Madonna and Cyndi Lauper brought about a new generation of empowered female pop stars with their respective debuts in the early-'80s, but despite their parallel careers, Lauper says the two never developed a close relationship.
In a recent interview with Q104.3 New York's Shelli Sonstein, Lauper was asked about being compared to Madonna early in her career.
"I think she has different chops [than me]. I think everybody's different," Lauper said, before agreeing with Sonstein's assertion that female and male artists are treated differently in music.
"They pit women against women, unfortunately," Lauper added. "I felt very bad at that time."
While Madonna went on to become a force in multiple industries, Lauper says her focus has always been on singing and taking care of her physical and mental well-being.
"I just want to be able to do things that I love and be healthy enough to do them," she added, before revealing details on her recent battles with psoriasis and other health complications.
Later in the same interview — which you can see above — Lauper pushed back against the suggestion that the #MeToo movement has yet to arrive in the music industry. She cited Kesha's allegations against producer Dr. Luke and indicated Taylor Swift's groping lawsuit victory as examples.
"Stuff happens," Lauper said. "You just hope that next time it doesn't have to happen to the other women coming up after us. I never changed my mind. I never thought things were okay. ... That's why my career did not go [better]..."
She continued, adding that she has for decades pushed back against abusers in her industry, regardless of how it affected her record sales.
"I spoke up at every single thing that I thought was wrong. Whether it was as an artist or as a woman, I said something.
Photos: Getty Images