Pop icon Cyndi Lauper headlines the latest installment of the Emmy-nominated online concert series Skyville Live next week. Titled "Girls Just Wanna Have Friends," the event streams live from Nashville on Thursday, January 28th, beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET. Lauper's special guests include country chart-topper Kelsea Ballerini and indie-pop superstar Ingrid Michaelson. The upcoming episode will stream live on the free mobile video platform go90, which is available across all wireless carriers.
Having sold 50 million albums since her 1983 debut She's So Unusual, Lauper is prepping for the release of her 11th LP this year. Titled Detour, it is the Grammy- and Tony-winning musician's first foray into classic country music and will feature a guest appearance from Willie Nelson. The singer, whose previous recording projects include covering jazz standards and blues classics, will issue the album on Sire Records, which she calls her "dream label." Overseeing the LP as executive producer will be Sire founder Seymour Stein, and Lauper made another dream come true by working with Nashville recording legend Tony Brown, who (among countless other credits) played piano for Elvis Presley and produced dozens of hits for Reba and George Strait. Lauper's musically diverse career, she notes, is a direct reflection of her New York upbringing.
"I heard someone say that sometimes your childhood defines the music or the things you think in your life," Lauper tells Rolling Stone Country. "My childhood was a mixture of things, but if you went by Aunt Gracie's kitchen, she was playing the country music station. I think it's a little bit of that in there and that's what reminds me of her."
Since debuting in January 2015, highlights of Skyville Live include Chris Stapleton paying tribute to Gregg Allman, Lady Antebellum, Jason Isbell and Brandy Clark celebrating Kris Kristofferson, and Martina McBride teaming with Gladys Knight for the inaugural webcast last year. Before moving to the Skyville studios — and to the worldwide web — the series began as a small local show put on by Music Row moguls Wally Wilson and Paul Worley — the owners of Skyville artist development and publishing company — to showcase their new acts.