True Colors (song)
|Single by Cyndi Lauper|
|from the album True Colors|
|B-side||"Heading for the Moon"|
|Released||August 25, 1986|
|Recorded||March 3, 1986|
Gold (Music Canada)
|Cyndi Lauper singles chronology|
"True Colors" is a song written by American songwriters Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. It was both the title track and the first single released from American singer Cyndi Lauper's second album. It was the only original song on the album that Lauper did not help write.
"True Colors" spent two weeks in the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100, and was the last single from Lauper to occupy the top of the chart. It received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Billy Steinberg originally wrote "True Colors" about his own mother. Tom Kelly altered the first verse and the duo originally submitted the song to Anne Murray, who passed, and then to Cyndi Lauper. Their demo was in a form of piano based gospel ballad like "Bridge over Troubled Water". Steinberg told Songfacts that "Cyndi completely dismantled that sort of traditional arrangement and came up with something that was breathtaking and stark." Other songs they wrote for Lauper include "I Drove All Night" and "Unconditional Love", of which the former went on to be covered by Celine Dion, the latter by Susanna Hoffs.
"True Colors" also became a standard in the gay community. In various interviews, Lauper elaborated that the song had resonated with her because of the recent death of her friend, Gregory Natal, from HIV/AIDS. While not directly promoted as a song defending LGBT rights, Lauper is pleased that her song was adopted by that community. Years later, Lauper co-founded the True Colors Fund, a non-profit dedicated to eradicating LGBT youth homelessness.
In popular culture
Lauper embarked on a True Colors Tour in 2007 with several other acts including Deborah Harry and Erasure. The tour was for the Human Rights Campaign to promote human rights in the US and beyond. A second True Colors tour occurred in 2008.
A choral version of the song was used in a series of TV commercials advertising a variety of Kodak's color photographic film products.
The song has appeared in many compilations, very notably in 1998 UK compilation album series Now That's What I Call Music! 41. The song was included in the 2003 compilation The Essential Cyndi Lauper, the 2003 compilation The Great Cyndi Lauper and as the title track of the 2009 compilation album True Colors: The Best of Cyndi Lauper
In 2009, the song was covered in musical TV series Glee in episode "Hairography" and the compilation album Glee: The Music, Volume 2 performed by Jenna Ushkowitz as her character Tina Cohen-Chang. The song was also, alongside Queen's "Somebody to Love" part of the encore to the 2010 concert series by the cast of the popular television series in their Glee Live! In Concert! tour.
Charts and certifications
|Australia Singles Chart||3|
|Ö3 Austria Top 40||12|
|Canadian Singles Chart||1|
|French Singles Chart||49|
|German Singles Chart||18|
|Ireland Singles Chart||6|
|Italy Singles Chart||4|
|Japan Hot 100||59|
|Netherlands Singles Chart||7|
|New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart||3|
|Norway Singles Chart||10|
|Swedish Singles Chart||4|
|Swiss Singles Chart||17|
|UK Singles Chart||12|
|US Billboard Hot 100||1|
|US Cash Box||1|
|US Billboard Adult Contemporary||5|
|Norway Singles Chart||17|
|US Billboard Hot 100||41|
Chart procession and succession
"When I Think of You" by Janet Jackson
|Billboard Hot 100 number one single
October 25, 1986 - November 1, 1986
"Amanda" by Boston
"The Lady in Red" by Chris de Burgh
|Canadian RPM Singles Chart number one single
November 8, 1986
"Human" by The Human League
"Typical Male" by Tina Turner
|Cashbox Top 100
November 1, 1986
"Amanda" by Boston
- Album Version
- Juniors 12" Vocal Mix
- Junior's 7" Mix
- Junior's Gay Pride '98 Mix
- Junior's Main Pass Mix Edit
- Junior's Reprise Mix
- Junior's Romantic Love Mix
- Juniorverse Mix
Phil Collins version
|Single by Phil Collins|
|from the album ...Hits|
|B-side||Don't Lose My Number
Take Me Home
|Released||26 October 1998|
|Genre||Pop, smooth jazz, R&B, blue-eyed soul|
|Label||Atlantic, Virgin, WEA|
|Writer(s)||Tom Kelly, Billy Steinberg|
|Phil Collins singles chronology|
In 1998, the song was covered by Phil Collins for his compilation album ...Hits. The version was a smooth-jazz-influenced version compared to the original. R&B singer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds produced and provided backing vocals.
