Cyndi Lauper is Touring on Behalf of Memphis Blues and has a Reality Show in the Works. Cyndi Lauper is a force to be reckoned with. Between releasing music every couple of years, acting (recently on the TV show “Bones”), appearing on “Celebrity Apprentice” and working tirelessly to raise money and awareness for her True Colors Campaign, Lauper has remained relevant for over 25 years in show biz and beyond. She has just released her 11th CD, “Memphis Blues,” and will perform songs from this new CD and some of her classics at the Arsht Center on August 3. We caught up with Lauper to find out more about her new CD, her new reality show and her newest campaign.
Cyndi Lauper is a force to be reckoned with. Between releasing music every couple of years, acting (recently on the TV show “Bones”), appearing on “Celebrity Apprentice” and working tirelessly to raise money and awareness for her True Colors Campaign, Lauper has remained relevant for over 25 years in show biz and beyond. She has just released her 11th CD, “Memphis Blues,” and will perform songs from this new CD and some of her classics at the Arsht Center on August 3. We caught up with Lauper to find out more about her new CD, her new reality show and her newest campaign.
What do you like best about coming to South Florida?
I can’t wait to be back. What’s not to love? Everything from the people, love, energy and, of course, the amazing weather. If I have any time with this trip, I would love to explore the city further. Like some of the wonderful restaurants and the beach, but I am allergic to the sun, so if you see a very white woman in a very, very large hat under a very big umbrella – stop by and say hello.
What should your fans expect from your performance at the Arsht Center?
Something old, something new and some fun surprises. You will have to come to the show and see for yourself. I have tons up my sleeves that are going to knock your socks off. Also, I will have my amazing band with me. It’s so much fun and exciting to be playing with these guys. They have played with everyone from Al Green and Isaac Hayes to Booker T and the MGs and Willie Mitchel.
Will you be focusing mostly on your new material from “Memphis Blues?”
Absolutely. It’s about the blues with this tour. I do perform some of the hits at the end of the set, but my focus this time is playing the new tracks from “Memphis Blue.”
Who are your favorite blues singers?
Some of my favorite artists are female blues artists. Some of my other faves are Big Maybelle, Memphis Minnie and Lil Green. They were the ones who first got me hooked on the genre – Ma Rainey especially. She used to wear chains and a grill. Noticed the chains on the “Memphis Blues” cover? It is my tribute to her.
Why have the blues always been so important to you?
I have been listening to the blues since I was a kid. Blues is the basis of everything I ever sang. This is the foundation of my singing style. I had wanted to do this CD when I was still with Sony but for a variety of reasons, it didnt work out. Eight years later, here I am with “Memphis Blues.”
Everyone loved seeing you on “Celebrity Apprentice.” Would you go back and do it all over again?
I had a blast on the show. I wanted to play for the True Colors Fund and knew so many people watch the show that it could really help me push the mission of the fund forward. If I have to do it all over again, yes and raise even more money for the True Colors fund and another chance to talk about civil rights and the gay community. And, of course, in hindsight I could have played it a lot better… I mean I did get fired.
Tell me about the new reality show you are going to be involved in.
I have a deal with Mark Burnett Productions. I inked the deal before I signed on to “Celebrity Apprentice.” Mark Burnett is the best producer of reality TV out there. There is no one quite like him. I am super excited to be in partnership with them. The whole premise of the show is mostly about my every day and the focus on my career. We will start production in January 2011.
What current singers are you into right now?
I love The Gossip. Beth Ditto and I started writing a song together a few years back when we were on the True Colors tour together. I love the Cliks. Love love love Lucas. Would love to write with him one day. We talk about it a lot but haven’t had the chance. Our schedules are insane right now. Love The Nationals and The Hives. I did a collaboration with them a while back. I also would love to work with Jack White.
What is something about you that would surprise your fans (a guilty pleasure, something you collect, an unusual hobby)?
I read tarot cards, but I think a lot of people know that. I am not that good at it, but it’s fun. I also like to watch old movies from the glamour Hollywood years, and I like to hang out and play Scrabble with my son.
Will there be another True Colors Tour coming around soon?
Yes, of course. We will definitely do True Colors in 2011. Right now, I am focusing on “Memphis Blues” and the tour. I am also writing the music for the Broadway adaptation of the British film “Kinky Boots” and Harvey Fierstein is writing the book, Jerry Mitchell is the director. I am writing an autobiography that will be released via Simon & Schuster in late 2011. That should keep me pretty busy ‘til next year. Also, we are going to do a three day festival in NYC and take it out on the road as well. Stay tuned.
Tell me about your newest campaign, We Give a Damn.
We Give A Damn campaign is to get straight people to stand up for the gay community so that all of us have civil rights and America can be the country it’s supposed to be, where we are all treated the same. We started it because we wanted to help in the effort to build support in the straight community. If we want equality anytime soon we have to bring our straight family and friends into the movement and start have conversations with them on a regular basis about how they can help. Come to WeGiveADamn.org for further information.
Cyndi Lauper will be at the Arsht Center in Knight Concert Hall on Tuesday, August 3rd at 8 pm. Visit ArshtCenter.org for more information.