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« Box offices binges on "The Purge" | Main | 2013 Tony Awards Live Blog (UPDATED with video!) »

Cyndi and the EGOT

Glenn here talking Tony. The Tonys, of course. More specifically Cyndi Lauper at them.

There were many things from last night's show worth discussing - that opening number, the Smash cast all seated plum in the front row, Megan Hilty's performance in the ode to axed TV series with Andrew Rannells (The New Normal) and Laura Benanti (Go On), Cicely Tyson's ruffle dress, the terrible Bring It On performance, the incredible Pippin performance - but one of the most interesting is, I think, Cyndi Lauper now being just an Oscar away from finishing off the prestigious EGOT.

Ever since winning the Best New Artist Grammy in 1985 the careers of Cyndi Lauper and Madonna have been intrinsically linked. Madonna wasn't nominated for the Grammy (can you believe?), but these two fiercely iconic 1980s superstars have always felt like competing examples of the fortunes of '80s superstars. While it's generally accepted that Lauper's career as a top 40 artist ended far too soon just as Madonna's was soaring, Cyndi hasn't been laying low all these years. In between her Grammy in 1985 (and 1988), she has continued to record and tour and in 1995 won an Emmy Award for her guest stint on Mad About You, performed in The Threepenny Opera to critical acclaim (but no Tony attention), and been a fierce feminist and advocate of the LGBT community. Add in last night's sparkly Tony for scoring the stage adaptation of Kinky Boots (we've all forgotten how bland the movie is, right? I think that's for the best - check out Nathaniel's review of the stage show to see why) and she has no reason to be disappointed with now it all turned out. Now she has but one statue to go before completing the EGOT. Can she do it and solidify a place as an all time great? Because the mountains of cash she continue to reaps from "Time After Time" and "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" just aren't satisfying enough, clearly. Madonna who?

Dear Madonna: I love you forever. Please be my friend. 

Unlike Madonna, Cyndi has never appeared all that interested in Hollywood. Oh sure, she attempted a crossover career with Vibes, but the toxic reaction to that Jeff Goldblum flick set inside a Chinatown laundry and South American jungle (?!?) from 1988 probably turned her off future endeavours. That film did, however, bring us one of Cyndi's most under-appreciated hits (it went top ten in Australia and New Zealand so we can call it a hit even if it was a flop everywhere else), "Hole in My Heart (All the Way to China)". Just one of many songs from the mini-phenomena of the 1980s that went in a vaguely racist direction of reappropriated Asian culture into wacky pop melodies that utilised a lot of gongs and pipes and one presumes there was a Chinese fisherman's hat somewhere in there that was a horrifically misjudged fashion statement. Like the urban sombrero. Cyndi's song is fantastic, "Oriental Boy" by The Flirts is not.

Cyndi's only other foray into feature film songwriting (unless I'm missing something - am I?) was "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" from The Goonies in 1985. A dinky pop ditty that sounds exactly like one would expect from an up-and-coming singer on the soundtrack to the teenage adventure film. I'm not as big a fan of the song as many others, and apparently Cyndi herself hates it, too. The more you know. I'd still prefer it as an Oscar nominee over anything from White Nights though.

Grammy, Emmy, and now Tony. Is Oscar next for Cyndi?

Other than that Cyndi has steered clear of recording tunes for soundtracks. Why, I'm not so sure? Still, if Cyndi is keen on completing the EGOT now would be the time to strike. In doing so she would become the first since Scott Rudin in 2007 (his Oscar for producing No Country for Old Men sealed that deal). She's clearly popular with awards bodies and nobody has a bad word to say about her. Plus the Academy's music branch would surely appreciate the fact that she hasn't appeared desperate for it like her chief '80s rival. And even though they might like to appear otherwise, they're not totally against giving the award to big celebrity songwriter these days (Adele says hi). If she ever does win, Dolly Parton's famously friendly persona may finally crack. What does she have to do to win one of those golden bad boys?

Chin up ladies, Jane can split her second Oscar between you.

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Reader Comments (7)

This is kind of wrong of me, but I always think that only performers can be EGOTs, so I always forget that Scott Rudin is one - and Marvin Hamlisch and Richard Rodgers, et. al. It's also why my favorite, and the ultimate EGOT, is Rita Moreno, who won all four for performance-based achievements. It would be really cool if Cyndi ended up doing it. I think her acceptance speech last night was my favorite.

June 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Dolly seemed so close with that "Transamerica" tune, didn't she?
And why Lily didn't get the Oscar for "Nashville" is just beyond me.

June 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Cyndi wrote the lovely title song for the 1996 Nick Cassavetes film "Unhook the Stars," starring Gena Rowlands, Marisa Tomei, and soon-to-be-Anakin Skywalker Jake Lloyd.

June 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAllen

Allen, I didn't know that one. I'll have to check it out. Obviously never got any traction - not even with the Globes.

June 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

I hate to be that guy, but Scott Rudin actually won his EGOT in 2012, with a Grammy for the Book of Mormon soundtrack.

June 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNic

I am "That Guy" Nic!

Identity thief!

June 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThat Guy

I think people who can EGOT the easiest are musicians because music is the one thing all 4 of those prizes honor.

June 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIrvin

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