Page 3 Profile: Cyndi Lauper, singer


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The Independent Online

Girls just want to have fun?

While she might play hard, Ms Lauper certainly puts the hours in. She’s released 49 singles, sold 50 million records and 1 million DVDs, been ranked the 58th Greatest Woman of Rock ’n’ Roll by VH1, been immortalised as a “Ladies of the 80s” Barbie, is a dedicated LGBT campaigner, and was fired by Donald Trump on Celebrity Apprentice. Now she’s become the first woman to win Best Score in the Tony’s for her play Kinky Boots. The award also means she’s just one of 20 artists to achieve GET status, winning a Grammy, Emmy and Tony. In her acceptance speech, she said of the cast and crew: “I understand how hard you work, and I’ve never been a stranger to hard work.”

What’s the play about?

Fetish footwear. Based on the 2005 film of the same name, Kinky Boots tells the story of a shoe factory owner who revives his business’s fortunes by catering for the cross-dressing community. Lauper is a newcomer to Broadway, but it seems she has the golden touch: the play received 13 nominations, and won six awards, including Best Musical, Best Leading Man and Best Original Score.

So what’s her story?

Rivalling Jay Z on the rags-to-riches scale, she grew up in Queens, the daughter of an Italian-American mother and a German-Swiss father. Her mother divorced, remarried, divorced again and worked as a waitress. Lauper has chronicled the abuse she suffered as a child in her autobiography. The turning point came when she picked up a guitar at the age of 12.