Cyndi Lauper is an American singer, songwriter, actress and LGBT activist. Her career has spanned over 30 years.
Let’s see some fascinating facts about her!
1. Cynthia Ann Stephanie “Cyndi” Lauper was born June 22, 1953 in Astoria, Queens, New York City.
2. She was born to a Catholic family.
3. Her father, Fred, was of German and Swiss descent. Her mother, Catrine, is Italian American (from Sicily).
4. Lauper’s siblings are younger brother Fred (nicknamed Butch), and older sister, Ellen.
5. Lauper’s parents divorced when she was five. Her mother remarried and divorced again.
6. Lauper grew up in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens and, as a child, listened to such artists as The Beatles, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland and Billie Holiday.
7. At age 12, she began writing songs and playing an acoustic guitar given to her by her sister.
8. Lauper expressed herself with a variety of hair colors, eccentric clothing and even took a friend’s advice to spell her name as “Cyndi” rather than “Cindy”.
9. Lauper went to Richmond Hill High School, but was expelled, although she later earned her GED.
10. She left home at 17, to escape her abusive stepfather, intending to study art.
12. Her journey took her to Canada, where she spent two weeks in the woods with her dog Sparkle, trying to find herself.
13. She eventually traveled to Vermont, where she took art classes at Johnson State College and supported herself working odd jobs.
14. In the early 1970s, Lauper performed as a vocalist with various cover bands.
15. One, called Flyer, was active in the New York metropolitan area, singing hits by bands including Bad Company, Jefferson Airplane and Led Zeppelin. Although Lauper was performing on stage, she was not happy singing covers.
16. In 1977, Lauper damaged her vocal cords and took a year off from singing. She was told by doctors that she would never sing again, but regained her voice with the help of vocal coach Katie Agresta.
17. 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.
18. 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 hit of the same name and “Change of Heart”, which peaked at number 3.
19. Since 1989, Lauper has released nine studio albums and participated in many other projects.
20. In 2010, Memphis Blues, became Billboard’s most successful blues album of the year, remaining at #1 on the Billboard Blues Albums chart for 13 consecutive weeks.
21. 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.
22. The musical was awarded five other Tonys including Tony Award for Best New Musical.
23. 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.
24. Lauper has established herself as a pop culture icon selling over 50 million records and 20 million singles.
25. 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).
26. 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.
27. This music video is recognized by MTV, VH1 and Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the greatest ever music videos of the era.
28. She is featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum’s Women Who Rock exhibit.
29. 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.
30. VH1 has ranked Lauper No. 58 of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll.
31. Lauper has been celebrated for her humanitarian work, particularly as an advocate for gay and transgender rights in the United States.
32. Her charitable efforts were acknowledged in 2013 when the singer was invited as a special guest to attend US President Barack Obama’s second-term inaugural.
33. On November 24, 1991, Lauper married actor David Thornton.
34. Because of a friendship with Yoko Ono, Lauper took part in the May 1990 John Lennon tribute concert in Liverpool, performing the Beatles song “Hey Bulldog” and the John Lennon song “Working Class Hero”.