Cyndi Lauper Biography

(Singer-Songwriter who Ruled the Billboard Hot 100 with Tracks Like ‘She Bop’ and ‘True Colors’)

Birthday: June 22, 1953 (Cancer)

Born In: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Cynthia Ann Stephanie "Cyndi" Lauper is an American singer-songwriter, activist, and film and television actress. Over the course of her 40-year career, she has firmly established herself as a pop culture icon. Her well-deserved success has its roots in a very tough childhood and youth. Escaping from an abusive stepfather, a 17-year-old Lauper first traveled to Canada and from there to Vermont, US, where she took art classes and did odd jobs to support herself. She began her singing career by performing with several cover bands and later teamed up with saxophonist John Turi to form ‘Blue Angel’. In 1983, after the group’s break up, she released her debut solo album ‘She’s So Unusual’. Since then, she has put out ten more albums and has sold over 20 million records and 50 million singles. She is one of the very few performers to win three out of four major American entertainment awards, registering two Grammy, one Tony, and one Emmy victory. Dubbed by AllMusic’s Lindsay Planner as “an iconoclastic vocalist who revolutionized the role of women in rock and roll”, Lauper has been inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Hollywood Walk of Fame. She is also credited with bringing punk music to the forefront of America’s pop landscape. As an activist, she is a lifelong supporter of women and LGBT rights.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper Thornton

Age: 70 Years, 70 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: David Thornton

father: Fred Lauper

mother: Catrine Lauper

siblings: Elen Lauper, Fred Lauper

children: Declyn Wallace Thornton Lauper

Born Country: United States

Quotes By Cyndi Lauper Actresses

Height: 5'3" (160 cm), 5'3" Females

Ancestry: Italian American, German American, Swiss American

Notable Alumni: Johnson State College

City: Brooklyn, New York City

U.S. State: New Yorkers

More Facts

education: Johnson State College

  • 1

    What inspired Cyndi Lauper to write the song Girls Just Want to Have Fun?

    Cyndi Lauper was inspired to write the song "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" after hearing the Robert Hazard original version and feeling that it could be a positive anthem for women.

  • 2

    What was Cyndi Lauper's breakthrough album?

    Cyndi Lauper's breakthrough album was "She's So Unusual," released in 1983. It featured hits like "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and "Time After Time."
  • 3

    What is the significance of Cyndi Lauper's music video for Time After Time?

    Cyndi Lauper's music video for "Time After Time" is notable for its storyline and emotional depth, portraying a romantic relationship in a thoughtful and sensitive way.

  • 4

    How did Cyndi Lauper get her start in the music industry?

    Cyndi Lauper got her start in the music industry by performing in various bands in New York City before launching her solo career with the release of her debut album "She's So Unusual."
  • 5

    What impact did Cyndi Lauper have on the music industry in the 1980s?

    Cyndi Lauper had a significant impact on the music industry in the 1980s by breaking boundaries with her unique style, powerful vocals, and empowering lyrics that resonated with audiences worldwide.
Childhood & Early Life

Born on June 22, 1953, at Boulevard Hospital in Astoria, Queens, New York City, Cynthia Ann Stephanie "Cyndi" Lauper is the youngest daughter of Frederick A. Lauper, of Swiss-German descent, and Catrine Dominique Gallo, an Italian American. She has an older sister, Ellen, and a younger brother, Fred. The early part of her life was spent in Brooklyn but when she was four years old, she relocated to Ozone Park, Queens where she grew up in a railroad-style apartment. In 1958, her parents divorced. Gallo later remarried but it too ended in a divorce.

As a teenager, she, along with her sister, received rape threats from their stepfather who also used to spy on her when she took baths. This prompted her to leave home at 17 years of age. She has always been a social outcast and possessed an insatiable desire to rebel against what is viewed as conventional. This very mindset would later define her as an artist, as well as the legacy of her music.

Like any other adolescent with a penchant for defiance, she experimented with a variety of hair colors and eccentric clothing. On a friend’s suggestion, she began to spell her name “Cyndi” rather than “Cindy”. At 12, she started writing songs and playing the acoustic guitar she had received from her sister as a gift. However, her education suffered. She was expelled from her school, Richmond Hill High, but later she earned her GED.

After leaving her home, she eventually ended up in Vermont where she enrolled at Johnson State College to study art. When she wasn’t studying, she was working, be it as a waitress, an office assistant, or a singer in a Japanese restaurant.

She was sexually assaulted in the early years of her career by a member of a cover band she was part of. During this period, she also became pregnant by a former boyfriend. Despite wanting to keep the child, this man pressured her to have an abortion.

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In the early 1970s, Cyndi Lauper performed with a number of bands. In 1974, while performing Kiki Dee’s ‘I Got the Music in Me’ at a venue in Queens, her voice started to fail when she hit the high notes for the first time. By 1977, her vocal cords were severely damaged, and the doctors told her she would never sing again. However, after working with voice coach Katie Agresta, she got back her voice.

