Julee Cruise, who is most known for her song “Falling” on David Lynch’s cult TV show Twin Peaks, died on June 9. She was 65 years old.
Cruise was known for her collaborations with composer Angelo Badalamenti and director David Lynch from the late ’80s to early ’90s. She also appeared throughout the Twin Peaks show as a roadhouse singer in the original series, in the 1992 movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and in the 2017 revival of the series Twin Peaks: The Return.
During her lifetime, Cruise released four albums and collaborated with several artists. She even toured with The B-52s as Cindy Wilson’s stand-in between 1992 and 1999.
After her passing, Edward Grinnan, her husband, wrote on Facebook that “She left this realm on her own terms. No regrets. She is at peace.”
Grinnan continued by saying that her time with the B-52s “was the happiest time of her performing life. She will be forever 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.” he concluded. “I played her Roam during her transition. Now she will roam forever. Rest In Peace, my love, and love to you all,”
Though she loved her time with the B-52s, it was her collaboration with Lynch and Badalamenti that rocketed her into a cult following. The men stumbled upon her because they needed a song for Lynch’s Blue Velvet. Because their original plan was too expensive, someone suggested that Badalamenti compose a pop song with lyrics by Lynch. They needed someone with an ethereal, haunting voice and Badalamenti recommended Cruise because she sang for a theater workshop that he had produced.
This was the beginning of a famed friendship as the men worked to write and produce more songs for Cruise. The songs eventually composed the majority of her first studio album Floating into the Night, which was released in 1989. The album charted on Billboard’s charts the next year.
Her next project with Lynch and Badalamenti was the Twin Peaks soundtrack, arguably her most important one. Cruise was featured on “Falling,” “Into the Night,” and “The Nightingale.” The vocal version of “Falling” went gold in the U.S., which is unusual for a television soundtrack song. The instrumental version of the song “Falling” also won a Grammy.
Cruise’s songs continued to be featured in TV shows like Psych, House, and CSI: Miami. She kept singing, providing vocals for Pharrell’s song “Class System” and Delerium’s “Magic.” In 2018, Cruise announced on Facebook that she had systemic lupus causing her great pain.
Listen to Julee Cruise’s famed song “Falling” below.
Photo by Amy T. Zielinski/Redferns