Cyndi Lauper sang it. Miley Cyrus covered it. Robert Hazard wrote it.
In the 1980s, Hazard's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" helped define Lauper as the free-spirited alternative to the boy-toying Madonna. The sing-along song rose to No. 2 on the Billboard singles chart, spawning a like-named Sarah Jessica Parker-Helen Hunt teen comedy, countless movie soundtrack inclusions, and a recent cover by Cyrus, the reigning teen queen.
If it was an interesting note that the girl-power anthem was penned by a man—in a 15-minute spurt in a motel bathroom in 1979, or so the story goes—then it was also interesting that the peppy pop hit was penned by a musician who preferred understated folk-rock.
"Robert was a writer's writer," his manager, Jim Della Croce, said in a statement.
A much-recorded solo artist, and a Philadelphia legend for the 1980s outfit Robert Hazard and the Heroes, Hazard died Tuesday night at a hospital in Boston following unspecified surgery, reports said. He was 59.
"I was very sorry to hear that Robert Hazard, the songwriter of 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun,' sadly passed away Tuesday," Lauper said in a statement Thursday. "He was a very talented song writer."
And his songs—his other songs—can be heard here.
Other recent passings:
- Bernie Brillstein, 77, was a shaper of American comedy. Officially, he was an agent, manager and mover-and-shaker who had a hand in such milestone shows as Saturday Night Live, It's Garry Shandling's Show and Mr. Show. He was arguably most famous for his association with John Belushi, guiding the actor from SNL to big-screen stardom.
- Thanks to cable's TBS, Skip Caray, 68, was a familiar voice and face face to followers of the Atlanta Braves the nation over. The son of beloved Cubs announcer Harry Caray, who died in 1998, Skip Caray was father to current Braves announcer Chip Caray.
- Jud Taylor, 76, was an Emmy-nominated director who specialized in TV-movies, and whose credits included five episodes of the original Star Trek. Among his Treks was "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield," a 1969 episode featuring guest star Frank Gorshin as a half-black, half-white space alien.
- Lou Teicher, 83, was one half of the wildly popular piano duo, Ferrante & Teicher. Once upon the 1960s, a respectable record collection was not complete without the soothing contributions of the bespectacled pair. Survivors include Teicher's partner in making the theme from Midnight Cowboy an easy-listening treat, Arthur Ferrante.
- Luther Davis, 91, was a Tony-winning writer (Kismet) who, for film, penned the 1964 camp classic Lady in a Cage, and the 1972 blaxploitation staple, Across 110th Street.
- Greg Burson, 59, was, for a while, the latter-day voice of Bugs Bunny, Yogi Bear and many, many more characters originated by the late Mel Blanc and Daws Butler, respectively. His career was muted after an alcohol-fueled 2004 SWAT incident at his home. "He was always trying to help others," wrote Mark Evanier, who reported Burson's death on his blog, News From Me. "I just wish he'd been able to help himself."