Angelo Badalamenti dead: “Twin Peaks” composer was 85

Badalamenti famously composed the theme song and score for the hit series after collaborating with David Lynch on Blue Velvet.

David Lynch’s composer and longtime collaborator Angelo Badalamenti has died at the age of 85.

Badalamenti composed the legendary score for Twin Peaks and other Lynch projects such as Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Lost Highway, The Straight Story and Mulholland Drive. He also wrote new music for the 1992 prequel film Fire Walk with Me to Twin Peaks and for the 2017 third season on Showtime, Twin Peaks: The Return. Throughout his career, Badalamenti has worked with artists such as David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Nina Simone, Liza Minnelli, Michael Jackson and LL Cool J. In addition to his film work, he composed the opening theme for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

Badalamenti’s nephew posted on social media to confirm his death. “My great-uncle Angelo Badalamenti crossed the barrier to another plane of existence,” he wrote. “Between his work on ‘Blue Velvet’, ‘Twin Peaks’, ‘Cabin Fever’, ‘Nightmare on Elm Street 3’ and a host of others, plus his relationships and collaborations with David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Nina Simone, Julee Cruise, Isabella Rossellini, Dolores O’Riordan, Anthrax, Dokken, Eli Roth and especially David Lynch, he was the most interesting man in the world to me. A true musical and artistic inspiration for me and countless others.”

The family statement continued, “Staying true to his roots and family and never left North Jersey for LA, not to mention the casual but mind-blowing stories he never ran out of.” He will be truly missed by many. ‘He who has lived a good life has a good death.’”

The Brooklyn-born musician used to work as a music teacher in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, before author Lynch hired him to coach Isabella Rossellini on Blue Velvet in 1986. Badalamenti composed “Blue Velvet” and wrote the featured song “Mysteries of Love” with Lynch. Badalamenti also appeared in a piano bar scene in the film. He later appeared in Mulholland Drive in a memorable scene as a gangster who pays particular attention to the quality of his espresso.

Badalamenti won a Grammy for the title track “Twin Peaks” as well as an Independent Spirit Award and a Saturn Award for “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me”. The artist also won BAFTA’s Anthony Asquith Award for his music to “The Comfort of Strangers,” and received Golden Globe nominations for “The Straight Story” and “Mulholland Drive,” three Emmy nominations for “Twin Peaks,” and two César Awards nominations for “A Very Long Engagement” and “The City of Lost Children”.

Badalamenti is among the many Twin Peaks graduates who died in 2022. Actor Al Strobel, who famously played “One Armed Man” on the series, died in December 2022 at the age of 83. Co-stars Lenny Von Dohlen, Kenneth Welsh , and “Twin Peaks” singer Julee Cruise also died that year.

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Lindsay Lowe

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