Cyndi Lauper reflects on her “sad” rivalry with Madonna over the years: “The hell was that?”

Cyndi Lauper reflects on her “sad” rivalry with Madonna over the years: “The hell was that?”

You are currently viewing Cyndi Lauper reflects on her “sad” rivalry with Madonna over the years: “The hell was that?”
wp header logo png

Cyndi Lauper is a very busy lady promoting her new documentary Let the Canary Sing on Paramount+ and gearing up for her Girls Just Wanna Have Fun farewell tour, which kicks off in October.

She’s also once again addressing her decades-long rivalry with another ’80s pop icon: Madonna. And, by the sounds of things, she’s no longer losing sleep over it like she once did.

Both singers dropped their first albums within six months of each other in 1983. Madonna’s self-titled debut was released by Sire records on July 27, 1983. Meanwhile, Lauper’s “She’s So Unusual” arrived October 14, 1983 through Portrait Records.

The two singers also had a similar look, sound, and vibe, and both appealed to the same audiences. So, naturally, the press had to play them off one another.

Speaking to The New York Times recently, the “True Colors” singer expressed disappointment over being pitted against the “True Blue” hitmaker in the early days of their careers.

“It was a shame,” she said. “I would have liked to have a friend.”

Lauper says, as a result of the constant comparisons, she often had to go out of her way not to trash talk Madonna in interviews and find creative ways to differentiate herself.

She primarily did this through her clothes and hair colors, switching her look any time Madonna did to make sure they weren’t too similar.

“I said, ‘OK, doll, I’ll just put a black spot here, so they know the difference between the two of us’.”

In a recent interview with E! News, the 70-year-old pop star elaborated, “Isn’t that sad, there can only be room for one? The hell was that? I didn’t like it.”

When asked if she’s ever spoken to Madonna about their awkward dynamic, Lauper replied, “Nah. I didn’t think she liked me that much.”

Why Madonna “didn’t like” Lauper remains a mystery. But it could have something to do with what happened in 1985, when they were both in the running to be featured on the blockbuster charity song “We Are the World.”

The star-studded lineup featured music legends like Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Rogers, and Paul Simon.

Ultimately, Lauper got the gig, which Richie recently said was “a mistake” during an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” back in February.

“We had only a half a line to sing. Let me say this now, a half a line. So we had to have voices that people knew right away,” he explained. “The point was, you have to have an identifiable voice, for whatever reason it was just, Cyndi had that.”

Though she and Madonna were never able to find common ground at any point during their 40+ year careers, Lauper has maintained a decades-long friendship with another pop legend and gay icon: Cher.

The two women have been BFFs since the 1990s. Lauper opened for Cher’s Do You Believe? tour in 1999, as well as for her Farewell tour in 2005 and her Dressed To Kill tour in 2014. She also performed during Cher’s Kennedy Center Honor in 2018.

Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun farewell tour kicks off in October in Montreal and is scheduled to run through December, with the final performance happening in Chicago. Tickets are now on sale.

Watch the trailer for Let The Canary Sing below and stream it now on Paramount+.

Don’t forget to share:

Help make sure LGBTQ+ stories are being told…

We can’t rely on mainstream media to tell our stories. That’s why we don’t lock Queerty articles behind a paywall. Will you support our mission with a contribution today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated


Leave a Reply

This site uses User Verification plugin to reduce spam. See how your comment data is processed.