Today is a big day for Cyndi Lauper. Not only does her latest album Memphis Blues (a covers album featuring classic blues licks) hit stores today, but it also happens to be the day she turns 57 years old. It's her birthday, and there are any number of ways for her to celebrate.
Throughout her career, Lauper has proven herself to be incredibly versatile and adaptive. After spending her youth singing in clubs in New York City, Lauper scored a big splash with her 1983 album She's So Unusual. She presented a unique, impressive style, as she was performing bubbly pop songs while retaining a low-fi approach and a fashion sense that borrowed from the punk, glam and dance worlds. The single "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" made Lauper a household name, and the video (which co-starred professional wrestler Captain Lou Albano) was an early MTV staple. The hits from She's So Unusual kept coming, including the moving ballad "Time After Time" and the caustic "Money Changes Everything."
Lauper kept a high profile throughout the '80s, participating in a handful of events around professional wrestling, getting involved with the film "The Goonies" (which resulted in the classic tune "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough") and lending a hand to Live Aid. Her second album True Colors kept things going for her, as the title track became her second chart-topping single. She also remained an in-demand collaborator, dropping in on Billy Joel's "Code of Silence," the theme song to "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" and the film "Vibes," an off-beat comedy that also starred Jeff Goldblum.
She has continued to produce well-received albums and has stayed on the road for most of the last 15 years. Recently, she was one of the most entertaining cast members of "The Celebrity Apprentice" and teamed up with Lady Gaga for an anti-AIDS campaign with MAC Cosmetics (and like Gaga, Lauper is a defender of gay rights). Though she had many great songs, "She Bop" is probably the most eye-raising of her career, as it's probably the catchiest and most successful tune about self-pleasure in the history of radio pop.