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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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-09-10
- Reviewer: Staff
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. (Sept.)