Music: Cyndi Lauper

"I love fashion. I went to Fashion Industries High School as a kid. I flunked out, of course. Guess my biggest revenge was to screw up fashion for a while."

Pop starlet Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper (born June 22, 1953), better known as Cyndi Lauper, is notable as being one of the earliest success stories of MTV as well as one of the most fondly-remembered pop stars of The '80s. So visible was Cyndi, in fact, that for a time she was a serious rival to no less than Madonna. Her debut album, She's So Unusual has sold 22 million copies worldwide - thus making it one of the decade's best-selling albums - and contains her most famous songs, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", "Time After Time", and "She Bop".

Lauper was a member of rockabilly outfit Blue Angel, but their music didn't really go anywhere commercially, and the band dissolved. Soon after, David Wolff discovered her singing in a bar in New York, and became her manager (and, for a time, her significant other). With his help, she signed with Portrait Records (a subsidiary of Epic Records) and released She's So Unusual in October 1983. In addition to the enormous success, lead off by the single "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", Cyndi was a major teen idol and fashion icon for a time. In fact, Lauper was the first female to have four consecutive Billboard Hot 100 top five hits from a single album.

During this time, Wolff arranged for Cyndi to make a brief foray into the world of Professional Wrestling (namely, WWE, then the WWF), in a storyline where Captain Lou Albano insisted that he was her manager. Cyndi herself eventually showed up on Piper's Pit and negated these claims to "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (eventually getting righteously pissed off at Lou in the process). Soon after, she became the manager of would-be Women's Champion Wendi Richter, who borrowed Cyndi's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" for a theme song.

Not wanting to be remembered as a "cartoon character," it wasn't long before she was back to music, and she released the follow-up to the debut, True Colors, in September 1986. It didn't have the huge impact of the first record, but it did spawn a hit single in the title track. By this point, Cyndi was starting to move in a more contemporary direction, meanwhile Madonna was clearly taking over as the more provocative presence in mainstream pop. Undeterred, Cyndi continued on this path into The '90s with the albums A Night To Remember, Hat Full of Stars and Sisters of Avalon, all of which made little headway commercially. Notable projects since include an album of old pop standards (At Last, 2003) and an acoustic record (The Body Acoustic, 2005).

Cyndi has always remained in the public eye to a certain extent thanks to 80s nostalgia, but she's also branched out into acting, with a recurring role on Mad About You, cameos on Queer as Folk, Gossip Girl and The Simpsons. She wrote the music to the musical Kinky Boots, which earned her a Tony Award for Best Score, the first woman to earn this award.

Cyndi has been married to actor David Thorton, with whom she has a son, Declyn. She is a major LGBT activist.


  • She's So Unusual (1983)
  • True Colors (1986)
  • A Night to Remember (1989)
  • Hat Full of Stars (1993)
  • Sisters of Avalon (1996)
  • Merry Christmas... Have a Nice Life (1998)
  • At Last (2003)
  • Shine (2004)
  • The Body Acoustic (2005)
  • Bring Ya to the Brink (2008)
  • Memphis Blues (2010)

"Girls just want to have tropes":

  • Abusive Parents: Cyndi's struggled with this throughout her life. Her mother's second husband was a deadbeat drunk who threatened to rape Cyndi and her sister Ellen many times.
  • American Accents: Noo Yawk.
  • The Cameo: Cyndi used lots of famous wrestlers in her music videos, including Randy Savage, Captain Lou Albano, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Wendy Richter, The Fabulous Moolah, The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and Freddie Blassie.
    • The Bangles appeared in the music video for "The Goonies R Good Enough".
    • And speaking of Captain Lou Albano, Cyndi herself also made an appearance in one of the live-action segments of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show.
    • She has had a recurring role on Bones as Angela's psychic friend Avalon. She appeared in a cameo in the eighth season episode "The Lady In White" where she sang "At Last" at Booth and Brennan's wedding.
  • Cloudcuckoolander
  • Cover Version: Prince's "When You Were Mine." Cyndi doesn't even change the genders in the song, so she's singing about a man leaving her for another man.
    • Also, Roy Orbison's "I Drove All Night." Orbison recorded it in 1987, Cyndi released her version in 1989. (Though technically speaking, Orbison's version was only released in 1992, four years after his death.)
    • Her album "At Last" features covers of jazz and early rock standards, such as "At Last", "The Sunny Side of the Street", "La Vie En Rose" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood".
    • "Time After Time" received a well known jazz instrumental cover by Miles Davis.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: "She Bop":
    "They say I better get a chaperone
    Because I can't stop messin' with the danger zone..."
  • Domestic Abuse: "Broken Glass"
  • The '80s: Cyndi is probably one of the first people you'd think of when you think of early 80s pop.
  • Executive Meddling: Cyndi went through this while working on the music for "The Goonies". For starters, filming the music video for the title track was less than an enjoyable experience. Richard Donner, apparently, was a pushy director and wanted things done a certain way and forced Lauper to keep going, even when she was exhausted. In a behind-the-scenes documentary of the video, the viewer can see Donner being pushy and doing lots of takes on scenes.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Averted. "Sally's Pigeons" is based off of a real life friend of Cyndi's who had a back alley abortion and died from it as a result. Cyndi herself had an abortion when she was 23 years old.
  • Greasy Spoon: One of the locations in 'She Bop'.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Twelve Deadly Cyns. There's also The Essential Cyndi Lauper, the first compilation of hers to include "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough."
  • Hey, It's That Guy!!: A then-unknown Julia Stiles portrays a young-Cyndi in the music video for "Sally's Pigeons".
  • Incest Is Relative: The song “Lies” more than hints at the horrors of incest.
  • Intergenerational Friendship:
  • It Makes Sense in Context: "She Bop" has a number of these: The Burger Klone restaurant with the fast moving hamburgers and the zombie-like customers represented the teenagers of the day and their need for in-demand fast food restaurants. Also the S.W.A.T. truck, which stands for “Suburban Wives Against Transgressors”. The S.W.A.T. Team could signify those who were against female's exploring and appreciation of their sexuality.
  • Money Song: "Money Changes Everything".
  • Publisher-Chosen Title: Much to Cyndi's anger, she was forced to change the title of the song "Good Enough" to "The Goonies R Good Enough". The official title of the song is just "Good Enough", as is the way Cyndi had titled it when it was written and the way she announced it at concerts. She never said the 'new' title, "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough", at any concert. It was changed, only in name, because Warner Brothers Studio insisted that the marketing pointed towards the film and that is when "The Goonies 'R'" was tacked on to the title of the song.
  • Retraux: She's So Unusual includes a short cover of "He's So Unusual" by Helen Kane; The arrangement is very similar to the 1929 original, and it's produced to sound as though it's playing off an old phonograph. The effect is heightened by the fact that it very abruptly segues into "Yeah Yeah", which has a much more contemporary New Wave sound to it.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: And damn proud of it. Then again, for her many fans, it's more like Impossibly Cool Clothes.
  • Shout-Out: The party scene in the video for "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" is one to the stateroom scene in A Night at the Opera.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: "The Goonies R Good Enough"
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Orange, Pink, Red, or whatever color she felt like at the time.