Synopsis of Pop Music
"I wanna be the one to walk in the sun,
Oh, girls they want to have fun..."
In 1984, the music video revolution was in full swing, and television screens everywhere were filled with colorful characters singing bouncy tunes. Few were as memorable as Cyndi Lauper. She cut a distinctive figure with her multicolored hair, thrift-store dressing style and screwball-comedy sense of humor. This singular sense of style played a major role in making songs like “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” and “She Bop” into major hits. She also happened to be a fine singer and songwriter, and it was these skills that helped her use her unique look as a springboard to several pop hits throughout the 1980’s.
Cyndi Lauper sang in a variety of bands beginning in her teenage years. One of these groups, Blue Angel, even recorded an album (it would be reissued when Lauper hit it big). She got her break when she was discovered while singing in a New York Club. This led to a record contract and to the recording of the album She’s So Unusual. “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” a synth-driven party anthem for women everywhere, was released as a single in tandem with a video containing the colorful antics of Lauper and her wrestler friend Captain Lou Albano. It became a platinum single and one of the signature songs of the 1980’s.
Lauper switched gears for the next single and landed a #1 hit with the stylish ballad “Time After Time.” This somber tune featured a memorably emotional performance from Lauper as she declared her eternal devotion to a life-long love. The next single, the new-wavish “She Bop,” went to #3 and boasted a memorable video featuring a part in which Lauper turned into a cartoon character. She landed her fourth Top-5 hit of the year with another ballad, the richly-harmonized “All Through The Night.” She ended the year by winning the Best Female Video honors at the MTV Video Awards and the Billboard Award for Top New Pop Artist, and was later awarded a Best New Artist Grammy.
Lauper’s new stardom resulted in her singing on the all-star charity song “We Are The World” and recording the theme song for the kid adventure flick The Goonies. Of course, both were big hits. In the middle of all this, she also landed a Top-30 hit with “Money Changes Everything,” the fifth single from She’s So Unusual.
Cyndi Lauper released her second album, True Colours, in 1986. The title song was a beautiful, moving tribute to the glory of ‘being different’ and gave Lauper her second #1 hit. In 1987, Lauper continued to hit big with “Change of Heart” (which featured the Bangles on backup vocals) and her cover of the Marvin Gaye classic, “What’s Going On.” In 1988, she added acting to her list of talents by co-starring with Jeff Goldblum in the film Vibes.
Lauper’s next album, A Night To Remember, was released in 1989 and featured everyone from Eric Clapton to Bootsy Collins. “I Drove All Night” was the first single and another Top-10 hit. Over the next few years, Lauper took a break from her own recording career but stayed active as a performer. She sang “Another Brick In The Wall” for Roger Waters’ historic performance of The Wall at the real Berlin Wall and also recorded “The World Is Stone” for the Tim Rice musical Tycoon. The latter song became a big hit in England and France.
Cyndi Lauper resumed her own recording career in 1993 with Hat Full Of Stars. The next year she released a best-of album, Twelve Deadly Cyns, and scored a big hit in England with a remix of “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” entitled “Hey Now Girls.” She also directed the video for this song. Lauper continued to act and made many appearances on the hit sitcom Mad About You, winning an Emmy for her performance on a 1995 episode of this show.
Lauper is just as busy as ever today. She released Sisters of Avalon in 1997 and has toured with Tina Turner and Cher. She also recorded a cover of the dance-floor classic “Disco Inferno,” which was featured in the film A Night At The Roxbury and was nominated for a Grammy. She has made the transition for starlet to institution with her trademark style and humor intact, and the influence of her music and style will be felt on female pop stars for years to come.
Artist Release History1984 - She's So Unusual
1986 - True Colors
1989 - A Night to Remember
1992 - A Hat Full of Stars
1995 - 12 Deadly Cyns
1995 - Girls Just Want to Have Fun
1995 - 12 Deadly Cyns
1997 - Sisters of Avalon
1998 - Merry Christmas...Have a Nice Life!
Pop Sub Categoriespop
Essential Music AlbumsShe’s So Unusual (Portrait)
Twelve Deadly Cyns (Sony)