Back in the 80s, Cyndi Lauper was very popular and she was often compared to Madonna during her prime. It was a surprising rise to stardom, since Cyndi Lauper was already in her thirties when she received musical acclaim for her debut album She’s So Unusual.
Her iconic song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” was an anthem for girls everywhere, and she followed that up with hits like “Time after Time”, “Money Changes Everything”, and “True Colors”. Her signature style (which involved playfully exuberant outfits in bright colors which seemed appropriate only for prepubescent girls) would become more visible across the nation, and made Betsey Johnson (who epitomized the spirit of Cyndi Lauper outfits) a brand name in the fashion industry.
At the start of the 1980s Cyndi Lauper was the leader of female acts. Madonna came in second. She was the first woman ever to have four top 5 singles from her debut album, and she garnered 4 Grammy nominations as well. Critics were so enamored by her that a Time profile forecasted a lasting career for her. Madonna, as a Billboard editor was supposed to have remarked, would be done “in six months”.
While we know now that such predictions did not materialize, at least they were partly correct about Cyndi Lauper’s influence on music.
So what’s Cyndi Lauper doing these days? Surprisingly, a lot:
She’s still making albums
Actually, she never stopped making music. Since the end of the 1980s, she launched 9 studio albums. The most recent one was Memphis Blues. It was among the top ten best albums of 2010 according to the New York Post, and it became Billboard’s best-selling blues album of the year. Here is one of her more recent songs…
She released her memoir back in 2012, chronicling her journey to success and international fame from her youth in Queens, New York.
She’s making Broadway musicals
Cyndi Lauper composed the music for Kinky Boots, a Broadway musical based on the independent movie with the same name. She won the award from the Outer Critics Circle Awards for best score. Kinky Boots also received 13 nominations from the Tony Awards, and its six wins included Best Actor and Best Musical. Cyndi Lauper won for Best Original Score, and was the first woman to win the award solo.
She’s still performing
She went on tour to promote her Memphis Blues album, and she rocked the house when she performed for Betsey Johnson’s birthday bash recently. Now she’s the opening act for Cher’s worldwide tour. It seems like for Cyndi Lauper, the fun never seems to stop.
Cyndi Lauper was a force of nature back in the 1980s, and her legacy in creativity and free-wheeling exuberance is still very much alive today in acts like Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj. More than thirty years since her heyday, girls still wanna have fun—and loving it. Cyndi Lauper has also had a lot of fun along the way—perhaps even more than Madonna ever had.