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)
  • Detour (2016)

"Girls just want to have tropes":