In 2004, a live rehearsal version was released on Collins' Love Songs: A Compilation... Old and New album.
- Phil Collins – drums, vocals
- Babyface – keyboards, drum programming, backing vocals
- Sheila E. – percussion
- Greg Phillinganes – acoustic piano & Wurlitzer electric piano
- Eric Rigler – Uilleann pipes
- Michael Thompson – guitar
- Cornelius Mims – bass
|Dutch Singles Chart||73|
|German Singles Chart||35|
|UK Singles Chart||26|
|U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles||12|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks||2|
|This section requires expansion with: other covers. (July 2015)|
The song has been covered by many artists.
- In 1991, Elaine Paige covered it in her album Love Can Do That
- In 2004, Kalan Porter, the eventual winner of season 2 of the Canadian Idol and same season eventual runner-up Theresa Sokyrka performed it as a duet in the finale of the season 2 show
- In 2006, the Japanese recording artist Anna Tsuchiya covered it in her album Strip Me?
- In 2007, J-Pop artist K covered it in the album The Timeless Collection Vol. 1 his first English cover album. A DVD was also released including clips of live performances of the album songs. K's version was used in Sony Ericsson as a commercial theme.
- In 2009, the cast of Glee performed it in the programme and it was released as a single "True Colors (Glee Cast Version)". The version was included in the compilation album Glee: The Music, Volume 2 released on December 4, 2009. The single charted on Billboard Hot 100, and reached number 15 in Ireland, number 35 in the United Kingdom, number 38 in Canada, and number 47 in Australia.
- In Spring 2010, Bonnier Amigo Music Group released the Greatest Hits album by Swedish singer Amy Diamond that included her version of "True Colors"
- In 2012, Karyn White covered it in her album Carpe Diem
- Also in 2012, American singer songwriter Summer XO recorded it and released it as a single
- In 2012, Artists Against Bullying (often styled as "Artists Against"), an agglomeration of seven Canadian musicians re-record the song. It was released during Bullying Awareness Week. The project was inspired by the increase in teen bullying and cyberbullying, especially the Amanda Todd case, with proceeds being donated to Kids Help Phone - a Canadian counseling service for children and youth. The artists involved in the recording were Lights, Pierre Bouvier (from Simple Plan), Jacob Hoggard from Hedley, Fefe Dobson, Kardinal Offishall, Alyssa Reid and Walk Off the Earth. The song entered the Canadian Singles Top 100 chart at number 10 the week it was released.
- In 2014, Michelle Chamuel, the eventual runner-up of fourth season of NBC's The Voice performed it the Live Playoffs of the show
- On 27 April 2015, the One Voice Children's Choir under the direction of Masa Fukuda released their version with influences of Indian music. The music video was filmed in front of an Hindu temple during Holi, also known as the festival of colours or the festival of love.
- On July 29th, 2015, Japanese Pop artist Ayahi Takagaki released a cover of True Colors on her new single, Rebirth-day.
- "True Colors by Cyndi Lauper". Interview with Billy Steinberg about "True Colors". Songfacts. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
- Burnett, Richard (2014-04-04). "The true colours of Cyndi Lauper". CurtainsUP. Retrieved 2014-04-21.
- "Cindy Lauper answering audience questions live on CNN". CNN. Retrieved 2014-04-21.
- "Mission Statement of the True Colors Fund". Retrieved 2015-08-07.
- Hitparadeitalia (1986). "Hitparadeitalia Chart". Hitparadeitalia Charts. Retrieved 2012-02-05.
- Canadian Certification
- US Certification
- "Chart Stats – Glee Cast". Chart Stats. Retrieved February 25, 2010.
- "Glee Cast Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved February 25, 2010.
- "Glee Cast". acharts.us. Retrieved February 25, 2010.