Julee Cruise Cause Of Death: Enigmatic Crooner From ‘Twin Peaks,’ Passes Away At Age 65?


David Mudd

Thursday marked the passing of Julee Cruise, a vocalist best known for her collaborations with director David Lynch and The B-52s. The author’s husband, Edward Grinnan, verified to NPR that Cruise committed suicide and had previously struggled with “lupus, depression, and alcohol and drug abuse.” She was 65 years old.

“She left this universe on her own terms,” Grinnan posted Thursday evening on Facebook about Cruise. “No regrets. She is content. Throughout her transformation, I played her Roam by the B-52s. She will now wander forever. Rest in peace, my dearest, and love to everyone.”

Cruise, who was born in Creston, Iowa, on December 1, 1956, was recognised for her distinctive vocal presence, which was so extremely calm and collected that it might be unnerving – a trait that found a receptive audience in Lynch and soundtrack composer Angelo Badalamenti.

For the 1986 picture Blue Velvet, they intended to replicate the effect of This Mortal Coil’s rendition of Tim Buckley’s “Song to the Siren,” whose rights proved prohibitively expensive to secure. The result of their cooperation was the original song “Mysteries of Love,” which has Cruise’s ethereal vocals set to a slow-moving fog of romantic synths and strings.

Inspired, the trio collaborated once more on Cruise’s solo debut, Floating into the Night. The CD, which was released in 1989, features songs from Blue Velvet and others that would appear in Lynch’s concert film Industrial Symphony No. 1 and, most notably, the early ’90s landmark Twin Peaks.

The instrumental version of “Falling” was adopted as the theme song for the ABC television series, and Tom Cruise became a regular at The Roadhouse, the hangout for the show’s bikers and singers. She would return for the series’ following versions, including the 2017 limited series Twin Peaks: The Return and the 1992 feature film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.

In 2016, Badalamenti told the academic journal Series, “In the chaos of drinks flying through the air at The Roadhouse, we have Julee singing a beautiful, slow-tempo song, and it’s so absurd.” “This type of music would never be played in such environment. The tunes performed by Julee serve two purposes: they contrast the visuals and build the mood for the presentation.”

Cruise collaborated with Lynch and Badalamenti again on her 1993 album The Voice of Love, but she would not record new music again until 2002’s The Art of Being a Girl and 2003’s My Secret Life (2011). She described these post-millennium recordings as a reaction to time spent in what she termed a “boy’s club.”

Cruise told Pitchfork in 2018 that “it’s not really about David or Angelo” “It is about how we are seen as women and how we feel about other women. It’s about how I observed my predecessors battle: Madonna, Kim Gordon, and Kate Pierson, who is a god and a formidable opponent. We are not followers; we are leaders. I sprang from the womb with fists.”

Cruise was also a Broadway performer, a pilot, and a dog trainer in addition to her singing. During the 1990s, she served as a touring member of The B-52s while Cindy Wilson, another tough singer drawn to blurring the limits between kitsch and high art, focused on raising a family. Grinnan says in his essay that it was “the happiest period of her professional career.”

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“She will be eternally appreciative to them. She compared her first microphone appearance with Fred Schneider and Kate to joining the Beatles. She will always cherish them and never forget their global journeys together.”

At the conclusion of her discussion with Pitchfork, Cruise reflected about her late father and the family’s grave plot in Minneapolis. “Nearby is a beautiful cemetery there, but I’m not going to be buried there. My cremains will be interred beside my dogs. They will scatter my ashes across Arizona, causing the state to turn blue.”

Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (Spanish: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-775-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741 if you or someone you know is considering suicide.