The Pop Icon Cyndi Lauper ‘Unintentionally’ Inspired By

The 1980s saw the rise of many influential female musicians who challenged gender norms and pushed the boundaries of pop and rock music. One of the most iconic figures of this era was Cyndi Lauper, who gained notoriety for her daring music and performances. However, her success, just like that of her contemporaries, also led to comparisons and a perceived rivalry in the field.

Lauper talked about the female musicians that were active in the 1980s at the same time as her in an interview she gave to Rolling Stone in 2011. The interview revealed her viewpoint on the long-sought-after relationship between two figures, one of which was an inspiration for the other.

At the time of the conversation, the artist was hosting a program called ‘PBS Arts From Cleveland: Women Who Rock.’ A discussion regarding the singer’s connections and shared experiences with her contemporaries was sparked by this documentary about the impact of female musicians in rock history.

When the interviewer asked about her kinship with other female musicians, the ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ singer named Madonna and remarked that the pop singer was like her ‘alter-image,’ who was present in the scene no matter what she did. Despite their differences, the artist admitted that they had unintentionally affected one another throughout their professional lives. She notably identified her colleague as having had an influence on her because of her persistent game and ‘fantastic looks.’

Her words in the interview read:

“Well, I had my alter-image, Madonna. No matter what I did, there she was, and no matter what she did, there I was. And it wasn’t similar, and it was never intentional. We inspired each other. I am inspired by her because she still does it, and she looks great, and I’m always on a diet; I can never keep a diet, but she looks fantastic, she always does, so that’s inspiring.”

During the 80s, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna were often compared and pitted against each other as two icons of femininity and rebellion. The primary reason for this was the difference in their music and overall styles, leading to discussions among fans and critics, which was addressed in the same interview.

To explain whether the rivalry improved her artistry, the musician stated that she was saddened by the comparisons and the way they were pitted against each other. She explained that she believed in sisterhood and wanted a friend in the industry, while people aimed to isolate popular figures to make them unreachable to those who wanted to approach them.

To express her feelings, the musician said:

“No, in the Eighties, I was really heartbroken that they would pit us against each other. Because I’ve always believed sisterhood is a powerful thing, and I just wanted to have a friend in the industry. Another rocker. But they always isolate you when you become popular, when you become famous, and then you’re isolated all of a sudden. Nobody can get to you, I guess because everybody wants to get to you.”

Madonna and Lauper gained notoriety for their daring music and performances. The main distinction between the two was that the latter displayed a different kind of femininity than the former and was more subdued in her game.