Cyndi Featured By Elle

Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 3:38 PM by User 0 Comments


From - By Dan Hyman

You won't be faulted for hearing the name Cyndi Lauper and immediately thinking back to the singer's early-'80s glory. But make no mistake, the lifelong musician has come a long way from the red cocktail dresses, flailing arms, permed hair, and "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Following 2008's electro-experimental Bring Ya to the Brink, Lauper dropped an old-school blues album just two years later. Her latest move? A no-frills country LP.

For the album–entitled Detour and due on May 6–Lauper teamed up with Sire Records' founder Seymour Stein and recorded the LP with legendary country producer Tony Brown. "It was wonderful to be able to more or less go home with this album," the 62-year-old icon tells "A lot of this country, early rock, and rockabilly stuff I cut my teeth on. Like Elvis Presley and Wanda Jackson."

Anyone who's heard a Lauper interview over the years–her thick Queens accent always in fine form–knows she's not one to show self-restraint. It was no surprise, then, to hear the outspoken singer indulge us with her thoughts on the contemporary women's movement, motivation by way of the Feminine Mystique, and how, in music, you're either a lifer...or you're not.

For those who know you principally as a pop singer, Detour might seem a left-turn...

People always come up and they say, 'Oh, your music was the backdrop of my life.' And you think, 'Okay, I can understand that if you were 20, or you were in college or high school, and you were dancing around to 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.' I get it. But, up until recently, I didn't even remember that when I was really small, country western was right in the foreground. It was a big deal. It wasn't like country music now: It was pop music. Everybody heard Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn. It was all over the television.

Do you have any specific early memories of embracing country music?

When I was little I saw [variety show] Arthur Godfrey and his Friends with my grandmother and we'd watch Patsy Cline. Who didn't listen to Patsy Cline when they learned how to sing? I think everybody did. We'd talk about how great she was. And then we'd always cry together because the contestant you thought was really gonna make it didn't. What can I tell you? I was five at my grandmother's house. Come to think of it, there were actually two defining moments for me... watching television with my grandmother...

Read the rest of the interview at