Any time I hear the name Cyndi Lauper, I right think of her song, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” but is Cyndi still having fun after all these years?
Cynthia Ann Stephanie “Cyndi” Lauper was born on June 22, 1953, and is an American singer, songwriter, actress and LGBT activist, which stands for stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.
Her career has spanned over 30 years, since 1989, Lauper has released nine studio albums and participated in many other projects. Her most recent album, Memphis Blues, became Billboard’s most successful blues album of the year, remaining at #1 on the Billboard Blues Albums chart for 13 consecutive weeks.
In 2013, Lauper won the Tony Award for Best Original Score for the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, making her the first woman in history to win the composing category by herself.
Lauper was born in Queens, New York to a Catholic family. Her father, Fred, was of German and Swiss descent. Her mother, Catrine (née Gallo), is Italian American (from Sicily). Lauper’s siblings are younger brother Fred (nicknamed Butch), and older sister, Ellen.
Lauper’s parents divorced when she was five and her mother remarried and divorced again.
Lauper grew up in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens and as a child, listened to such artists as The Beatles, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland and Billie Holiday.
At age 12, she began writing songs and playing an acoustic guitar given to her by her sister.
Lauper expressed herself with a variety of hair colors; eccentric clothing and even took a friend’s advice to spell her name as “Cyndi” rather than “Cindy”.
Lauper was accepted to a public high school for students with talent in the visual arts but dropped out; she later earned her GED.
She left home at 17, to escape her abusive stepfather, intending to study art. Her journey took her to Canada, where she spent two weeks in the woods with her dog Sparkle, trying to find herself.
She eventually traveled to Vermont, where she took art classes at Johnson State College and supported herself working odd jobs, before becoming a singer.
In the early 1970s, Lauper performed as a vocalist with various cover bands one was called Flyer in the New York metropolitan area, singing hits by bands including Bad Company, Jefferson Airplane and Led Zeppelin. Although Lauper was performing on stage, she was not happy singing covers.
In 1977, Lauper damaged her vocal cords and took a year off from singing. She was told by doctors that she would never sing again, but regained her voice with the help of vocal coach Katie Agresta.
In 1978, Lauper met saxophone player John Turi through her manager Ted Rosenblatt. Turi and Lauper formed a band named Blue Angel and recorded a demo tape of original music.
Steve Massarsky, manager of The Allman Brothers Band, heard the tape and liked Lauper’s voice. He bought Blue Angel’s contract for $5,000 and became their manager.
One my favorite songs from Cyndi Lauper, is called True Colors. If you never heard that song before, today’s YouTube video shared my user name Anniebel 21584. In this delightful motivational slide show presentation about bringing your confidence up, where it belongs!
Where is Cyndi Lauper now?
Cyndi has been married to actor David Thornton (My Sister’s Keeper, The Notebook) since Nov. 24, 1991.
Cyndi and David have a 14-year-old son, Declyn Wallace Thornton Lauper, who was named after Elvis Costello (Elvis’ first name is Declan). In her memoir, Cyndi says she regrets not having another child.
Cyndi won an Emmy Award for her role as Marianne on Mad About You. She has also appeared on Bones (playing a psychic) and in several movies.
In 2010, she came in sixth place in the ninth season of The Celebrity Apprentice. Before she made it big in the early ‘80s, she worked as a waitress at IHOP, but she quit when she was demoted to hostess (and when the manager made a pass at her).
In September 2012, Cyndi released Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir. On Sept. 12, she tweeted, “Not going to believe this but the memoir is #25 on the NY Times best seller list. I hope my story inspires other women to tell their story.”
The True Colors Fund was co-founded by Lauper to inspire and engage everyone, especially straight people, to become active participants in the advancement of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality and to raise awareness about and bring an end to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth homelessness.
What remarkable woman Cyndi Lauper is, one of my favorite quotes from her is, “There have been great things that happened to me. If they didn’t happen to me, I wouldn’t be here. Everything was supposed to happen to me. I wouldn’t have the sight that I have, I wouldn’t have the creative moments that I have, I wouldn’t be able to articulate what I need to articulate. I wouldn’t have my son. I wouldn’t have my husband. I’m a lucky woman. Everything. Every single thing. There are no mistakes.”
In lieu of today’s story, we all make mistakes in life, but don’t let that stop you, because you have to be brave enough to say good bye to all your mistakes in life. So life can reward you with some NEW hellos in your life!
Written & Designed by JD Mitchell