Cyndi Lauper performs at the US Open

Cyndi Lauper performed the National Anthem at the US Open prior to the start of the women’s semi-finals match between Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki on September 10th, 2011. Watch her performance below.

Photos: Getty
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Cyndi Lauper’s ‘True Colors Residence’ a Dream Come True for LGBT Youth

By Jeff Mays

HARLEM — Pop star Cyndi Lauper shed tears all throughout the ceremony dedicating True Colors Residences, New York state’s first permanent supportive housing facility for LGBT youth in Harlem Friday.

And then she stood up and channelled all that emotion into powerful a capella version of the 1986 hit song the $11 million facility is named after.

“I believe a strong society is an inclusive society. If we want to win big then we’d better include everybody because we need everybody,” said Lauper, a co-founder of the facility and outspoken gay rights activist.

Sitting in the audience at Colonel Charles Young Triangle, Priscilla Rumnit, 21 and Angela Louis, 23, two of the building’s first occupants, said they had goosebumps during the rendition because they couldn’t believe they finally had a place to call home.

Louis, who is transgender, says she was kicked out of her home at 16. She has bounced from shelter to shelter and never had a place of her own until now. Rumnit, 21, has been moving around since her mom died when she was 14.

“It’s hard out here. It’s so hard,” said Rumnit. “Now we have someplace to go that’s ours.”

“These are not tears of sadness,” added Louis.

The six-story energy efficient building is located on West 154th Street between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Macombs Place. Residents of the 30 studio units must be between the ages of 18 and 24 when they enter.

They will have access to a computer room, laundry, outdoor space, recreational room and also receive voluntary support services to learn life skills as well as to get help with job training and educational services. The building is part of the Section 8 program which means residents will pay 30 percent of their income in rent.

“Please know you are safe. We welcome you to your new home and we stand behind you on your journey,” said Colleen Jackson, executive director of West End Intergenerational Residence, which will manage the facility.

Jackson said the idea for the facility came about from a conversation she had with Lauper and Lisa Barbaris of So What Management in 2007. The group wondered what else they could do to help LGBT youth.

“We don’t need another shelter. What we need is permanent supportive housing for this population,” Jackson recalled saying.

There are an estimated 3,800 homeless youth, according to a  July 2007 study by the Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services. A June 2010 report by the city’s Commission for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Runaway and Homeless Youth found between 15 and 40 percent of that group identify as LGBT.

“This is fabulous. It is much needed and long overdue in our community for the LGBT community,” said Central Harlem Councilwoman Inez Dickens as she toured one of the units.

The journey to Friday’s ribbon cutting was not an easy one. While they were trying to secure financing for the project, the housing market and banking industry was near collapse.

The Manhattan Borough President’s office was able to assign $500,000 of public money to help with construction financing. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development provided $3.78 million in construction and permanent loans through the federal HOME program.

“Getting the most simple thing done was extremely difficult. Getting something like True Colors was….stepping outside of their comfort zone,” said William Traylor, president of Richman Housing Resources.

Eventually, Citi Community Capital was able to provide $6 million in construction financing, said its director, Bill Yates.

“On a credit call I’ve never used the term LGBT. I’ve never said Cyndi Lauper,” said Yates.

Louis showed of her studio with pride. She was particularly happy about the long hallway and the closet space. There’s even has a closet in the bathroom and the stove runs on gas. Louis refuses to smoke in her room.

Both Louis and Rumnit, who work as home health aides, said they plan on going back to school to further their educations now that they have stable, permanent housing.

“There’s not a lot of people that have a loud voice about LGBT issues,” said Louis. “There are no words. [Lauper] did something so good. She doesn’t understand.”

According to Lauper, that’s not exactly true. The plan now is to build more True Color facilities, she said.

“We need more place like this,” said Lauper. “By the time they are ready to move on in the world they will be rockin’.”

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Cyndi Lauper’s ‘True Colors Residence’ for LGBT Youth to Open Sept. 1

By Andrea Swalec

MANHATTAN — The city’s homeless LGBT youth will have a new place to sleep beginning in September.

The state’s first permanent supportive housing facility for LGBT youth will open in Harlem on Sept. 1, the residence’s executive director said.

