TODAY

TODAY   |  April 16, 2014

Billy Porter: Cyndi Lauper and I ‘found each other’

Pop icon Cyndi Lauper and Tony-winning actor Billy Porter, who worked together on the Broadway hit “Kinky Boots,” talk about touring with Cher and the release of Porter’s new album, “Back on Broadway.” Porter calls Lauper the “godmother of individuality.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> and he's broadway 's comeback kid who took a 13-year break only to return to the starring role that earned him a tony.

>> it sure did. together cyndi lauper and billy porter make beautiful music in the smash show " kinky boots " celebrating one year on broadway .

>> look at you two.

>> congratulations. you both have new babies in your life. cyndi, you're going to go on tour, and you have a new baby album.

>> i have a new album, yes, " billy 's back on broadway ," debuted number one yesterday on the itunes chart.

>> hello.

>> congratulations. and cyndi, you've got a cd out, and you're also going on tour with cher ?

>> cher , yes.

>> you two? what's going to happen there? that's magic.

>> that could be crazy.

>> we love cher . she's unusual, too. she's her own unique person.

>> and she's a real straight shooter. she's so cool.

>> how did that come about, you two performing together?

>> i don't know. i started crying thinking about the cd, i'm sorry. we started '99. i had decklin and, like, you know, he was 18 months. and i went on tour with her. you know, some kids don't take to the road.

>> right.

>> he didn't take to the road that well. but, you know, he was -- you know, so it was interesting. and i had a good time with her, and she's really great. you know, i think sisterhood is a powerful thing.

>> sure.

>> i think we'll have such a good time together. i did last time.

>> i'd love to be in that makeup room.

>> hello. it's going to be a crazy show. and billy , you said you feel like she wrote " kinky boots " for you, although you know she didn't, but it seems like that.

>> absolutely. i think we found each other, you know, because we're very much kindred spirits . i always say she's the godmother of individuality.

>> yes.

>> you know, she taught me a lot even before i met her about, you know, being in my own skin and, you know, being who i am and no matter what. you know, this role came along, and it was --

>> hello?

>> and it's changed my life.

>> i heard his voice. our mutual friend, steven, who was the arranger on this and orchestrator on " kinky boots ." i was going, who's going to play me? billy . i thought, oh, my god? how do we get him? we have to get him.

>> just pick up the phone and make the call.

>> what were you doing all those years?

>> you know, i did a lot of things. i went to the screenwriting program at ucla. i learned how to write. i started directing. i started creating. i went behind the scenes actually to sort of, you know, kind of reinvent myself.

>> did you miss it?

>> i didn't. actually. i didn't because i had been marginalized. and i had been pigeonholed into a type of performance.

>> yeah.

>> that i didn't like. so, you know, i extracted myself from that side of the business to try to redefine and restructure where i wanted to go. and so this kind of came along as a result of taking that time and really, you know, standing in my truths.

>> well, i think, if i may, i think he could sing anything.

>> he could, yes.

>> and i think that there are -- i love this role. and you bring electricity to the room. but i think that you could do many roles. not just one.

>> well, that's the hope.

>> and you're still loving it a year later, right?

>> absolutely.

>> wow.

>> absolutely.

>> the music and the cast and the energy, it makes a lot of people happy.

>> it does. the audiences just go crazy.

>> thank you both for coming. we love you.

>> congratulations to everybody. billy 's going to stick around and sing