On this day in music history: October 25, 1986 – “True…

On this day in music history: October 25, 1986 – “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg, it is the second chart topping single for the pop superstar from Queens, NY. Following the huge success of her solo debut “She’s So Unusual”, Cyndi Lauper begins work on her sophomore release in late 1985. This time around, Lauper handles the production duties herself along with co-producer Lennie Petze. Best known for writing pop classics including “Like A Virgin”, “Eternal Flame”, “So Emotional” and “I’ll Stand By You”, songwriters Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg pen the ballad in 1985. Steinberg takes inspiration from his mother while writing the song, with Kelly helping finish it. Initially, the song is pitched to legendary producer George Martin for Kenny Rogers’ album “The Heart Of The Matter”. Martin loves the song, but Rogers passes on recording it. Kelly and Steinberg send their demo to Capitol Records’ A&R department, who in turn submit it to Anne Murray for consideration. She too declines to do the song. Finally, their manager sends a copy of the demo to Epic Records A&R exec Lennie Petze who plays it for Cyndi Lauper, who immediately agrees to record the song. When it is originally written, Kelly and Steinberg give “True Colors” a piano based gospel arrangement in a similar vein to Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Lauper and Petze gives the song a poignant and stark revamping that personalizes it for the singer. The title track and first single from Cyndi’s second album, it is released in August of 1986, and is an instant smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #63 on August 30, 1986, it climbs to the top of the chart eight weeks later. After its chart success, “True Colors” is used in an ad campaign for Kodak film, and is later adapted as an anthem by the LGBTQ community, expressing diversity and acceptance. Cyndi Lauper later establishes the “True Colors Fund”, a non-profit organization to help homeless LGBTQ youth. The success of “True Colors” drives the accompanying album to Platinum status in the US.