True Colors Residence was co-founded by singer and longtime gay-rights activist Cyndi Lauper, who sang the affirming 1986 hit song for which the new building is named.

“These young people often face discrimination and at times physical assault in some of the very places they have to [go to] for help,” Lauper wrote in a letter posted on the residence’s website. “This is shocking and inexcusable!”

True Colors, on West 154th Street near Frederick Douglass Boulevard, will house 30 homeless LGBT youths ages 18 to 24 in studio apartments.

The six-story building has a computer room, resource library and communal indoor and outdoor space, and will offer support and job-training services, executive director Colleen Jackson said.

“We want to provide a very safe and supportive environment for young LGBT adults who have had a real rough time,” Jackson said. “We want to make sure they know they are cared for, supported and have a roof over their heads.”

Residents are signing year-long Section 8 leases now and will pay rent according to their incomes, Jackson said.

Many of the residents who will live at True Colors have bounced between LGBT youth service organizations in the city for years, Jackson said.

While several city nonprofits provide outreach services and offer drop-in centers for LGBT youth, only a handful of groups offer emergency or transitional housing. True Colors offers youth long-term homes.

“Nobody gets kicked out when they turn 25,” Jackson noted. “We believe that people will determine their own readiness to leave and go into other housing.”

A July 2007 study by the Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services found that New York had an estimated 3,800 homeless youth.

Between 15 and 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT, according to a June 2010 report by the city’s Commission for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Runaway and Homeless Youth.

The $11 million residence was financed by the Corporation for Supportive Housing, the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Supportive Housing Loan program, and many other sources.

True Colors will have an annual operating budget of about $700,000, Jackson added.

She said that Greenwich Village, an LGBT refuge for decades, has grown less hospitable to needy youth.

“My sense is that the Village has changed quite a bit,” Jackson explained. “While it’s still obviously very gay-friendly, the socioeconomic status of the people who live there has changed and has made the area not want to deal with young homeless people.”

But even with the addition of the residence uptown, Jackson said LGBT youth need more temporary housing, permanent housing and political support.

“There are not enough services for this population,” she said. “And there are way too many people who are underserved.”

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CYNDI LAUPER TO RELEASE LIVE CONCERT DVD

To Memphis, With Love out October 25th on Megaforce Records

Features Special Performances from Grammy-Nominated Album Memphis Blues

(New York, NY – August 22, 2011) – Cyndi Lauper will release the live concert DVD To Memphis, With Love on Megaforce Records on October 25th. To Memphis, With Love, taped earlier this year at The Warehouse in Memphis and featuring special guests including Allen Toussaint, Tracy Nelson and Jonny Lang, serves as Cyndi’s love letter to the blues and the city that she has fallen in love with.

To Memphis, With Love will feature special, live concert performances of songs from Lauper’s latest album, 2010’s Grammy-nominated, best-selling blues album of 2010, Memphis Blues, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Blues Albums Chart and held the top spot for 14 weeks.

“If there’s been a better blues album this year, it’s a well-kept secret,” remarked Newsweek Magazine, “It takes guts for a singer to walk onto territory once owned by Memphis Minnie, but Lauper pulls it off like a woman who knows everything there is to know about having fun with the blues.”

Lauper’s blues-focused live performances have won over audiences and critics alike. The New York Post raved, “She belted blues classics like she was born on the Delta rather than in Queens. With grit in her voice and swagger in her stage presence… Lauper’s set never faltered and she didn’t lack for classic material. She was killer.”

Additionally, this fall Lauper will embark a co-headlining tour with New Orleans music legend Dr. John, titled “Cyndi Lauper & Dr. John: From Memphis to Mardi Gras.” The 14-city tour will kick off October 7th at the House of Blues in Orlando, Florida and wrap up October 28th at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, Illinois.

TO MEMPHIS, WITH LOVE TRACK LISTING

Shattered Dreams
I’m Just Your Fool
Early In The Morning
Romance In The Dark
How Blue Can You Get
Down Don’t Bother Me
Down So Low
Crossroads
I Will Follow
Don’t Cry No More
She Bop
Mother Earth
Change Of Heart
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

INTERNATIONAL RELEASE DATES

United States: Tuesday, October 25th
United Kingdom, Italy and France: Monday, October 24th
Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland and Belgium: Friday, October 28th
Japan: Wednesday, October 26th

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Lauper Helps Son Learn Music With Cash Incentives

Cyndi Lauper rewards her son in a bid to help him become a budding musician – the star pays him for every song he masters.

