Can you believe it’s been 30 years since Cyndi Lauper released her debut album ‘She’s So Unusual‘? Where has the time gone?
At 60, Lauper is rocking fiery red locks, a throwback to her 1983 debut album “She’s So Unusual.” The album broke records with four Top 5 singles, including the angst laden “Time After Time” and the iconically irreverent “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Hailed at the Grammys as that year’s best new artist, Lauper went on to release nine more albums within three decades. Her music’s pop-punk hybrid sound later influenced No Doubt, P!nk and Lady GaGa. Lauper has since founded the True Colors Fund for queer homeless youth, penned her memoir and composed the Tony award winning musical “Kinky Boots.” (Source: Washington Post)
Upon reading a couple articles regarding the anniversary, I was surprised to hear that her female-empowerment pop anthem ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun‘ was originally written by a man about bedding women! That definitely would have had a different feel to it if Ms Lauper hadn’t reworked the track to fit her views on women and sexuality, promoting not just equality for all but also equality amongst women themselves.
“Girls” was engineered to be an anthem of women’s sexual freedom at a time when feminism was becoming a big part of cultural consciousness—and it helped set a template for how future stars would sing about social issues. (Source: The Atlantic)
Some people may look at Ms Lauper’s music and only enjoy it at face value, which is great in itself. Others will look at her music as anthems for periods in their lives, and that’s even better. Either way, you really can’t deny the impact she’s had on pop music over the decades and how future artists get their messages across.
But it’s more than that with Ms Lauper. Anyone who’s ever seen her live will attest that she’s got this amazing energy about her, and that she truly enjoys interacting with her audiences.
I remember close to 10 years ago seeing her open for Cher on her (first) farewell tour back in Montreal. The friends I’d gone with were super excited to watch Cher live (ish), and although I wanted to see her too, I was more excited to see Cyndi Lauper.
Growing up in the 80’s, I’d always loved her music, and continued to follow her career even after she seemingly slipped from the mainstream’s eye.
One of my favourite songs of hers (barring ‘Time After Time’ or ‘True Colors’, of course) was the title song from her delayed 2004 album, ‘Shine‘. It’s an amazing song with a great dance beat (in the remixes anyway), and a terrific message that ‘I’ll stand by you’ and ‘don’t be afraid, it will all be ok’. The song and Ms Lauper even featured in an episode of ‘Queer as Folk (US)’.
I couldn’t help but get super giddy when she opened that show back in Montreal with that song.. and proceeded to walk through the audience up into the nosebleed seats as she sang it. Later on in her set, she came down to stand on the front row as she sang another song (can’t remember which one) – which was amazing since we were sitting in the 8th row and had a clear view of her.
But of course, the entire audience went wild when she sang ‘True Colors’ wrapped in a Pride flag, a song she dedicates in her shows to the gay community and to PFLAG, of which she’s a member (her sister is a lesbian I believe).
What can I say.. she knows her audience. 🙂
And of course Ms Lauper doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. She’s current on tour with Cher (again.. how many times can this woman retire?), and had a ‘She’s So Unusual’ anniversary tour last summer.
I know I’ll be keeping an eye out in case she comes to London for a show or two, because I’d love to see her again live.
For more Cyndi Lauper news, tour dates, television/film appearances and whatnot, check out her website cyndilauper.com.