Cyndi: Gaga's No Me; Singer Lauper Still Going Strong at 57

Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England), May 22, 2011 | Go to article overview

Cyndi: Gaga's No Me; Singer Lauper Still Going Strong at 57


Byline: LORNE JACKSON

CYNDI Lauper is famous for being loud.

Her hair is loud. It's often dyed a rainbow romp of riotous colours.

Her performances are legendarily loud. When she sang her most famous hit, Girls Just Want to Have Fun on Top Of The Pops in 1984, the New Yorker chewed-up BBC scenery like it was a stick of gum.

Yet when I get her on the phone to chat about her new album, Memphis Blues, and a tour that sees her hit Birmingham in June, she is... quiet. Very quiet.

Imagine listening to the whispering lilt of a seashell, when the shell is on one side of a football stadium, and you're on the other.

That's Cyndi. She's also a serious gal. I expect a wacky personality. Larger than life and more than a little bit loopy. But she turns out to be - shock! horror! - sensible.

Does Cyndi think Lady Gaga is a modern version of her? The two stars recently collaborated on an advertising campaign.

"No, not really," she says. "She's a version of everyone who has been around in the past, put together.

"Though Gaga has had some very wild hairdos, just like me.

"I had yellow hair for a while, and I thought it looked good on me. But I wouldn't have it now because Lady Gaga did her hair like that. So even though I had it before her, everyone would think I was copying her."

It also turns out that Cyndi often dresses more demurely than in her 80s heyday.

That's because Cyndi and her actor husband, David Thornton, have a 13 year-old son, Declyn.

"I don't want people to make a fool of my son because of the way his mom dresses," she says. "So if he's with his friends, I'll have to figure out how to downplay what I wear.

"That probably means a simple shirt, black, and a pair of chinos. I'll also wear pearls. Even though it's a very normal way to dress, to me it's like putting on a Halloween costume.

"But I can only do it for a couple of hours, then I have to be me again."

Cyndi first hit the big time in the mid-80s, about the same time as Madonna.

In many ways she was the anti-Madonna. Madge was always slick, controlled and rather soulless. A commercial entity constructed out of conical bras and platinum dye. …

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