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Cynthia Ann Stephanie "Cyndi" Lauper (born June 22, 1953) is an iconic American Grammy Award-winning singer and Emmy Award-winning film, television and theatre actress. Her melodic voice and wild costumes have come to epitomize the 1980s and New Wave - the decade and genre in which she first came to fame.
A high-profile star of the early MTV Era, Lauper was born in Ozone Park, New York, to Fred Lauper and Catrine Dominique, a waitress. Her father was of German and Swiss descent and her mother was Italian American (Sicilian, precisely). She has a sister (Elen) and a brother (Frank). At the age of 12, she learned how to play the guitar and started writing her own lyrics. She soon dropped out of high school and traveled to Canada, then returned to New York at a later time.
In the mid-seventies Lauper performed as a vocalist with various cover bands (such as "Doc West" and "Flyer") in the New York metropolitan area, singing hits by bands such as Jefferson Airplane, Led Zeppelin, and Bad Company. In 1977, due to damage to her vocal cords, Lauper took a year off and trained with a vocal coach.
After Lauper got her voice back she returned in 1978 and performed her own material with her band, Blue Angel. In 1980, they released a self-titled album on Polydor Records. Despite critical acclaim, the album "went lead" as Lauper says, and the band split soon afterwards. Lauper filed for bankruptcy and started working in retail stores such as at the New York high-end thrift store "Screaming Mimi's" to make ends meet, but continued to sing cover songs.
Under new contract with Sony Music, Lauper released The Body Acoustic, an album that featured acoustic reinterpretations of tracks from her back catalog. Two new tracks were also written and recorded, one of which "Above the Clouds". Guests on the album included Shaggy, Ani DiFranco, Adam Lazzara, Jeff Beck, Puffy AmiYumi and Sarah McLachlan.
Though she hasn't released an album of new material since 1997's Sisters of Avalon, Lauper has remained busy over the years. Appearing on Showtime's hit show, Queer As Folk in 2005, making her Broadway debut in The Threepenny Opera in 2006, and directing a commercial for Totally 80's edition of the board game Trivial Pursuit. On October 16, 2006, she was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. In 2007, she sang "Beecharmer" with Nellie McKay on Nellie's "Pretty Little Head" album.
In June 2007, Lauper headlined the True Colors Tour 2007 for Human Rights through the United States and Canada which also included Deborah Harry, Erasure, The Dresden Dolls, and Gossip, with Margaret Cho as MC and special guests in different cities. The tour, sponsored by Logo, the MTV Networks channel targeting gay audiences, provided information to fans who attend, as well as purple wristbands with the slogan "Erase Hate" from The Matthew Shepard Foundation. A dollar from every ticket sold was earmarked for the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.
She plans to record an album of all-new original material, entitled "Savoire Faire," that she says will be released some time in the summer of 2008. She has described it as a mainly dance album with good rhythm. She has performed some of the songs at her concerts. Some of the titles are "Still with Me" , "The Other Side Of Here", and "Set Your Heart".
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