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Cyndi Lauper

Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper (born on June 20 or June 22 (sources vary), 1953), better known as Cyndi Lauper, is a singer whose melodic voice and wild costumes have come to epitomize the 1980s, the decade in which she first came to fame.

Cyndi Lauper was born in Queens, New York. She began her career in a band named Blue Angel, and in 1983 started dating her manager David Wolff with whom she released She's So Unusual, a worldwide hit which made Lauper a household name. A mixture of teen-friendly pop-rock and edgier, almost punky sounds, the album's biggest hit, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, quickly established itself as a female anthem.

The album also included She Bop, a paean to female masturbation, and the romantic ballad Time After Time, an instant standard which has since been covered by over 70 artists (most notably Miles Davis). Lauper was popular with teenagers, in part because of her quirky image which took the popular late 1970s punk look and marketed it to a mainstream audience.

At this stage of her career, she was often compared to Madonna.

In 1986 - after recording the song The Goonies 'R' Good Enough for the 1985 film The Goonies, which starred Corey Feldman - Lauper released her second album, True Colors. Revealing a more mature sound and sensibility, it reached number 4 on the US album charts. The title song went on to become her second Platinum number 1 hit.

In 1988 she appeared as the female lead in the quirky comedy Vibes, which was poorly received by critics and a commercial flop. Her soundtrack contribution, Hole In My Heart (All the Way to China), also flopped.

Lauper's third album, 1989's A Night to Remember, though critically well-received, was not as commercially successful as its predecessors, spawning just one hit, I Drove All Night, which was originally penned for Roy Orbison. Orbison's version was not released until 1992, three years after Lauper's version and four years after Orbison's death.

In 1990 she joined many other guests for Roger Waters' massive performance of The Wall in Berlin.

Lauper took a break from singing at this point, but didn't disappear from show business, and in 1993 she played Michael J. Fox's secretary in My Life With Mikey. She released the critically acclaimed album Hat Full of Stars in the same year, but once again sales were poor. With a smooth new R&B sound and production by Junior Vasquez, she tackled such topics as spousal abuse and abortion.

In 1995 Lauper won an Emmy award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her portrayal of wealthy contessa Marianne Lugasso in Mad About You. She also released 12 Deadly Cyns... and Then Some, a greatest hits compilation that included two new tracks, one of which was a remix of her first big hit, newly christened Hey Now (Girls Just Wanna Have Fun). The album was released under a number of different titles, packaging and track listings around the world.

Her 1997 album Sisters of Avalon brought her back into the limelight. With subject matter even more adult than before, it was quickly embraced by the gay community for its disco and club stylings. The topicality of the album also contributed to its pink appeal: the song Ballad of Cleo and Joe addressed the complications of a drag queen's double life, while You Don't Know tackled the thorny issue of coming out. The album's singles were remixed to great acclaim, and Lauper began performing as a featured artist at gay pride events around the world.

In 1999 she co-headlined a tour alongside Cher, and contributed a cover version of the disco classic Disco Inferno to the soundtrack of the film A Night at the Roxbury. She also garnered critical plaudits for her roles in several independent films including The Opportunists (with Christopher Walken) and Off and Running.

In 2001 Lauper prepared an album, Shine, which saw her returning to her early bubblegum pop sound without losing the maturity she had embraced on later records. Just weeks before the album's scheduled release, however, her label, Edel America Records, folded, and, to Lauper's consternation, the tracks were leaked to the public. Although a five song E.P. of the same name was made available through her website and at Tower Records, the full length album concept was scrapped.

She undertook her second co-headlining tour with Cher in 2002.

In 2003, an E.P. of remixes from the unreleased Shine album was sold on the Edel America Records website. Additionally Lauper's former label Sony issued a new greatest hits CD entitled The Essential Cyndi Lauper. She has re-signed with Sony/Epic Records, the label that made her a star, and a new album Naked City is in the works. She maintains a devoted fanbase and lives in New York with her husband, actor David Thornton, and their child.

In November 2003 an album of standards was released called At Last. In March of 2004 the full length Shine album was finally released, though exclusively in Japan.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Cyndi Lauper Facts

Birth NameCynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper
OccupationMusician, Actress
BirthdayJune 20, 1953 (70)
BirthplaceBrooklyn, New York, USA
Height5' 3" (1m60)  How tall is Cyndi Lauper compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Front & Center
Cyndi Lauper: Live...At Last
To Memphis With Love
Life With Mikey
No Voice, No Choice
Cyndi Lauper: Twelve Deadly Cyns...And Then Some
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