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still great at 60, cindy lauperKinky Boots took the Tony Awards with six wins, including an upset victory for Best Musical against frontrunner Matilda, which swept the Olivier Awards in the UK.

“Kinky” also won Best Actor, Billy Porter.

Cyndi Lauper was awarded Best Musical Score, making her the first woman to win that category solo; she’s now only an Oscar away from completing her EGOT.

Cyndi Lauper’s new Broadway show, Kinky Boots, has become a hit. Based on the book by Harvey Fierstein and directed by Jerry Mitchell, Cyndi wrote the music and lyrics that received rave reviews from The Times, Time Out New York, and Entertainment Weekly – plus  13 Tony Award nominations.

The New York Times said “INSPIRED! CYNDI LAUPER has created a score with audience-hugging charisma that performs like a pop star on Ecstasy. KINKY BOOTS is an emotional button-pusher about finding your passion, overcoming prejudice and transcending stereotypes.”

Variety reported, “THE THEATER VIBRATES LIKE A DANCE PARTY! CYNDI LAUPER knows how to SPREAD JOY! ANNALEIGH ASHFORD is SENSATIONAL! JERRY MITCHELL’s choreography is TERRIFIC. Audiences will love it to death!”

“THE VERY MODEL OF A MODERN MAJOR MUSICAL! IRRESISTIBLE, with A HEART-STRONG CAST!” wrote TimeOut New York.

Written by Cyndi Lauper,  the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Kinky Boots was released May 28. She may be the first woman to win a Tony for Best Original Score.

In an industry where people become famous at a young age and peak in their early-20s, Cyndi Lauper stands out as far from the norm and is one of the most well-known female rock stars from the 1980s. She turens 60 in June.

We all remember Girls Just Want To Have FunTrue Colors, and Time After Time. After making a small comeback on The CelebrityApprentice, Cyndi now has her own television show.  Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual is shown on WE TV.  It follows the everyday life and bantering of Cyndi with her husband David Thornton and her teenage son, Declyn, plus the many facets of her career as a rock icon, Broadway show producer, philanthropist, and New York Times best-selling author.

She’s known for being extremely eccentric and unafraid to speak her mind. One instance on the show involved her accidentally muttering profanities into a microphone that she thought wasn’t switched on, while it was actually feeding into a live television broadcast to millions of families. Her son later scolded her.

Viewers also see behind-the-scenes action for her performances, how she constantly works with her vocal coach to protect her voice (which was damaged several years ago), and everything involved in producing even the smallest onstage appearance.

Cyndi is from Queens, New York, which is evident by her iconic accent. She says,”You know, I do speak the Queen’s English. It’s just the wrong Queens, that’s all. It’s over the 59th Street Bridge. It’s not over the Atlantic Ocean”.

Coming from a single-mother household, her mother always encouraged her to pursue her interest in music, and her earliest influences included Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and the Beatles. Even after she secured regular gigs singing with popular New York cover bands, she spent part of the 1970s working in a thrift store to earn extra money until her first solo album, She’s So Unusual, was released in 1983 (when she was 30). It climbed to #4 on the charts, making her a worldwide hit. Women and teens instantly became fans of her punk-like appearance and her rebellious persona.

The album established her career, not only because it made her a music star, but because she wrote a great deal of the material, changing lyrics to better suit her voice and her message. She also sang a soprano part in the 1986 classic We Are The World, which went on to win four Grammy awards. She has been nominated for 14 Grammys and won the 1985 award for Best New Artist. Cyndi is also an advocate for gay rights – specifically homeless and displaced gay teens – and her song True Colors has become synonymous with the gay and lesbian community.

Quotes from Cyndi:

“Humor is a great vehicle for getting a message across. If you get too serious, you could die of starch.”

“I get the greatest feeling when I’m singing. It’s other-worldly. Your feet are anchored into the Earth and into this energy force that comes up through your feet and goes up the top of your head… I have no idea.”

“I lucked out when I started to sing. I’d already experienced failing at everything else.”

“I wanted to make the album I always needed to make. I had to say the things I never could.”

“People can save the world by the way they think and by the way they behave and what they hold to be important.”

“Somebody did complain to me and tell me that my clothes were so loud they couldn’t hear me sing.”

“The women back in the 80s had beautiful cheekbones, thick eyebrows, big smiles – you know, everything I didn’t. I was upset that I didn’t look like them, but I find people that have a fat face like me figure how to work with it. You can do a lot with a plain, blank face.”

“On my darkest days, I wear my brightest colors.”

“You’re never the only person going through what it is that you’re going through.”

This article originally appeared in zestnow.com

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