Born in Queens, New York and raised in the neighboring borough of Brooklyn, Cyndi Lauper (b. June 22, 1953) dropped out of high school in her late teens, choosing to sing in a number of local cover bands instead. Eventually, her voice was so strained she turned to voice lessons from Katherine Agresta, a well-known vocal teacher in New York. In 1977, Lauper began writing her own material with keyboardist John Turi. The duo formed Blue Angel that same year. Over the next few years, the group built up a solid following in New York, culminating in the release of an eponymous debut album on Polydor in 1980. The Blue Angel record flopped and shortly afterward, Lauper filed for bankruptcy, which led to the disbandment of Blue Angel.
Following the breakup of the group, Lauper sang in local clubs and restaurants. In 1983, her manager and boyfriend David Wolff managed to secure her a contract with Portrait. At the end of the year, she released her debut album, She's So Unusual. Helped by heavy MTV support of the album's first single/video "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," She's So Unusual became a major hit in the spring of 1984, eventually climbing to number four on the US charts; it would wind up going platinum five times, as well as becoming a hit in the UK and Europe. "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" peaked at number two, while its follow-up, the ballad "Time After Time," reached number one; two other songs, "She Bop" and "All Through the Night," went Top Ten.
With the success of She's So Unusual under her belt, Lauper was an official star, yet she wasn't able to maintain her popularity. During 1985 she worked on her follow-up album; her only release of the year was "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough," the theme song from the childrens adventure film, The Goonies. Her second album, True Colors, appeared in the fall of 1986, and while it was successful the title track went to number one, while the album peaked at number four and went platinum its softer, adult-contemporary sound lost Lauper some fans.
Lauper's career continued to lose momentum, as her feature film debut in 1988's comedy Vibes bombed. A Night to Remember, her third album, was released to weak reviews in 1989 and although it spawned the Top Ten hit "I Drove All Night," it suffered from disappointing sales, peaking at number 37. The next year, she severed her relationship with Wolff and married actor David Thornton.
After taking a few years off, Lauper returned in 1993 with Hat Full of Stars, an album where she co-produced and co-wrote all of the tracks. The record stiffed, peaking at 112. The following year, the hits compilation 12 Deadly Cyns and Then Some was released in the UK; the album reached number two, while a remixed "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" became a number one hit. 12 Deadly Cyns was released in America the following career to less attention. Lauper released Sisters of Avalon, her first album of new material in four years, in the spring of 1997 to generally positive reviews, yet the record didn't chart. Merry Christmas, Have a Nice Life followed in late 1998. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide