MVA: Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper, a most valuable ally.


Cyndi Lauper is an American singer, songwriter, actress and LGBT activist, with a career in the industry spanning over 40 years. 

Since 1983, Lauper has released eleven studio albums, along with countless other projects throughout her incredible career, selling over 50 million records worldwide.


She has won awards at the GrammysEmmysTonys, the New York’s Outer Critics Circle, MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), Billboard Awards, and American Music Awards (AMAs), and is an inductee into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame (to name just a few).

These achievements, incredibly, are just the tip of Cyndi’s megastar of an iceberg.



In 1984, Lauper won the inaugural Best Female Video prize at the 1984 VMAs, for “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, the music video for which has been recognized by MTV, VH1 and Rolling Stone as one of the greatest, era-defining of its time.


Her multi-award-winning career and back-catalogue aside, she is also known for her humanitarian work, particularly as an advocate for LGBT+ rights in the United States.
Lauper said she became involved in gay rights advocacy initially because her sister, Ellen, who Lauper cites as a role model, is a lesbian.
Along with lending her voice to numerous LGBT+ charities and pride events around the world, Lauper shared song “Above the Clouds”, in memory of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man, in Wyoming, who was brutally attacked, tied to a fence in a field and left to die. His murder sent shockwaves across America, and the world, and played a huge role in extending hate crime laws to cover violence based on a person’s sexual orientation
As a member of the Matthew Shepard Foundation Board, Lauper also devoted a concert tour in 2005 to promoting the Foundation’s message. 
She co-founded the True Colors tour for Human Rights throughout the United States and Canada in June 2007. One dollar from each ticket was earmarked for the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates equal rights for LGBT individuals.


In 2008, Lauper launched True Colors United (named after her 1986 hit ‘True Colours’) after learning that, while 10% of American youth at the time identified as LGBT, up to 40% of American homeless youths do.
The organization works to end youth homelessness, focusing on the experiences of LGBT young people. She set up the True Colors Residence in New York City for LGBT homeless youths, a 30-bed facility that offered temporary shelter and job placement help.
Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper at the press night of Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre
Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper at the press night of Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre (Image: PA)
The music icon also penned the music and lyrics for Kinky Boots the musical, including a re-working of original song ‘Just Be’, modernized to make a statement about trans rights and bathroom access in the US.

The updated version includes lyrics: “Just pee where you wanna pee! Never let ’em tell you who you ought to be!”
“I’m me! I don’t need ID. Don’t tell me who I am and where I ought to be.”
In August 2008, she contributed an article titled “Hope” to The Huffington Post, encouraging Americans to vote for Barack Obama in the 2008 United States presidential election, eventually going on to sing at Obama’s inauguration. 
In 2018, she won the Billboard Icon Award. In her brilliant acceptance speech (below), she said Dua Lipa would “be standing here someday”.

In 2022, she received the United Nation’s High Note Global Prize, an award presented to musicians who use their art to promote social justice.
In July 2022, TCU, the Charity Founded by Lauper, named Its first transgender CEO.
In May 2022, it was announced that Alison Ellwood will direct a career retrospective documentary about Lauper. ‘Let The Canary Sing’ will be the title of a career spanning documentary, produced by Sony Music Entertainment.
Did we mention she is also responsible for a multitude of pop bangers?? Like this…