone can look funny when they get mad. But I love him.”
Another high-profile film collaboration came in 1991, when Cruise covered Elvis Presley’s Summer Kisses, Winter Tears for the soundtrack to Wim Wenders’ World’s End.
Her albums are sporadic: she released The Voice of Love in 1993 – three of her songs from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me – then The Art of Being a Girl in 2002 and My Secret Life in 2011. She also tours as a member from the B-52s in the 1990s, and other guest appearances include vocals alongside Pharrell Williams on hip-hop duo Handsome Boy Modeling School’s track Class System.
In 2018, she announced that she had been diagnosed with lupus and complained of chronic pain.