Julie Cruz, the singer whose ethereal music deepened David Lynch’s drama business, has died at the age of 65.
Her husband, Edward Grenan, wrote on Facebook: “She left this world on her own terms. No regrets. She is at peace … She played her part. [B-52’s song] Walk around while she’s on the move. Now you will wander forever. Rest in peace, my love.”
Cruise’s most famous song was Falling – the instrumental by Angelo Badalamenti was used as the theme for Twin Peaks, the popular Lynch TV show that debuted in 1990. Lynch wrote lyrics for Cruise’s audio version, which reached #7 on the charts in the UK. It was a hit across Europe and topped the Australian Singles Chart. It was included on her debut album Floating Into the Night, released in 1989.
Born in Iowa in 1956, Cruz began collaborating with Lynch in 1986 for his film Blue Velvet, which prominently features her Badalamenti Mysteries of Love collaboration. In 1990, she appeared as a character named The Dreamself of the Heartbroken Woman in Lynch’s avant-garde theater production of Industrial Symphony No. 1, alongside Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern.
Songcraft has earned her an ardent cult following, drawn to the delivery of the deceptively pristine and innocent Cruise. “Technically, this music is so sensitive that just singing it is a challenge,” she said in 1990. “But at the same time, it allows me to be more dramatic, and more psychotic than if I were just singing ‘Oh, baby, baby into the microphone.'” Certain things you can’t get past while singing. That, I can over-act and get away with. I can design it. “
She appeared as a character in Twin Peaks, singing in a town bar, and in her spin-off Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. She also appeared in Twin Peaks: The Return, the third season of the show for Lynch, in 2017.
In 2018, she said of their working relationship: “It’s like I’m his little sister: You don’t like your older brother telling you what to do. Foppish David. He can have those tantrums sometimes. And have you ever seen His temper? Anyone can look funny when they go crazy. But I love him.”
Another high-profile cinematic collaboration came in 1991, when Cruise covered Elvis Presley’s Kisses Summer Kisses, Winter Tears for the soundtrack to Wim Wenders’ Till the End of the World.
Her albums were choppy: 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 toured as a member of B- 52’s during the ’90s, and other guest appearances include singing alongside Pharrell Williams on the track Class System by hip-hop duo Handsome Boy Modeling School.
In 2018, she announced that she had lupus and complained of chronic pain.