Celebrating 30 Years of Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual

On April Fool’s Day, the internet flooded with tweets and stories claiming the day to be the 30th anniversary of Cyndi Lauper’s seminal pop album She’s So Unusual.

Not true. The album was actually released October 14th, 1983.

But it’s worth celebrating (even if five months late) because prior to Lauper’s arrival on the charts, female pop stars fell into two categories: oversexed pinup dolls or hardcore rocker chicks (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But Cyndi was a breath of fresh air: an amalgamation of punky girl power and a kooky in-the-moment spirit powered by amazing vocal chords.

She was one of the first major female stars of the MTV generation, her striking videos working in tandem with instantly-memorable singles. Unusual became the album by a female artist 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,” earning Lauper the Best New Artist award at the 27th Grammy Awards in 1985.

She’s So Unusual peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 chart, due to the success of the album’s first single on U.S. radio and intense display of its music video on MTV. Overall the album stayed 77 weeks on the Billboard 200. The album became one of the bestselling albums of 1984. It has since sold over 6 million copies in the United States, where it was certified six times platinum by the RIAA, which lists it as one of the Best Selling Albums of All Time. She’s So Unusual has sold over 16 million copies worldwide.

The album ranked at #487 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003.

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun”

The lead single from the album was “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, released on September 6, 1983. This single achieved great success in the United States with its music video in heavy rotation on several stations, and it eventually peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. It received Platinum certification from the RIAA for 2,000,000 copies sold. The single was a success internationally as well, reaching the top ten in 19 countries and number one in 10 countries, including; Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Brazil and Norway.


“Time After Time”

The second single from the album was “Time After Time”, released on January 27, 1984. It repeated the success of the previous single and spent two consecutive weeks at number one on the Hot 100, eventually spending a total of 20 weeks on the chart and receiving Gold certification from the RIAA for 1,000,000 copies sold. Like the previous single, “Time After Time” was an international success and reached the top ten in 15 countries.

“She Bop”

The third single from the album was “She Bop”, released on July 2, 1984. This single reached number three on the Hot 100, becoming her third consecutive top five hit, and spent a total of 18 weeks on the chart. The single received Gold certification from the RIAA for sales of over 1,000,000 copies. The song was another international success for Lauper, reaching the top ten in 8 countries.

“All Through the Night”

The fourth single from the album was “All Through the Night”, released in September 1984. Like Lauper’s previous three singles, “All Through The Night” reached the top five of the Hot 100 with a peak of number five. This marked the first time any female artist had earned four top five singles from one album. The song was a moderate international success, reaching the top ten in 2 countries.

“Money Changes Everything”

The fifth single from the album was “Money Changes Everything”, released on July 20, 1984. It was a moderate success and reached number #27 on the Hot 100, Lauper’s first single to not reach the top ten. The song reached the top ten in two countries.

“I’ll Kiss You”

The sixth single from the album was “I’ll Kiss You”, released on August 11, 1984. It was released as a promotional single only (i.e. no physical single was issued), and as such, was ineligible to enter the Hot 100.

“When You Were Mine”

The seventh and final single from the album was “When You Were Mine”, released on January 31, 1985 in Canada and Japan and as a promotional single in the United States. “When You Were Mine” was written and originally recorded by Prince for his 1980 album, Dirty Mind.

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