Forget non-biased reporting, Cyndi Lauper is fabulous. She was fantastic circa 1983 when she — at age 30, by the way — burst onto the music scene with a Queens, N.Y.. accent, her multi-colored hair, her layered skirts, her four-octave-range and (oh yeah) She’s So Unusual.
In an era when being unusual was, well, unusual, Lauper didn’t just take up for the misfits, art-nerds, sexually-confused and theatrically-disposed, she led the parade.
This quote from wikipedia says a lot: “At the age of seventeen, she left home, planning to study art. Her journey would take her to Canada, where she spent two weeks in the woods with her dog, Sparkle, trying to find herself.”
She’s So Unusual marked Lauper’s biggest hits: The anthemic “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” “Time After Time,” “She Bop,” “When You Were Mine” (written by Prince) and “Money Changes Everything” (penned by Tom Gray of frequent visitors to Asheville, Delta Moon).
Lauper’s follow up album, True Colors was a lesser success but it still charted at #4 on the Billboard 200. And the title track carried on Lauper’s “Free To Be You and Me”/“I Got to Be Me” (to reference Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, the Marlo Thomas of 2010) stand.
And she’s always done everything her way, from career — Broadway, movies (remember Vibes?) — to family — she had her son Declyn when she was 44! — to music choices — she’s collaborated with Japanese pop superstar Ryuichi Sakamoto and George Fullan of Train on the same album. And then there were her appearances on Queer As Folk. And Idol. And The Apprentice.
This year, Lauper launched the Give a Damn campaign “to bring a wider awareness of discrimination of the GLBT community as part of her True Colors Fund. The campaign is to bring straight people to stand up with the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered community and stop the discrimination” and released blues album Memphis Blues.