“True Colors” is a song written by songwriters Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. It was both the title track and the first single released from 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 Cyndi 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.
It reached number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, 3 in Australia, and 12 on the UK Singles Chart.