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The Devastating Death Of Twin Peaks Composer Angelo Badalamenti

On December 11, 2022, the entertainment world lost one of its great musical minds. As revealed by outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter the following day, composer Angelo Badalamenti died at the age of 85. His death came as a result of natural causes, as confirmed to THR by his niece, Frances Badalamenti. She also noted that he was surrounded by close family at the time of his passing. The Grammy Award-winning musical artist leaves behind a remarkable body of work, having collaborated with some of the best in the fields of filmmaking and music alike.

Whether you realized it or not, if you're a fan of the works of director David Lynch, you're well-acquainted with Badalamenti's musical stylings. The two joined forces for the first time in 1986 over the feature "Blue Velvet," which paved the way for them to reunite on the likes of "Twin Peaks," "The Straight Story," "Mulholland Drive," and more cinematic favorites. All the while, he found time to experiment with his sound and turn out stellar efforts with such artists as former Beatles member Paul McCartney and the late Dolores O'Riordan, who led the rock band the Cranberries.

Angelo Badalamenti enjoyed a long and influential career in music and Hollywood. To celebrate his life and contributions to pop culture, let's take a brief look back at some highlights of his professional journey.

Badalamenti was a master of his craft

Angelo Badalamenti was born on March 22, 1937, in New York City, where he quickly realized that music was his calling. After studying at the Eastman School of Music and later the Manhattan School of Music, he got to work building his discography. Badalamenti — under the name Andy Badale — scored "Gordon's War" in 1973, leading him to numerous other films, television shows, and David Lynch collaborations as the 20th century became the 21st. Unsurprisingly, his hard work amounted to several award wins and nominations in the decades that followed, with his most recent coming in 2016 at the Danish Film Awards.

To call Badalamenti a popular and beloved composer would be an understatement, but if his credits and honors don't convince you, perhaps this story from Badalamenti himself will. Back in the 1990s, Queen Elizabeth II was celebrating her birthday when Paul McCartney arrived to serenade her. However, she didn't sound the least bit interested. He recalled, "When he met her, he started to say, 'I'm honored to be here tonight, your Majesty, and I'm going to play some music for you.' And the Queen says, 'I'm sorry, I can't stay, it's five to eight, and I have to go and watch Twin Peaks!'" Composing one of the queen's favorite shows — one that she'd turn down a McCartney performance to watch — is quite a feather in Badalamenti's cap.

From general television audiences to royalty, Angelo Badalamenti left a lasting impression on all who enjoyed his work. He will be dearly missed the world over.