The True Colors hitmaker is hoping to pass on her musical talents to her 13-year-old son, Declyn, and is using his recent leg injury as a way of making him focus on learning to play guitar.

And the star has an extra trick to ensure the teen concentrates on his lessons – she offers him cash.

Lauper tells Britain’s Hello! magazine, “I’m teaching him how to play guitar – he hurt his knee playing soccer and has his leg in a cast, so he’s home more than usual, which is great. I’m paying him for every song he masters.

“He’s already a really good drummer. When he was a kid he came on stage in cut-off shorts, no shirt, with long hair. And in front of 10,000 people he walked to the front of the stage and held his sticks up in the air like a real rocker.”

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Celebrities Get in on the Game at the US Open

By Abbie Fentress Swanson

Will Ferrell, Taio Cruz and Carmelo Anthony are among the stars who will participate in this year’s U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York. The grand slam will also include 9/11 tributes from Queen Latifah and Cyndi Lauper.

Cruz, a British singer songwriter, will perform with Chance, a 14-year-old pop star, at the tournament’s opening night on Aug. 29.

Ferrell plays doubles in an exhibition match with John McEnroe and Jim Courier on Sept. 8. The United States Tennis Association (U.S.T.A.), which runs the U.S. Open, has yet to find a fourth celebrity to play in the match. The actor and comedian has, in the past, gotten on the court at the Arhur Ashe Kids’ Day.

This year’s lineup for Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on Aug. 27 includes Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks (along with his wife La La), pop star Cody Simpson, actor Bradley Cooper and singer songwriter Jason Derülo. Kim Clijsters, Serena and Venus Williams, Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will also participate.

There will be several 9/11 tributes during the grand slam, which runs from Aug. 29 to Sept. 11.

Before the women’s singles final on Sept. 10, the Queens rocker and actress Cyndi Lauperwill perform. Newark’s own Queen Latifah will perform a pre-match 9/11 tribute at the men’s final, which falls on Sept. 11. Latifah also did at a 9/11 tribute at the U.S.Open in 2002 (at right).

“The USTA’s goal is to mark this solemn occasion in a dignified and respectful manner,” said Jon Vegosen, the board chairman and president of the U.S.T.A, in a statement. “We are one of this nation’s global stages on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, and we have a special responsibility to honor those fallen and those who responded heroically on that fateful day.”

At both singles championship matches, “9-11-01″ will be inscribed on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court. The finalists in the men’s tournament will enter the court through an honor guard comprised of members of the New York Police Department, the Fire Department of New York and the Port Authority Police. A military flyover will also take place on Sept. 11 at the end of the pre-match ceremony.

Musical groups who will be playing on the Flushing Meadows grounds during the U.S. Open include Wye Oak, Ava Luna, The Aviation Orange, Humble G and The Afripeans, The Moonlighters, singer songwriter Susan Justice, and violinist Jane Hunt. For a schedule, click here.

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Cyndi Lauper – 30th June 2011 – HMV Hammersmith Apollo

In the eighties, Cyndi Lauper proved to be a juggernaut of pop fury providing the decade with some of the most iconic and memorable hits to represent the genre. Her wild and wacky individuality mixed with her hook laden records and flawless, pitch perfect voice created a persona that went on to win multiple Grammys and solidify her place within the recording industrys most elite.

From her up-tempo floor fillers such as Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and She Bop down to power ballads like Time After TimeAll Through The Night and True Colors as well as I Drove All Night, which was originally penned for and later released by Roy Orbison, we were never disappointed with what the multi-talented queen of punk pop released. Over the nineties unfortunately we fell less accustomed to heavyweight releases from Lauper as her star became slightly eclipsed by Madonna however her engine never ran dry and she has continued to release albums periodically for her enormous fanbases delight.

