In 1984, Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual became the first debut album by a woman to land four songs–Time After Time, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, She Bop, and All Through the Night–in the top 5 of the Billboard charts. She earned the Grammy for Best New Artist for the album in 1985. Since then, she has released 9 more albums, 5 of which have topped the charts. In 2013 she became the first woman to single handedly win a Tony for Best Original Score, for the Broadway musical Kinky Boots.
When Cyndi Lauper released that debut album however, featuring a song that has been recognized by MTV and Rolling Stone to have one of the best music videos of all time–Girls Just Want to Have Fun–a song that has become a feminist anthem for women worldwide, she was no girl. Three months prior, she had turned 30.
What I love about Cyndi Lauper is not only her track record of activism (she has been a staunch supporter of LGBT rights across her career), not only her continued creativity and willingness to experiment with new forms, but also her unwavering and outspoken dedication to offering, as Sheila Moeschen so eloquently explains in her tribute to the rocker, “a new kind of female role model, one that celebrated difference and encouraged playfulness in self-expression;” someone who reminds us that “there was more than one way to be beautiful and, more importantly, girls were entitled to their own power.”
Thank you, Cyndi Lauper, for trailblazing your own path, and, in doing so, paving the way for us to do the same!