“True Colors” was written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, who also wrote Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” and Heart’s “Alone.” Steinberg originally wrote the song about his mother, although with a much different first verse than currently exists in the song. Steinberg and Kelly first submitted the song to Anne Murray, who turned it down, before Cyndi Lauper picked it up. This was the only single on Lauper’s album of the same name that she didn’t help write. It was originally written as a gospel ballad, and was drastically revised into the version we have today. “True Colors” was adopted by the gay community to promote LGBT rights. This was particularly important to Lauper, as a good friend had passed away from HIV/AIDS right before the song was released. She co-founded the True Colors Fund, which is a non-profit designed to eliminate LGBT youth homelessness. In addition, Lauper participated in the True Colors Tour in 2007 and 2008, to promote LGBT rights for the Human Rights Campaign. The song has been covered a number of times, most famously by Phil Collins in 1998.