Eventually, she became a founding member of the band ‘Blue Angel’ which she formed with saxophone player John Turi. Besides her and Turi, the other members of ‘Blue Angel’ were Arthur "Rockin' A" Neilson (guitar), Lee Brovitz (bass guitar), and Johnny Morelli (drums). They released their first and only album, the self-titled ‘Blue Angel’ in 1980. While it got rave reviews, it performed poorly on the charts and the group subsequently split.

Following the band’s breakup, Lauper went on to pursue a successful solo career. She has released 11 albums to date. They are: ‘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), ‘Bring Ya to the Brink’ (2008), ‘Memphis Blues’ (2010), and ‘Detour’ (2016).

Cyndi Lauper, more than anyone, personifies the defiance, the eccentricity, the nihilism, and even the naivety generally associated with punk music. This personality, which exists in perfect dichotomy with her childish voice, makes her an ideal representative of her generation, just like Madonna.

She has also appeared in multiple films and television shows throughout her career, be it as herself or portraying a character. She was part of several World Wrestling Federation's 'Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection' events and was present at WrestleMania I (1985). She played Marianne Lugasso in NBC’s sitcom ‘Mad About You’ (1992-99), co-starred with Christopher Walken in the crime-drama film ‘The Opportunists’ (2000), and competed in season 3 of ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ (2009), coming sixth.

In 2012, she wrote the music and the lyrics for Harvey Fierstein’s Broadway musical ‘Kinky Boots.’ The album was released in May 2013.

In 2014, she voiced ‘Nurse Cyndi’ in the animated drama film ‘Henry & Me’ directed by Barrett Esposito. The film holds an 80% approval score on Rotten Tomatoes. She put out her twelfth studio album ‘Detour’ in May 2016. The album peaked at number 29 on the Billboard 200 and reached number 4 on the Billboard Top Country Albums.

She next appeared in television shows like ‘Magnum P.I.,’ ‘Young Sheldon,’ ‘Bubble Guppies,’ and ‘Project Runway.’ In 2023, she played the role of ‘Ruthie’ in the dark comedy horror television series ‘The Horror of Dolores Roach.’ She also gave the song ‘Oh Dolores’ for the show.

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Major Works

Cyndi Lauper’s album ‘She's So Unusual’ is listed among Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Vh1 included the album’s single ‘Time After Time’ in their list of the 100 Best Songs of the Past 25 Years while Lauper herself was ranked at #58 on the list of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll.

She collaborated with journalist and author Jancee Dunn on her autobiographical non-fiction, ‘Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir’. As controversial as it is honest, the book was published in September 2012 by Atria Books. It became a New York Times Best Seller.

Awards & Achievements

At the 1984 Billboard Awards, Cyndi Lauper was conferred with the Best New Artist award and the Best Female Performance for the song ‘Time After Time’.

In 1985, she won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. She won her second Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album in 2014 for ‘Kinky Boots’.

For the track ‘We Are the World’, she was granted the People’s Choice Award for Favourite New Song in 1986.

In 1995, she received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series for ‘Mad About You’.

Her work in ‘Kinky Boots’ also brought her Best Original Score accolade at the 2013 Tony Awards.

Personal Life

In the past, Cyndi Lauper had dated Dave Wolff, her previous manager, for six and a half years. She met actor David Thornton on the set of the film ‘Off and Running’ (1991) and fell in love with him. They married on November 24, 1991. Their son, Declyn Wallace Thornton, Was born on November 19, 1997.

Her iconic cover and re-arrangement of Robert Hazard’s ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ has cemented her status as a feminist idol. According to journalist and music critic Sheila Moeschen, Lauper has come to be viewed as the embodiment of a different kind of aesthetics that celebrates the playfulness in self-expression, as opposed to the raw sensuality and edginess of her contemporaries such as Madonna and Joan Jett.

As a passionate supporter of LGBT rights, she is known to campaign for various charities and attend pride marches. She has cited her sister Ellen, who is a lesbian, as her reason to join the movement. One of her songs, ‘True Colors’, is widely recognized as an LGBT anthem, while another song, ‘Above the Clouds’ was written to honor Matthew Shepard, who was killed because of his sexual orientation.

Facts About Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper is an avid wrestling fan and even made an appearance at WrestleMania.

She is a passionate advocate for LGBTQ rights and co-founded the True Colors Fund to support homeless LGBTQ youth.
Cyndi Lauper once worked at a dog kennel and has a deep love for animals.
She is a talented artist beyond her music career and has created her own artwork that has been exhibited in galleries.
Cyndi Lauper is known for her unique fashion sense and has been a style icon for many over the years.

Cyndi Lauper Movies

1. Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994)

  (Drama, Biography)

2. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)

  (Romance, Comedy, Music)

3. The Opportunists (2000)

  (Crime, Comedy, Romance, Drama)

4. Vibes (1988)

  (Adventure, Romance, Comedy)

5. Life with Mikey (1993)

  (Family, Comedy)

6. Dirty Movie (2011)



Primetime Emmy Awards
1995 Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Mad About You (1992)
Grammy Awards
2014 Best Musical Theater Album Winner
1985 Best New Artist Winner
1985 Best Album Package Winner
MTV Video Music Awards
1984 Best Female Video Cyndi Lauper: Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1983)

See the events in life of Cyndi Lauper in Chronological Order

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