Top 100 singles of all time: 81 – Cyndi Lauper – True Colors

Another one from the 80s. This Grammy-winning song was a Billboard number one for Cyndi Lauper in July 1986. True Colors was the title track from her second album, and won the award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. 

The song was written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, the former inspired by his own mother. Kelly changed the first verse before sending the song to Lauper, who eventually added her own lyrics. It was originally envisaged as something like Bridge Over Troubled Water, but Lauper rejected the arrangement in favour of the “breathtaking and stark” (as Steinberg put it) version that she finally recorded. It’s beautiful in its simplicity and is still so devastatingly affecting.

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