Singer-songwriter who has consistently been the first woman to win awards and top charts over the last three decades
"Cyndi Lauper is an American singer, songwriter, actress and LGBT rights activist. Her career has spanned over 30 years. Her debut solo album She's So Unusual (1983) was the first debut female album to chart four top-five hits on the Billboard Hot 100—"Girls Just Want to Have Fun", "Time After Time", "She Bop", and "All Through the Night"—and earned Lauper the Best New Artist award at the 27th Grammy Awards in 1985. Her success continued with the soundtrack for the motion picture The Goonies and her second record True Colors (1986). This album included the number one single "True Colors" and "Change of Heart", which peaked at number three.
Since 1989, Lauper has released nine studio albums and participated in many other projects. In 2010, Memphis Blues, became Billboard's most successful blues album of the year, remaining at number one on the Billboard Blues Albums chart for 13 consecutive weeks. In 2013, Lauper won the Tony Award for best original score for composing the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, making her the first woman to win the category by herself. The musical was awarded five other Tonys including Tony Award for Best New Musical. In 2014, Lauper was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album for the cast recording. In 2016, the West End production won Best New Musical at the Olivier Awards.
Lauper has established herself as a pop culture icon selling over 50 million records and 20 million singles. She has won awards at the Grammys, Emmys, Tonys, the New York's Outer Critics Circle, MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), Billboard Awards, and American Music Awards (AMAs). An inductee into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Lauper is one of the few singers to win three of the four major American entertainment awards (EGOT). Lauper won the inaugural Best Female Video prize at the 1984 VMAs for Girls Just Want To Have Fun. This music video is recognized by MTV, VH1 and Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the greatest ever music videos of the era. She is featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum's Women Who Rock exhibit. Her debut album is included in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, while Time After Time is included in Vh1's list of the 100 Best Songs of the Past 25 years. VH1 has ranked Lauper No. 58 of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll.
Lauper is known for both her distinctive image featuring a variety of hair colors, eccentric clothing and is particularly known for her powerful and distinctive four-octave singing range.
Lauper has been celebrated for her humanitarian work, particularly as an advocate for LGBT rights in the United States. Her charitable efforts were acknowledged in 2013 when the singer was invited as a special guest to attend U.S. President Barack Obama's second-term inauguration…
Lauper has been an LGBT rights supporter throughout her career, campaigning for equality through various charities and gay pride events around the world. Lauper stated that she became involved in gay rights advocacy because her sister Ellen is a lesbian and because Lauper herself was passionate about equality. Lauper cites her sister Ellen as a role model.
Her song "Above the Clouds" celebrates the memory of Matthew Shepard, a young man beaten to death in Wyoming because he was gay. As a member of the Matthew Shepard Foundation Board, Lauper devoted a concert tour in 2005 to promoting the Foundation's message.
She co-founded the True Colors tour for Human Rights throughout the United States and Canada in June 2007. One dollar from each ticket was earmarked for the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates equal rights for LGBT individuals. In April 2010, Lauper's True Colors Fund launched the Give a Damn campaign, to help get straight people more involved in LGBT rights.
In 2012 Lauper started the Forty to None Project after learning that while 10% of American youth identify themselves as LGBT, up to 40% of American homeless youths do so. She set up the True Colors Residence in New York City for LGBT homeless youths. The 30-bed facility offers temporary shelter and job placement help.
In August 2008, she contributed an article titled "Hope" to The Huffington Post, encouraging Americans to vote for Barack Obama in the upcoming United States presidential election. Lauper performed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention…
Lauper was described by AllMusic's Lindsay Planer as "an iconoclastic vocalist who revolutionized the role of women in rock and roll..." Due to her success and influence Lauper has been inducted into both the Hollywood and Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Spotify notes that She's So Unusual and her distinctive idiosyncratic appearance "helped popularize the image of punk and new wave for America, making it an acceptable part of the pop landscape". Rolling Stone magazine stated that her debut was "arguably the first time explicitly punk-influenced elements were front-and-center on the pop landscape, both musically and via Lauper's Patrick Lucas-styled ensembles, dressing up the droll Reagan decade in feminist chutzpah." The album ranked at #487 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003. The album ranked at #41 on Rolling Stone's list of Women Who Rock: The 50 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2012. Rolling Stone's review stated, "A wild and wonderful skyrocket of a voice... Lauper's extraordinary pipes connect with the right material, the results sound like the beginning of a whole new golden age." Thirty years after its release, the album was praised as 'everlasting' and a 'once in a lifetime album'.
Her iconic cover and re-arrangement of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" established her as 'a feminist idol'. Sheila Moeschen argued that the song 'embodied a different kind of feminine aesthetic that ran counter to the raw sensuality and edginess of her contemporaries like Madonna or veteran rockers Joan Jett and Pat Benatar' that introduced 'a nation of women to a new kind of female role model, one that celebrated difference and encouraged playfulness in self-expression'. John Rockwell wrote that the song was "a giddily upbeat attestation to female pleasure that simultaneously made a feminist statement, fulfilled male fantasies and—especially in its often-played video version—evoked the warmth of family and friends." The video for "Girls" won the first-ever Best Female Video prize at the 1984 VMAs. It featured a multicultural cast of women with teased, sideways hair and neon eye shadow, singing alongside Lauper. She was the first woman to have four Top 5 hits from a debut album, the first woman to win the composing category solo during the 2013 Tony Awards and one of only four women to have won competitive Grammy, Emmy and Tony awards." (1)