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Angelo Badalamenti, the famed David Lynch composer known for his haunting work on Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, and Mulholland Drive, has died at 85.

Badalamenti passed of natural causes on Sunday, and was surrounded by his family at his home in Lincoln Park, New Jersey, his niece Frances Badalamenti told The Hollywood Reporter.

He was also known for writing songs recorded by Nina Simone, Shirley Bassey, Nancy Wilson, David Bowie, Paul McCartney and Liza Minnelli, as well as themes for Inside the Actors Studio and the Barcelona Summer Olympics

Prolific musician: Angelo Badalamenti, the famed David Lynch composer known for his work on Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive, has died at 85; Pictured 2011

Prolific musician: Angelo Badalamenti, the famed David Lynch composer known for his work on Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive, has died at 85; Pictured 2011

Badalamenti received the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for his Twin Peaks Theme, as well as three Emmy nominations for his work on the show. The soundtrack album for the series went gold in 25 countries.

Aside from Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive, Badalamenti collaborated with Lynch, 76, on music for Wild at Heart, Lost Highway and The Straight Story. 

Lynch appeared to honor his longtime friend and collaborator in his Monday daily YouTube weather report, saying in his typically mysterious fashion: ‘Today, no music.’ 

Natural: Badalamenti passed of natural causes on Sunday, and was surrounded by his family at his home in Lincoln Park, New Jersey, according to The Hollywood Reporter; Pictured 2014

Natural: Badalamenti passed of natural causes on Sunday, and was surrounded by his family at his home in Lincoln Park, New Jersey, according to The Hollywood Reporter; Pictured 2014

He was also known for his work on non-Lynch projects including A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist, Secretary, The Wicker Man, Arlington Road among others.

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The prolific musician was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1937.

He studied music at the Eastman School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music, before beginning his career as a music teacher.

'No music': Lynch appeared to honor his longtime friend and collaborator in his Monday daily YouTube weather report, saying in his typically mysterious fashion: 'Today, no music'; (L-R) Lynch, Julee Cruise and Badalamenti pictured 1989

‘No music’: Lynch appeared to honor his longtime friend and collaborator in his Monday daily YouTube weather report, saying in his typically mysterious fashion: ‘Today, no music’; (L-R) Lynch, Julee Cruise and Badalamenti pictured 1989

His film work with scores began in 1973, when he composed for Gordon’s War, and later for Law and Disorder in 1974. 

Badalamenti’s lifelong collaboration with Lynch started in 1986, when the Mulholland Drive director hired him as a vocal coach for Blue Velvet star Isabella Rossellini.

The musician then ended up scoring the film and wrote Mysteries of Love with the director, and even briefly appeared in the film. 

Lifelong collaboration: Badalamenti's lifelong collaboration with Lynch started in 1986, when the director hired him as a vocal coach for Blue Velvet star Isabella Rossellini; Rossellini and Badalamenti pictured in a still from Blue Velvet

Lifelong collaboration: Badalamenti’s lifelong collaboration with Lynch started in 1986, when the director hired him as a vocal coach for Blue Velvet star Isabella Rossellini; Rossellini and Badalamenti pictured in a still from Blue Velvet

The two went on to collaborate on Twin Peaks, with Badalamenti revealing that the iconic title theme was actually improvised.

He told Spirit & Flesh Magazine: ‘David came to my little office across from Carnegie Hall and said, “I have this idea for a show, Northwest Passage.” I remember saying, “That sounds like something I read in junior high school.”‘

‘He sat next to me at the keyboard and said, “I haven’t shot anything, but it’s like you are in a dark woods with an owl in the background and a cloud over the moon and sycamore trees are blowing very gently….” I started to press the keys for the opening chord to “Twin Peaks Love Theme,” because it was the sound of that darkness.’

‘He said, “A beautiful troubled girl is coming out of the woods, walking towards the camera….” I played the sounds he inspired. “And she comes closer and it reaches a climax and….” I continued with the music as he continued the story. “And from this, we let her go back into the dark woods.” The notes just came out.’

‘David was stunned, as was I. The hair on his arms was up and he had tears in his eyes: “I see Twin Peaks. I got it.” I said, “I’ll go home and work on it.” “Work on it?! Don’t change a note.” And of course I never did.’

Lynch described his and Badalamenti’s creative process to The New York Times in 2005, explaining: ‘I sit with Angelo and talk to him about a scene and he begins to play those words on the piano.’

‘Sometimes we would even get together and make stuff up on the piano, and before you know it that leads to the idea for a scene or a character,’ he added.

Creative process: Lynch described his and Badalamenti's creative process in 2005, explaining: 'I sit with Angelo and talk to him about a scene and he begins to play those words on the piano'; (L-R) Badalamenti, Naomi Watts, Lynch, Laura Elena Harring and Justin Theroux

Creative process: Lynch described his and Badalamenti’s creative process in 2005, explaining: ‘I sit with Angelo and talk to him about a scene and he begins to play those words on the piano’; (L-R) Badalamenti, Naomi Watts, Lynch, Laura Elena Harring and Justin Theroux

Meanwhile Badalamenti elaborated further: ‘David’s visuals are very influenced by the music. The tempo of music helps him set the tempo of the actors and their dialogue and how they move.’

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‘He would sit next to me at a keyboard describing what he was thinking as I would improvise the score. Almost all of Twin Peaks was written without me seeing a single frame, at least in the pilot.’

The talented musician received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Soundtrack Awards in 2008.

He was also the recipient of the Henry Mancini Award for his accomplishments in film and television music in 2011.

Aside from his niece, Badalamenti is survived by his wife, Lonny, whom he married in 1968, and daughter, Danielle. 

Pure talent: The talented musician was also known for writing songs recorded by Nina Simone, Shirley Bassey, Nancy Wilson, David Bowie, Paul McCartney and more; Pictured 2008

Pure talent: The talented musician was also known for writing songs recorded by Nina Simone, Shirley Bassey, Nancy Wilson, David Bowie, Paul McCartney and more; Pictured 2008

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