When the phone rang, she said, “Paco?” My response was, “Who’s this?”…to which she replied, “This is Cindy.”
My first thought was that it was one of our listeners [sidebar: I have a regular caller named Cindy] calling, because it was on our request line. I hadn’t realized that I’d given her management the wrong phone number! When I realized that is was CYNDI, (and not “Cindy”), not only was I surprised, and embarrassed, but I was taken aback since I’m truly a fan of her, her work, her causes, and her (life) philosophies.
Very few people know that at one time Cyndi lost her voice at an early age and was even told by doctors that she’d NEVER sing again. Don’t tell her that…she won’t accept it. She obviously didn’t. She also lived in the woods for a while during her early years, as she “tried to find herself.”
The “Unusual Girl” has come a long way since then. Cyndi Lauper is an accomplished musician, singer, songwriter, actress, and activist. Ms. Lauper’s career has spanned over three decades (so far). At the ripe young age of 62, she just keeps on keepin’ on!
She’s sold over 50 million records worldwide…and has done music, film, stage, and more. She’s won multiple GRAMMYs…her first in 1984, and her most recent as little as two years ago. Cyndi is also one of an extremely small circle of performers who have garnered an MTV Music Award, a Tony, an Emmy, and, as mentioned, a Grammy. Now she has her sights on an Oscar.
She was oftentimes asked by record execs, “Why do you dress that way?” Just wait until you hear what she said about that during our conversation!
I found Cyndi to be very real in my conversation with her. She came off as genuine a person as I’ve EVER met in this industry. She made me feel as if we’d been friends for years. It was as if we’d grown up in the same neighborhood and had been “pals” forever. She has that way about her.
She gives of herself in time, effort, money, and other areas for what she believes in. She was raised that way. And it stuck!
Cyndi told me about her grandmother and the conversations they’d have as she was trying to make it in the very tough record business. She took me back in time to our childhood when we’d watch Rocky & Bullwinkle’s Twisted Fairy Tales! We also discussed how some record execs are “the devil” in trying to manipulate artists and how she responded to them…and eventually rose above the crowd.
I felt at ease with her and asked her a few of the “tough” questions about some of the things that are going on in society. She answered truthfully and (as you’ll hear) seemingly, straight from her heart.
We also discussed her stance on speaking out against discrimination against the LGBT community. Cyndi recently walked away from a table full of money in North Carolina as she cancelled shows there due to the passing of “HB2” (a state legislative house bill) which prevents transgender people from using bathrooms corresponding to the gender with which they identify. She shared her thoughts on that as well as the treatment of all people.
In a business where we find so many “fakes,” Cyndi is the real deal (even though she doesn’t have to be). She’s always zigged when many others zagged. She’s always swum upstream, sometimes doing things the Cyndi way. Not the “right way”, not the “wrong way,” just HER way. That’s what makes her “So Unusual.” So unique. And such a breath of fresh air in a society of plastic people.
We’ll see her June 9th in concert at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Showtime is 8pm. I already have my tickets. Get yours NOW before they’re all gone!