Her new record pays homage to her blues roots and the songbird gets a helping hand from some of the genres most sought after and legendary musicians. Memphis Blues sees Lauper trading in her pop persona for a Tennessee gem and promoting the record she took to the confines of London’s HMV Apollo in Hammersmith for a one off capital gig to play some new tracks taken from the record as well as some rearranged versions of her classics.

Motoring through some of the eighties most significant additions to music like a power engine of pop Lauper unleashed bluesy versions of some of her biggest and most iconic hits. Those that made the list were an early performance of She Bop, which saw the crowd lift with dancing feet at the ready. Her signiture hit Girls Just Wanna Have Fun proved to be as popular and crowd pleasing within the set as it was over 20 years ago when it helped propel the singer into the successful stratosphere of global recognition. The track allowed Lauper to include the crowd in a sing-off as she split the audience into three parts combining the orginal and reggae versions of the song making for a truly special moment in the night.

Change of Heart and the singer’s contribution to the Steven Speilberg film favorite, The GooniesThe Goonies R Good Enough, were bouncy numbers while my personal favourite Lauper number, All Through The Night, was performed with faultless precision and gave me goosebumps as she poured her heart out over a slide guitar and gave the evening its most nostalgic moment.

We were also treated to her amazing cover of the Marvin Gaye classic What’s Goin On which sat gently within the set and would make the late soul singer very proud.

Among the new album’s inclusions the swaying and harmonica heavy Down Don’t Bother Me saw the singer showing her backing and highly experienced band do a bit of showing off, some of which the singer has worked with for near to twenty years and have featured on many of her hits.

The piano intro of Mother Earth found a complimenting place within the latter section of the set and proved to be one of the nights most sweeping additions with New Orleans present in full force as Lauper hoped around a sticatto melody of bouncy guitar tinkerings with effortless detail.

With her new record Memphis Blues currently fronting Lauper’s most current project we were offered a good chunk of the record displaying the singers impeccable ability to sway from power pop numbers to blues infused anthems. The tracks that the new album features are both fresh and fitting to the singer’s vocal capability and personality.

With the artist providing several anicdotes to her loving and dedicated fanbase including the story of her early days performing the song Carrie on the streets following a shout out request from a member of the audience and giving a brief accapella version of the track the singer also made several journeys into the crowd balancing on the arms of the odd vacant seat as the audience tumbled down to be within arms length from thier idol while she continued belting out hit after hit.

She was also accommodating to members of the crowd who were keen to take as many pictures as possible of the singer and at one point stopped a story mid way to comment on how a photo taken by a male front row member of the audience would make her “look like Frankenstein” and then proceeded to lay down on the stage in a saucy pose to allow her fans to take pictures at thier leisure.

Nearing the end of the set we saw Lauper introduce her support Rainy Boy Sleep back onto the stage for a duet of her timeless classic Time After Time. Though the support looked clearly taken abake by his inclusion on the song with the pop icon the blending of both voices formed a perfect harmonised unison.

The night’s performance ended with a touching story of Lauper’s friend Gregory, a street cast teen who she befriended around the time of recording the True Colors album but who died on the streets before the singer set into a heartwarming display of sentiment and affection as we were treated to a stripped back performance of True Colors, the song which she dedicated to her friend.

Over the course of the evening we were treated to an array of classic numbers from one of musics most incredible performers as well as a vast selections of new hits that the singer has added her bluesy magic touch to. We were also shown a superstar with a heart as she explained her fight for equality through her True Colors Foundation and her pride for her enormous gay following which she helps through her many charities. Just like the days of the eighties Cyndi Lauper is on a level that todays rising stars dream to reach. With a voice and a down to earth personality to match we can’t wait to see what is in store for Cyndi Lauper over the years to come and can’t wait for her return to the UK to show us just what an entertainer is supposed to do and what Lauper does so spectacularly.

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Cyndi Lauper shares insight into BFF Lady Gaga

By Sara McGinnis

Though decades apart, Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga have both ruled the pop music world. The pair, who share a passion for charity and an artistic view on life, have become close friends.

Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga are two musical blondes with big hearts. The pair became fast friends while working together on the Viva Glam campaign for the MAC AIDS Fund.

