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She’s so Unusual

A powerhouse who stands a mere 5 feet 3 inches tall, she has an unmistakable high-pitched voice laced with a sassy Queens’ accent. One of rock’s legendary personalities, this gutsy gal changes her hair color as often as the wind blows, and has an off-beat fashion sense that breaks all the rules.

Cyndi Lauper’s impressive resume spans an incredible 30-plus years and includes actress, writer, singer/songwriter, producer, spokesperson and advocate. A huge film buff, she has idolized Marlene Dietrich since she was a child. Her first signed band, Blue Angel, was named after Dietrich’s 1930 film “Der Blaue Engel.” She has starred in films like “The Opportunists” with Christopher Walken. She’s been a guest star as well as a reoccurring character on numerous hit TV series, most notably “Bones” and “Mad About You.” Her singles have been featured on more than 178 soundtracks.

In 2012, her autobiography “Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir” was an instant success and New York Times Best Seller. “The crudely endearing charms of Lauper’s book, a memoir of her unglamorous outer-borough upbringing and not entirely glamorous life since MTV made her a pop star in the 1980s, are its unpretentious attitude and its blunt, brassy
voice. It’s boisterous, erratic, sometimes goofy and — very much like its
author’s music, in all this — not quite as dumb as it may seem.” (New
York Times Review)

As the book retells, Lauper’s rise to the top was a battle.  She was raised Catholic in a Sicilian family living in Queens. Her mother’s maiden name is Gallo. When domestic abuse became an escalating problem, she dropped out of school, went out on her own and sang with cover bands at local
bars.

A few years after Blue Angel was formed, Lauper went solo. She finally
achieved success in 1983 with her debut album, “She’s So Unusual,” and hit singles “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” “Time After Time” and “She Bop.” The album climbed to No. 4 on the U.S. charts and found equal success worldwide. It also landed on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest
Albums of all time. Her follow-up album, “True Colors,” contained the hit
“Change of Heart.” Both albums received multiple Grammy nominations and in 1985 she won Best New Artist.  She has collaborated with artists
such as Billy Joel, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Vince Gill, Jewel and Sarah McLachlan.  In 2013, she took on Broadway — composing the score for the musical version of the film “Kinky Boots.” The production won six Tony Awards, including one for Lauper’s score, making her the  first woman to win solo in that category.  All told, she has sold more than 50 million
albums and won two Grammys, an Emmy and a Tony.

On a personal note, she married actor David Thornton in 1991, who she met on the set of “Off and Running.” The pair was married by Little Richard. In 1997, they had a son, Declyn Wallace Thronton Lauper, who they named after Elvis Costello. His godmother is none other than the legendary Patti LaBelle.  Always the fearless leader, in 2018, Lauper co-founded The True Colors Fund to educate people regarding lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, and to put an end to LGBT youth homelessness.  (Truecolorsfund.org)