Cyndi Lauper burst onto the world stage as the quintessential girl who wants to have fun. After more than 25 years in the business and global record sales in excess of 30 million, she has proven that she has the heart and soul to keep her legion of fans compelled by her every creative move.
The beauty of Cyndi Lauper is that she has evolved into a richly multi-faceted renaissance woman who strikes a resonant chord with each project.
In 2010, she released her 11th studio album, the Grammy nominated Memphis Blues, which entered the Billboard 200 at #26, becoming the third highest charting album and the fifth top 40 album of her career. Memphis Blues also debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues Album Chart, ruling atop the chart for 14 consecutive weeks.
With this collection of blues cover songs, she is once again reinvented herself by putting her unique twist on one of music’s most beloved genres. Over a year after its release, Lauper is still proud of the record.
“I wanted to do a blues album when I was still at Sony back in 2004. I have always been a fan of blues since I was a kid,” Lauper states. “I first heard about the blues from reading articles about Janis Joplin and the Stones. First time I heard about Muddy Waters was from reading an article about Keith Richards. And as Muddy Waters is quoted "If blues gave birth to a child, that child would be rock and roll."
The feel of Memphis Blues is gritty and full of life. Recorded at Electraphonic Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, the album features appearances by such great artists as B.B. King, Jonny Lang, Allen Toussaint, Ann Peebles and Charlie Musselwhite.
“I loved Muddy and then I bought records by Robert Johnson, discovered all the great blues female singers like Big Momma Thornton and Big Maybelle. They really influenced me as a singer, so I always had this project in the back of my mind, wanting to do this record.”
An Emmy Award-winner, Lauper describes Memphis Blues as the album she’s been waiting to record for years. “All of these beautiful songs, and all of the great players on the album, were carefully chosen because I’ve admired them my entire life. I knew from the moment Alan Toussaint hit the keys in ‘Shattered Dreams’ that we were creating something really special,” she says.
Although successful in past projects, it wasn’t a guaranteed smash as the album was vastly different than anything else Lauper has ever done. “I was very proud that it was well received around the world. Very happy and proud and then to be nominated for a Grammy alongside Pinetop Perkins and Wille Smith, Mr Charlie Musselwhite, James Cotton and Jimmy Vaughn, I mean wow!”
The songs on Memphis Blues are like children, she loves them all. “I worked for a long time to come up with the songs I decided to record,” Lauper states. “I was looking for songs that told stories and that also were uplifting because for me the greatest blues songs are the ones that are about perseverance.”
Songs that Lauper really holds closer to her heart are “Down So Low" and "Don’t Cry No More." However, she makes it clear that all the tracks are “really all amazing songs written by amazing artists.”
The tracks fit seamlessly into Lauper’s current setlist of old and new favorites.
“We've were out on road for over a year and it really worked great. That's what having a great band will do for ya!”
Lauper is also quick to acknowledge her loving and devoted fans. “They always support me and they walk and dance with me on the paths I've taken.”
Lauper will also release an autobiography in the coming months. "I still have so much to say and share," she says. "I'm grateful for each and everyday that I get to make music. As long as there's a corner of the world where people want to hear me, I'll be there… singing and acting and writing my heart out."
An unwavering advocate for LGBT equality since the start of her career, Lauper created the True Colors Tour in 2007. The Tour has brought together artists like Erasure, The B-52s, the Indigo Girls, Deborah Harry and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts for shows that successfully merge great music and public awareness about the issues facing the LGBT community.
To further her role as an activist, Lauper founded the True Colors Fund in 2008. The non-profit seeks to inspire and engage everyone, particularly the straight community, to become involved in the advancement of LGBT equality. The Fund recently launched the Give a Damn Campaign, an extensive and innovative online public education and awareness initiative.
In addition, Lauper is the Honorary Chairperson of the True Colors Residence, the first project of its kind to provide a permanent, supportive and secure home to formerly homeless LGBT youth in New York City.
In appreciation for her work, Lauper has been honored by many organizations including the Human Rights Campaign, GLSEN and PFLAG.
"It's an honor to always have the genuine affection of the gay community,” she states. “They have never turned their back on me. I will never turn my back on them. We've had a long and enduring love affair.”
Lauper is also a tireless participant in the struggle to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Most recently, she has joined with Lady Gaga to be the spokespeople for the MAC Viva Glam Campaign and to educate woman about HIV/AIDS around the world.
She also continues to participate in efforts and events for organizations like AMFAR, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in order to speak out about the need for education and greater resources to fight this disease.
For more information about Cyndi Lauper and her career, please visit her website at www.cyndilauper.com