Legendary singer, songwriter, actress, and activist Cyndi Lauper offers a personal account of the journey that led her to become an international superstar in this “moving story of an American musical original” (Kirkus Reviews).
Icon Cyndi Lauper offers a poignant account of the journey that led her to become an international superstar—from her years growing up in Queens, New York, to the making of enduring hits like “Time After Time,” “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” and “True Colors,” to becoming an actress, a mother, an outspoken activist, and maintaining a music career that has lasted more than thirty years.
After leaving her childhood home at seventeen, Cyndi took on a series of jobs: racetrack hot walker, IHOP waitress, and, as she puts it, “gal Friday the thirteenth,” as she pursued her passion for music. She worked her way up playing small gigs and broke out in 1983 with She’s So Unusual, which earned her a Grammy for Best New Artist and made her the first female artist in history to have four top-five singles on a debut album. And while global fame wasn’t always what she expected, she has remained focused on what matters most. Cyndi is a gutsy real-life heroine who has never been afraid to speak her mind and stick up for a cause—whether it’s women’s rights, gay rights, or fighting against HIV/AIDS.
With her trademark warmth and humor, Cyndi fearlessly writes of a life she’s lived only on her own terms, perfect for fans of Patti Smith’s Just Kids and Billy Idol’s Dancing with Myself.
Here, the legendary singer and style icon guides readers through her life journey, beginning in Ozone Park, Queens, where she grew up and from whence she fled a lecherous stepfather at age 17. Lauper honed her musical craft over years of playing clubs while working a bizarre assortment of odd jobs from receptionist at the Simon & Schuster publishing house, to cleaning a Hare Krishna temple in exchange for food, and entertaining businessmen at a Japanese piano bar in midtown Manhattan before finally breaking out with 1983's She's So Unusual. She discusses at length the composition process, as well as the constant struggle to maintain creative control in the midst of pushy producers and record execs. In addition to the nitty-gritty of the music business, Lauper holds forth on feminism, fame, and the bizarre feeling of being "totally sucked up and taken" into the loving arms of pop culture. She writes powerfully of losing her close friend Gregory to AIDS in the late '80s, an experience that inspired songs like "Boy Blue" and prompted Lauper to found the True Colors Fund, a gay rights advocacy group. Lauper is fearless in describing some of her most painful moments including a sexual assault by a band mate, an abortion, and crippling depression but her story is also loaded with lighter anecdotes and behind-the-scenes dirt. This is a terrific look inside the mind of an incredibly gifted, delightfully eccentric musician.
One of the best memoirs I've read in years! A fascinating look at Cyndi's life and music. An often over-looked artist with a heart of gold.
What I expected
Reading this was easy and enjoyable. Being a singer myself and a fan of Cyndi Lauper since her 1st album I enjoyed reading her story from her humble beginnings to her successful career and all the pitfalls along the way. She tells it like she sees it in a way that as you read you can actually hear that queens accent in your head telling you her life story. I don't take the time to read books a lot because I find it hard to dedicate the time required but I'm glad I read this one. Thank you Cyn for sharing your life with us with this book as we'll as your amazing music.
Cyndi Lauper 's voice shines through
Provocative and gritty. Authentically told with all the boldness and brash Cyndi 's fan find irresistible, written with an honest vulnerability that delivers up hope and healing.