Cyndi Lauper is coming to the Tropicana with an early Christmas gift - her timeless music.
December is perhaps the best time to catch Cyndi Lauper perform. You never know what the animated vocalist will do when she hits the stage. She could render Christmas songs, offer hits or deep album cuts.
“This is the greatest time of year,” Lauper tells Atlantic City Weekly. “That’s especially so for someone like me. I’m just a sucker for Christmas. Is there a more fun season? I love listening to a variety of Christmas music. I love reggae Christmas songs, mambo Christmas songs. I’ve always been drawn to holiday songs like ‘All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.’ I like songs like that and the [Alvin and the Chipmunks] stuff. To tell you the truth I love it all.”
It’s not surprising that Lauper loves the sillier tunes as well as the serious songs since that sums up Lauper’s sensibility as a recording artist.
Lauper, who performs Friday, Dec. 10, at the Tropicana, broke in thanks to her aptly titled She’s So Unusual, which is filled with a variety of new-wave pop and was a major smash in 1984.
The diminutive vocalist with the huge set of pipes sung songs (“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “She Bop” and “Yeah Yeah”), which are as cartoonish as the walking rainbow, which was Lauper circa 1984.
“I had the greatest time back then,” Lauper says. “What was not to like? I went from some tough times, but that’s the way it goes in this business.”
Lauper struggled with the obscure Blue Angel, her band before her rise to superstardom. It was only a matter of time for Lauper, who always had big booming pipes, perfect pitch and a style like no other artist.
It happened for Lauper when She’s So Unusual dropped. She went from unknown to one of the most popular singers of the 1980s. The album, which has sold over 16 million copies, was in the Top 200 for 65 weeks. It helped launch Lauper into the pop stratosphere. She has sold more then 30 million albums and is instantly recognizable by face or voice.
“That album was huge for me,” Lauper says. “There’s no two ways about that. It established me.”
She’s So Unusual primarily shows off the lighter, goofier and poppier side of Lauper and then there is her latest offering, Memphis Blues, released in June.
The album is just as the title suggests, it’s a blues collection, with a huge assist from a number of the idiom’s heavyweights: B.B. King, Ann Peebles, Charles Musselwhite and Jonny Lang.
Lauper has no problem with such classics as Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” or Big Bill Broonzy’s “Romance in the Dark.” There’s little doubt that the energetic fireball can sing anything.
“I love to sing,” Lauper says. “I don’t have to sing one kind of thing. Just give me a song and watch me go.”
Aside from her musical talent, what’s so appealing about Lauper is that she is one of the few remaining true characters in rock.
Lauper has always been a quirky, independent and strong-willed entertainer. That was the way it was when the porcelain skinned waif with the iridescent hair went national a generation ago. She has always been unique.
“I don’t think there is anyone like Cyndi Lauper,” comic Margaret Cho says. “She does her own thing. It’s all her and you just don’t see that so much anymore. I totally respect that.”
Lauper, a mother, has a strong personality on and off stage. She has a touch and a charm that is uncommon. She easily breaks the fourth wall on stage.
“I like having fun with the audience,” Lauper says. “Why just go up there and sing songs? There are people out there and they want to be entertained.”
There is also a serious side to Lauper, who has championed gay rights.
"Calling ourselves beautiful is the best thing we can do for ourselves. There is something very empowering about seeing yourself as beautiful, to say that no matter what society dictates as beautiful or what we should strive for, I know I am beautiful and no one can take that from me."
IF YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY to catch Cyndi Lauper's PBS Soundstage performance, which aired locally last weekend, you'll have an idea of where the former princess of '80s pop's at now and, most likely, you've already purchased tickets for one of her shows this weekend in town. If you didn't catch the concert on TV, taped from her current tour promoting her newest album, At Last, you'll have a chance to do so Friday, Saturday and Sunday night at the Atlantic City Hilton. Those who still picture Lauper mid-twist in a red skirt and fishnet stockings, with that bright orange hair as captured on her first album cover -- She's So Unusual (1983) -- may be surprised to see her now. The 51-year old singer is taking on classic pop, cabaret and rock 'n' roll tunes on her latest release, a collection of songs Lauper says are a tribute to the people in the New York neighborhood where she grew up in the '50s and '60s. Including songs such as "La Vie En Rose," "On the Sunny Side of the Street," "Unchained Melody" and "Walk on By," At Last may be the still quirky, funny, sultry and energetic singer's most...
Cyndi Lauper returned to Atlantic City last Sunday at the House of Blues. Grandmaster Flash was guest DJ at Borgata's mixx nightclub last Saturday. Comic Louis C.K. perf...
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