|Single by Cyndi Lauper|
|from the album True Colors|
|"Heading for the Moon"|
|Released||August 28, 1986|
|Recorded||March 3, 1986|
|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 on recording it, and then to Cyndi Lauper. Their demo was in the form of a 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 Roy Orbison and 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. Years later, Lauper co-founded the True Colors Fund, a non-profit dedicated to eradicating LGBT youth homelessness.
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 LGBT rights in the US and beyond. A second True Colors tour occurred in 2008.
|Single by Phil Collins|
|from the album ...Hits|
|Released||October 26, 1998|
|Label||Atlantic, Virgin, WEA|
|Tom Kelly, Billy Steinberg|
|Phil Collins singles chronology|
In 1998, the song was recorded 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. The track peaked at number 12 on the US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100, number two on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart and number 26 on the UK Singles Chart. It reached the top 40 in Austria, Canada, France and Germany.
In 2004, a live rehearsal version was released on Collins' Love Songs: A Compilation... Old and New album.
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||20|
|Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)||6|
|Canada Top Singles (RPM)||40|
|Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)||3|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||35|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||73|
|Scotland (Official Charts Company)||35|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||26|
|US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)||12|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||2|
|Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)||24|
|Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)||27|
|Single by Kasey Chambers|
|Tom Kelly, Billy Steinberg|
|Kasey Chambers singles chronology|
In 2003, Australian singer-songwriter Kasey Chambers' recording of "True Colors" became the theme song for the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The song peaked at number four, was certified gold and went on to be the 76th best-selling single in Australia that year
|Chart (2003)||Peak |
|Australian Singles Chart (ARIA) ||4|
The song has been recorded by many artists.
In 2001, True Colors was recorded by Sarina Paris and included in her self-titled debut album. Released on May 22, 2001, the album was composed of songs co-written by Paris, with the exception of this cover. The album reached #167 on the Billboard 200 in the United States.
In 2009, Jenna Ushkowitz performed it in the television program Glee, 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 2012, Artists Against Bullying (often styled as "Artists Against"), an agglomeration of seven Canadian musicians re-recorded 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.