Speaking of the young singer, Cyndi Lauper told Wendy Williams, “She’s very committed. She’s going on to do it herself this year, though I’ll always help the MAC AIDS Fund.”

While Cyndi Lauper didn’t comment on Lady Gaga’s recent Japan earthquake bracelet charity woes, she did elaborate on what it’s like to know the Mother Monster.

When asked what she knows about Lady Gaga that the rest of us don’t already, the 58-year-old shared, “You know, she’s a gal from Jersey, so she’s one of us.”

Cyndi Lauper continued, “She likes things like a sculpture. She’s a performance artist — like everything you see is a sculpture and it’s living art. I used to do things like paintings, everything for me was color. Color to invoke all kinds of things.”

“You know the whole thing with the Girls Just Want to Have Fun video?” she asked Wendy. “I went and made sure that it was multi-racial because I wanted it to speak to everyone.”

Wendy added, “And Gaga definitely does that too. You know what? She’s lucky that she has you on the speed dial, to be able to talk to you.”

Lucky girl indeed. Check out a clip of The Wendy Williams Show with guest Cyndi Lauper here!

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Interview – Cyndi Lauper on The Beatles, The Stones and Joey Ramone

The singer on Annie Hall and becoming a Hallowe’en costume

First record you ever bought
Meet the Beatles!

Last extravagant purchase you made
My car.

First film you saw that really moved you
Bambi.

Last lie you told
I won’t be late.

First movie you ever went on a date to
I think it was Annie Hall. I didn’t go on a date movie until late into my dating career.

Last time you cried
This morning.

First thing you do when you’ve got time off work
Get in my pyjamas.

Last great meal you cooked
I made chicken cutlet on arugula [rocket] and tomato for my son.

First crush
John Lennon.

Last book you read
Life by Keith Richards.

First great piece of advice you were given
Don’t take no for an answer.

Last time you were star struck
When I met [US gospel singer] Mavis Staples at the Grammys. I got to perform with her too. Wow.

First thing you’d do if you ran the country
Legalise same sex marriage and make sure all children had free health care.

Last meal on earth — what would it be
I’m trying not to think about food. I’m on a diet.

First song you’ll sing at karaoke
‘Green, green grass of home’.

Last time you exploited your position to get something
I asked for money for The True Colors Fund homeless youth initiative.

First time you realised you were famous
On Hallowe’en the year ‘She’s So Unusual’ came out, when girls were coming to my front door dressed like me.

Last time someone criticized your work
Yesterday.

First three words your friends would use to describe you
Loyal, honest and late.

Last time you made an impulse buy and regretted it
Chocolate from my mini-bar in New Orleans when I played the jazz fest last weekend.

First concert you ever attended
The Beatles.

Last time you bought someone flowers
My mother on Sunday. It was Mother’s Day here.

First object you’d save from your burning home
My computer.

Last person in the world you’d sleep with
George W Bush.

Last crime you committed
Can’t say – my son may read this.

First song at your wedding
I walked down the aisle to ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ and then Patti LaBelle sang ‘Come What May’.

Last song at your funeral
‘Life’s a Gas’ by Joey Ramone.

First person you’d thank in an award acceptance speech
My husband and son.

Last thing you recommended to someone
iPod touch.

First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning
My son.

Last thing you think of before you go to sleep
My son.

Cyndi Lauper plays the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Thu 23 Jun.
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Concert review – Cyndi Lauper Symphony Hall, Birmingham

By Andrew Turton

It wasn’t just the girls who had fun as families danced the night away with 80s pop icon Cyndi Lauper.

With flame-red hair and her exuberant personality, Lauper gave the audience at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall all they could want.

A near sell-out crowd was invited into Lauper’s wonderful world for the evening as she regaled a host of bizarre but great tales about her life in the industry.

She told stories of trying to fit in back home and meeting legends of music such as BB King on her meteoric rise to fame.

But it was the feet tapping tunes that the audience, including many children, wanted to see.

Parts of the set were devoted to blues including Early in the Morning by Louis Jordan.

However it was the hits that made her a global sensation that the people demanded. Her encore included Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, a romantic singalong version of Time after Time before rounding the show off with an acoustic version of True Colours.

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