By the summer of 1984, Cyndi Lauper was a rising star, and America's quirky new pop darling. With two smash hits under her belt--"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and "Time After Time--the singer took a risque left turn with the third single from her debut album, She's So Unusual, by releasing "She Bop."
The song, which is famously about masturbation, definitely ruffled some considerable feathers in the mid-1980s, with "She Bop" landing on a list known as the "Filthy 15," compiled by the infamous Parents Music Resource Center (PRMC), the committee formed in 1985 with the stated goal of increasing parental control over the access of children to music deemed to have violent, drug-related or sexual themes via labeling albums with Parental Advisory stickers.
"She Bop" barely made the "Filthy 15," coming in at #15. The #1 song: Prince's "Darling Nikki," from Purple Rain. Also making the list: Madonna's "Dress You Up," Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It," and the Prince-penned Sheena Easton tune, "Sugar Walls."
"I kept saying, 'Look, I don’t wanna mention anything to do with hands,'" Lauper told Vice in 2016 about making the track. "I want little kids to think it's about dance and grown-ups to have a chuckle when they hear it. That's how I wanted it so that's how we did it."
Released as a single on July 2, 1984, "She Bop" proved to be the third hit song in a row for Lauper, with the track peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 for the week of September 8, 1984. The #1 song in America that week: Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do with It."