We challenge you to name a top-selling, high-charting female singer/songwriter in the 21st century not inspired by Cyndi Lauper. As a matter of fact, we challenge you to find someone who doesn’t know all of the words to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Go ahead, we’ll wait. Can’t do it? That’s right, and with good reason.
Cynthia Ann Stephanie “Cyndi” Lauper was the first female artist to have four top-five singles released from one album, and if you name an award, she’s probably got one. So, it was a great privilege for CherryGRRL to discuss success, LGBTQ activism, and her latest album–a blues project–with the Queens, New York native.
CherryGRRL (CG): When you reach a certain level of success, does breaking records or receiving awards become frivolous or boring?
Cyndi Lauper (CL): Never. It’s always nice to be recognized for your work. It’s a nice honor, of course.
CG: You are one of the best-selling artists of all-time. What does that mean to you?
CL: That I have the most amazing fans in the world.
CG: You’ve received numerous rewards; an Emmy, VMAs, more than one Grammy… Is it more important to be respected by an audience, or other artists?
CL: An audience, always.
CG: You have always been very outspoken regarding your LGBTQ fan-base and how much they mean to you. When did you begin to notice that your music—and your ideals—resonated with people?
CL: I’ve always had friends and family in the community. When I started putting out records, lots of my fans were of the community, so I wanted to show my support and love… Just like I’ve been given that support and love.
CG: At age 24, you damaged your vocal cords very seriously and were told by 3 physicians that you wouldn’t sing again. How did you overcome such a massive blow to your career?
CL: I took a year off, and just worked my hardest to regain it.
CG: The loss of your voice was one of just a series of obstacles you have faced in your career. What advice would you give to those who are struggling to find their foothold in a career, and/or life?
CL: Be true to yourself. Believe in yourself, and don’t give up!
CG: Your style is as iconic and well-known as your music; who and what inspire(s) your fashion?
CL: Everything around me inspires my fashion; from my music, to the people that I meet every day. I just love fashion… I always have. Since I was a kid, when I flipped through all of my mom’s glamour magazines. For the last 5 years, I have been working with Nikki Fontanella, a really talented New York-based stylist. We are a team.
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