STAMFORD, Conn. -- Happy birthday to Stamford’s Cynthia Ann Stephanie "Cyndi" Lauper!
Lauper, who owns a home in Stamford, turns 61 on Sunday. The singer-songwriter and actress was born June 22, 1953, in Ozone Park, Queens, N.Y.
Early in her career, she performed as a vocalist with various cover bands in the New York metropolitan area, singing hits by bands including Jefferson Airplane, Led Zeppelin, and Bad Company in the early 1970s.
Her debut solo album "She's So Unusual" (1983) was an instant commercial success. The album was the first debut female album to chart four top-five hits on the Billboard Hot 100—"Girls Just Want to Have Fun," "Time After Time," "She Bop," and "All Through the Night." She won the Best New Artist award at the 27th Grammy Awards in 1985.
Her success continued with the soundtrack from the motion picture "The Goonies" and her second record, "True Colors" (1986), which included the No. 1 hit of the same name, and "Change of Heart," which peaked at No. 3 and earned Lauper two nominations at the 29th Grammy Awards in 1987.
Her next album, the Grammy-nominated "Memphis Blues," became Billboard's most successful blues album of the year, remaining at No. 1 on the charts.
In 2011, she released an autobiography, "Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir," detailing her battle with child abuse and depression. The book became a New York Times bestseller.
In 2013, she completed writing both the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical "Kinky Boots," which led the 2013 Tony Awards with 13 nominations and won six awards including Best Musical. The musical also won Best Score, making Lauper the first woman to win the composing category solo.
In 2013, she became the first artist in over 25 years to top the dance charts with a Broadway single.
Over the course of her career, she has released over 40 singles and sold more than 80 million records worldwide.
She is featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum's Women Who Rock exhibit.
She has won at the Grammy, Emmy, Tony, MTV VMA, Billboard, and AMA awards.
She is also one of only 20 artists to achieve "GET" status by winning competitive Grammy, Emmy, and Tony awards.
She has been celebrated for her ongoing humanitarian work over the last 30 years, particularly as an advocate for gay and transgender rights in the U.S. Her charitable efforts were recognized in 2013, when she was invited as a special guest to attend President Barack Obama's second-term inaugural ceremony.