Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper's true color is blue these days.
Ellen von Unwerth

It took a few decades for Cyndi Lauper to be considered a pioneering girl-­popper, but now she can wear her new crown proudly. Modern vixens like Katy Perry, Ke$ha and even Lady Gaga can point to her mid-'80s string of hits as the genesis of most everything they do. Lauper's 1983 jaunt She's So Unusual was a fun-filled romp that went well with Madonna's self-titled debut that same year. By contrast, Lauper's follow-up three years later, True Colors, was a subdued, torchy outing. Over the next decade or so, Lauper dove for maturity and AC radio with covers albums and more adult textures, and this year's Memphis Blues finds wailing songs from the titular genre in an aged, brassy growl with gutbucket backing. Girls may still wanna have fun, but they get their share of the blues, too.

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