— When Cyndi Lauper scored a pop hit in 1983 with "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," her punker-meets-hippie-chick fashion sense stirred up as much talk as her music.
Her combination of hair scarves, dangling earrings, colorful skirts and tops, and spiky multi-colored hair made Lauper one of the fashion emblems of the 1980s. But beneath the glitz was a serious musician who has quietly picked up critical acclaim in the years since she first won a Grammy for best new artist in 1983.
Lauper was born Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper in Brooklyn, N.Y., on June 22, 1953. Now 48, she took up playing the guitar and writing lyrics when she was 12 years old.
In the mid-1970s, Lauper performed as a vocalist with cover bands in the New York City area, singing classic rock songs from the likes of Jefferson Airplane, Led Zeppelin and Bad Company. In 1977, she damaged her vocal cords, and was left virtually voiceless. But after a year of therapy, her voice came back, and in 1980, Lauper and multi-instrumentalist John Turi formed a new band, Blue Angel, and released an album.
In 1983, Lauper signed with Portrait Records as a solo artist, and her first solo album, She's So Unusual was released at the end of the year. It went on to sell more than 4.5 million copies in the United States alone.
It was the first album by a female artist to score four top five singles from a debut album: "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," "Time After Time," "She Bop," and "All Through the Night."
In the years since, she has released several more albums, including True Colors, A Night to Remember, Hat Full of Stars, Twelve Deadly Cyns … And Then Some, Sisters of Avalon, and a Christmas album. She married actor David Thornton in 1991, and the couple had a son, Declyn Wallace Thornton Lauper on Nov. 19, 1997.
In 1999, Lauper appeared twice on the sitcom Mad About You, and did a U.S. tour as Cher's special guest. She is in negotiations with several record labels to release a new album, yet to be titled.
Lauper performed live on Good Morning America as part of the show's 12-week Summer Concert Series.
Her new EP entitled Shine is available through her Web site, www.cyndilauper.com and it will be in stores by the end of June.