What did Madonna have that Cyndi Lauper didn't?

Indeed, and that album Memphis Blues was her highest charting album on the Billboard 200 since True Colors in 1986.

Her previous album, the club record Bring Ya To The Brink from 2008 was also moderately successful overall and a huge hit on the dance charts. Very underrated.

Cindi Lauper talented?? Puh-lease, give me a break. I saw her when her first album came out opening for the Kinks. Saying she was dreadful is an understatement. The audience HATED her and couldn’t wait for her to leave. I was surprised her first album actually did so well. Chalk screeching on blackboards sounds better than her.

I didn’t think much better of Madonna and in a lot of ways she is a repulsive piece of garbage (putting pictures of John McCain next to Adolf Hitler during your 2008 tour is the hate speech so typical of Obama supporters). But she does have a knack of changing her style every 18 months to keep fresh.

Yeesh. :rolleyes:

I think Madonna wanted fame more than Cyndi did.

As I recall, Cyndi was the opening act for Madonna on one of her US tours a few years ago, so obviously they have some respect for each other’s work. And it may not be the choreographed spectacle that a Madonna concert is, but I saw her live here a couple of years ago and Cyndi still puts on a great show!

This never happened (I don’t think either of them would benefit from such an arrangement - Madonna would get outdone vocally by her opening act and it would be embarrassing for Cyndi to be relegated to support for a singer many thought she would be much bigger than) but in general it is widely thought that they are on friendly, respectful terms.

I didn’t think it was possible. Someone trumped Dio in the “embarrassing themselves” department. It’s like watching someone give a speech in front of a large group of people with their fly open. Worse, doing it on purpose.

With their penis, tiny though it probably is, hanging out.

Cyndi is more of a musician than Madonna. Madonna is more of a pop star than Cyndi. That’s not to denigrate either one of them, just to note that they have different talents and chosen career paths.

Yes, you’re quite right. My mistake.
Wiki says she did open for Tina Turner on one of her big tours back in the mid-90s, which is what I must have been thinking of.

I want to say Madonna was probably the first in that generation of pop stars to “brand” herself. The woman is a marketing genius and worked her arse off promoting herself. She paved the way for those in her shoes in this generation (Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, etc.)

Cyndi never had that genius – she branded herself as a novelty act which took off with the whole WWE thing. Once that died down, she disappeared. Her comebacks were merely blips whereas Madonna’s were over-the-top-you-cannot-ignore-me.

Comparing the two? Cyndi definitely has more raw vocal talent. Madonna has more raw dancing talent. Madonna’s always been a passable singer in my book, but that’s OK – I loved her more for her dancing than anything else. I’d rather listen to Cyndi on any given day.

This is pretty much it. Add to it that Cyndi sabotages herself - she is a complex personality, who can be very hard on her crew and musicians when she is going through a troubled period. I have this from someone who produced an album with her. She can be her own worst enemy and that has been limiting for her.

Wow, a lot of offended Cyndi Lauper fans. Sorry. As far as I’m concerned she was a short-lived novelty act with an irritating voice and no charisma.

Cyndi could dance? I did not know that.

Madonna was driven. She was one of those stars that replaced talent with hard work and ambition. Ususally those kinds of stars annoy me, but Madonna I love.

Cyndi was* the better singer, in my humble opinion. Her voice was raw and earnest.

While Madonna has a ton of songs I could listen to daily, Cyndi has a couple true classics that I think trump anything Madonna has done. Listenting to True Colors breaks my heart every time.

*I have listened to Cyndi sing recently and I noticed that she had to change some notes to get through the song. Still lovely though.

** I can’t click on any of the links in this thread. When I get home, I hope they include some good stuff that I haven’t seen.

Did you even listen to the link to her live performance of “At Last”?

Well, here’s another one for you. This is one of my favorite live performances ever. Cyndi doing Joni Mitchell’s Carey

And here’s a recent live performance of a Memphis Blues song. Shattered Dreams

Anybody who can watch those and say “untalented” or “limited vocal range” is a musical dunce. Not to detract from Madonna’s amazing career, but you really can’t fairly compare the two as far as vocal talent.

Cyndi has excellent vocal chops. That is not the question here. Mickey Rourke is considered a talented actor and still sabotaged his own career for a few decades…

Well sure, but it’s become an assertion by some that the answer to the OP’s question is “Lauper [was] less talented” which ignores reality.

As far as what Madonna has that Lauper doesn’t, I agree with those who’ve said “drive to be famous,” “marketing genius” and “hardest working woman in pop culture.” Madonna is where she is as a pop icon because of that uncommon combination and a high level of dedication to improvement. Cyndi just never had the same drive and marketing acumen.

I can’t watch videos on my computer.

Why is the question phrased as if becoming a hugely successful pop star is the universal desired outcome? Cyndi didn’t WANT to become Madonna. If she did, she’d probably have done it. People talking about Madonna reinventing herself and Cyndi being a quirky early-80s novelty act haven’t apparently even seen Cyndi Lauper since about 1987. She doesn’t walk around in multi-colored rags and shocking red hair shaved into a checkerboard anymore. Her accent still exists, sure, but she’s toned it down a bit. If you ask me to compare the two on a musicianship scale (rather than a glitter scale), Cyndi wins hands-down.

The whole concept of the thread assumes that Cyndi Lauper is “missing” something. She’s not. She just has different priorities and desires than Madonna.

I think people are short-changing Madonna on her talent as a stage performer. I believe she’s masterful at her stagecraft, and can hold an audience like few others.

Lauper had nothing going on but a poseur punk look and a chipmunk voice.