Her birth name is Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper. She is known for her powerful voice and her outrageous fashion sense, both of which helped define '80s style. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, New York, she became interested in music at a young age and taught herself to play guitar.
She sang in dance cover bands in the '70s until she lost her voice in 1977. Doctors told her she'd never sing again, but she proved them very wrong.
Before achieving fame as a solo artist, Lauper was lead singer in the band Blue Angel in the early 1980s. Offered a solo deal by Polydor Records, she refused to sign without her bandmates. Blue Angel released a self-titled album on the label in 1980, which was produced by Roy Halee, famous for his work with Simon & Garfunkel
. The album sold poorly and Lauper went solo, releasing her debut album, She's So Unusual
, in 1983.
In the mid-'80s, she was part of the "Rock And Wrestling Connection" in the WWF (now the WWE). She managed ladies' champion Wendy Richter and wrestling personality Captain Lou Albano appeared in her videos for "Girls Just Want To Have Fun
" and "Time After Time
She sang the theme song to Pee Wee's Playhouse, uncredited.
Evan - Baltimore, MD
She married actor David Thornton in 1991 in Manhattan. Thornton's credits include the movies High Art
, Swept Away
and The Last Days of Disco
. He's also appeared on several episodes of Law & Order
. The couple had a son, Declyn Wallace Thornton Lauper, born in 1997.
Bertrand - Paris, France
Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman of The Hooters played on her album She's So Unusual
and produced it with Rick Chertoff. Hyman wrote Time After Time
with Lauper, working with her on a piano after hours.
On the strength of her breakout solo album She's So Unusual
, Lauper won the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1984. She won four more Grammy Awards in 1986, including one for her work on the collaboration fundraiser song "We Are The World
." In total, her recordings have garnered six wins and 13 nominations at the Grammy Awards.
Lauper's 1986 album True Colors was certified Platinum and, like She's So Unusual, reached #4 on the US Billboard Charts. Her next albums did not sell as well but her reputation was already established. She began to explore more genres of music beyond pop, releasing albums that featured R&B, soul, and electronica. Her 2011 album Memphis Blues reached #26 on the US Billboard 200 and #1 on the Billboard Blues Albums chart.
Lauper's trademarks are her wild hair colors, unusual outfits, and her thick New Yawk accent. When asked about it, she said, "You know, I do speak the Queens English. It's just the wrong Queens that's all. It's over the 59th Street Bridge. It's not over the Atlantic Ocean."
Cyndi Lauper penned the 15-song soundtrack of the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, which won six Tonys including the one for Best Musical. Lauper received her first-ever Tony when she took home the award for best original score, a thrilling moment for her because she grew up so close to Broadway and felt connected with that community.
Lauper is very good in meet-and-greets and fan interactions, which endeared her to her label, Portrait Records. Dan Beck
, who did marketing for her at the label, told Songfacts: "Cyndi you could put in a lot of situations. I took her to the National Record Mart sales convention and she jumps on stage with k.d. lang. Cyndi didn't know kd - they met for like two seconds, and they jumped on stage and sang 'I Fall To Pieces' together. They just tore the house down."
Cyndi Lauper told the Big Issue about her quirky fashion sense: "Before I was a pop star people threw rocks at me because I was wearing vintage clothing that didn't fit very well. And I'd say oh, really? Where did you get your clothes from? A rack alongside 10 others exactly the same? Then when I became famous everyone started dressing like me. I didn't expect that. I guess they just wanted to have fun."
Lauper left home at 17 and ended up in a lot of sketchy situations, including a sexual assault that she details in her memoir. After she hit it big, she worked to help at-risk youth, especially in the LGBTQ community.