AKA Cynthia Anne Stephanie Lauper
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY
Religion: Born-Again Christian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Girls Just Want To Have Fun
Brooklyn born and raised (and no one would ever have reason to doubt it), Cynthia Lauper initiated her musical activity at the age of 12, writing her own lyrics and taking up the guitar. After leaving high school, she spent some time traveling around Canada on her own before returning to New York to launch her music career as vocalist for the Long Island-based covers act Doc West. This was followed by further covers work with bands like Flyer, and brought to an end in 1977 by the considerable damage she had done to her vocal chords. Despite a pessimistic prognosis from her doctors, a full year of therapy with voice coach Katie Agestra managed to put her back in action, and in 1978 she began performing original material with her band Blue Angel, formed in collaboration with John Turi. Their debut album finally materialized in 1980, but label problems brought the band to a messy end before the year was over, allowing the singer a few more years to bask in the carefree wonderland of retail work and cover songs before the demands of a successful career imposed themselves.
While performing in a New York bar in 1981, Lauper made the acquaintance of David Wolff, who soon assumed the role of manager (and later the role of husband) for the singer; by 1983 he had arranged a deal with the Columbia subsidiary label Portrait, and in December of that same year her debut album She's So Unusual was ready to roll. The album was an immediate success, launching four singles into the top 5 (Girls Just want To Have Fun, Time After Time, She Bop, and All Through The Night) and reaping numerous awards from a variety of sources. The track Girls Just want To Have Fun in particular made its presence felt endlessly -- not only on radio, but in brightly polka-dotted video form on the still-young (and not yet completely useless) MTV. Lauper then spent the entirety of 1984 on tour, before returning to the studio at the start of 1985 to participate in the benefit release We Are The World. In July yet another high-charting single appeared in the form of The Goonies 'R' Good Enough, recorded for the Richard Donner-directed adventure film The Goonies.
For her next album True Colors (1986), Lauper began to abandon her "quirky" media persona in favor of a more serious image, a change clearly reflected in the album's title single (in sharp contrast to this image, she also continued to involve herself in the absurd spectacle of American professional wrestling). For this second effort she increased her involvement in the both the songwriting and production, gathering a considerable roster of guest performers that included Adrian Belew, Nile Rodgers, Aimee Mann, Billy Joel and The Bangles. As with her first album, a procession of associated singles followed one other into the charts -- starting with the title track, continuing with Change Of Heart and Boy Blue, and finishing off with the Marvin Gaye cover What's Going On.
As has been the case with many popular music figures, in 1988 Lauper made an attempt at a parallel acting career, starring in the psychic comedy Vibes alongside (or somewhat below) Jeff Goldblum. The film was not very well-received, and heralded the beginning of a gradual decline of her poplarity as a musician. Her third album A Night To Remember (1989) (featuring contributions from Eric Clapton, Bootsy Collins and Cameo's Larry Blackmon) still sold reasonably well, but ended her past streak by failing to crack the top 20 and managing to chart only one single (I Drove All Night). Participation in various charity events marked her most significant output over the next two years (Roger Waters's restaging of The Wall in Berlin (to benefit the Memorial Fund for Disaster Relief) and The Peace Choir's version of John Lennon's Give Peace A Chance), with occasional work for film (Off and Running, 1991) and television (Mother Goose Rock'n'Rhyme, 1990) gradually building up her resume as an actress.
In 1993 the singer released her most critically lauded album Hat Full Of Stars -- yet, despite the numerous glowing reviews, the album continued along the course of diminishing public interest and sales; a return to the top of the charts was contrived in 1994, but only in the form of a remix of Girls Just Want To Have Fun, and only in the UK. Her fortunes as an actress made some significant changes around this time, however, and an Emmy nomination for her appearance on the sitcom Mad About You in '94 ultimately led to an actual award for a second appearance in 1995. Regardless, Lauper never gave up on her recording career, and the albums Sisters Of Avalon (1997) and Merry Christmas -- Have A Nice Life (1998) were issued before the end of the decade. The completion of her journey from goofy pop imp to serious performer arrived with the standards collection At Last (2001), and a new album of original material finally surfaced in 2004 (although only in Japan) as Shine.
Father: Fred Lauper
Mother: Catrine Dominique
Sister: Elen Lauper (acupuncturist)
Brother: Fred Lauper ("Butch")
Boyfriend: David Wolff (her manager, together 1981-89)
Husband: David Thornton (m. 24-Nov-1991)
Son: Declyn Wallace Thornton Lauper (b. 19-Nov-1997)
High School: (GED)
University: Vermont College
Blue Angel Vocalist (1978-80)
Grammy Best New Artist (1984)
The PMRC Filthy Fifteen #15 She-Bop
Ran Away From Home
German Ancestry Paternal
Italian Ancestry Maternal
Swiss Ancestry Paternal
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Dirty Movie (15-Feb-2011)
Show Business: The Road to Broadway (19-Apr-2007) · Herself
The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie (23-Oct-2005) · Herself
The Opportunists (21-Jun-2000)
Life with Mikey (4-Jun-1993)
Off and Running (Oct-1991)
Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme (19-May-1990)
The Wall: Live in Berlin (1990)
We Are the World (28-Jan-1985) · Herself
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