Lauper’s recording of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” was released in 1983 on her historic debut album, “She’s So Unusual,” becoming a breakthrough hit and feminist anthem. The accompanying music video, which culminates in Lauper dancing across New York City back to her parents’ apartment — accompanied by a parade of revelers — was first uploaded to YouTube in October 2009.
According to YouTube, the video has averaged more than 300,000 views per day over the last 12 months.
“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is the fifth song from the 1980s to surpass 1 billion views on YouTube, alongside Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” A-ha’s “Take on Me,” Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
Lauper, commenting on her hit song and video, said that many people don’t realize that “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is really a political song. Her rendition is a cover of the song, which was written and performed by Robert Hazard and released as a single in 1979.
“When I got my feminist hands on [‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’], I knew I wanted to make it into an anthem for all women. Sonically, I wanted the song to be uplifting and joyful,” the artist said in a statement. “When it came time to make the video it was really important to me to make sure we included women from every walk of life. I wanted every little girl watching the video to have the joyful experience of seeing herself on that screen. I wanted us to be a community.”
Lauper added, “Back when we made the video there was no YouTube, so when you think about it, it’s really extraordinary. The reach that this song has. The longevity. That people still purposely seek this video out and press play. Wow. I’m really grateful. Thank you.”
Lauper has sold more than 50 million records worldwide to date. She was the first woman to have four top-five singles from a debut album (“She’s So Unusual”), has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016. Lauper’s advocacy work has included co-founding True Colors United in 2008 to fight and end homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth.