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New doco ‘Let the Canary Sing’ explores the career of Cyndi Lauper

The impressive career of Cyndi Lauper is explored in the new documentary Let the Canary Sing which arrives on Paramount+ on Wednesday 5th June.

 Directed by Emmy Award-winning documentarian Alison Ellwood, the film made its world premiere at the 2023 Tribeca Festival.

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The film chronicles Lauper’s meteoric ascent to stardom and her profound impact on generations through her music, ever-evolving punk style, unwavering feminism and tireless advocacy.

The documentary promises to take the audience on “an engaging exploration of a renowned and pioneering artist who has left a remarkable legacy with her art.”

Check out the trailer.

Lauper shared why she gave the green light to this documentary about her life and work.

“Over the years I’ve been asked to do a documentary about my life and work, but it never felt like the right time.

“Until now. When I first met Alison Ellwood, I knew right away I could trust her to tell my story honestly, which was incredibly important to me, and she succeeded in that. I’d like to thank Alison, the producers, and all of the amazing documentary participants who agreed to be interviewed!” Lauper said.

Billy Porter, Patti LaBelle and Boy George are some of the celebrities who were interviewed for the documentary and share their thoughts about Lauper’s long career.

Alison Elwood previously made the acclaimed documentary The Go-Gos which explored the career of the Californian punk turned pop girl group fronted by Belinda Carlisle.

The title of the documentary comes from a court case Lauper faced early in career. She was the lead singer of the band Blue Angel who put out a single album in 1980.

When Lauper opted to leave the band and go solo, she ended up in court with their management. Lauper was forced into bankruptcy, but at the end of the trial the judge declared “Let the Canary Sing”.

Throughout her career Lauper has been a huge advocate for LGBTIQA+ rights. Her 1986 song True Colors, which was written by songwriters Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, has become an anthem.

On her 1996 album Sisters of Avalon she also recorded The Ballad of Cleo and Joe that focused on the double life of a drag queen. Her tune Shine was prominently featured in the series Queer as Folk too, and Above the Clouds remembers Matthew Shepard.

She’s also raised mountains for money for LGBTIQA+ causes through her Home for the Holidays concerts that support homeless LGBTIQA+ youth, performing at a benefit for the LGBTIQA+ nightlife workers during covid, and her True Colors tour that promotes human rights and raises funds for the Human Rights Campaign.

Log on to Paramount+ on Wednesday 5th June to see the documentary.

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