On May 23, Cyndi Lauper hosted a fund-raising benefit at Irving Plaza for Theresa Brilli Wilson, a longtime music industry executive who died of breast cancer this March. In 1981, Brilli Wilson’s music career began as Elektra Records director of international marketing. In 1989, she became marketing vice president at Sony Music International and later went on to manage CC Music Factory. Her career ended at Arista in 2003.
Along the way, Brilli Wilson helped foster the rise of some top recording stars, including Lauper, Natalie Merchant, formerly of 10,000 Maniacs, Steve Forbert and Dan Baird of The Georgia Satellites.
Brilli Wilson fought her cancer without the benefit of comprehensive health-care insurance and the Irving Plaza event raised money to help defray the costs of enormous medical bills now shouldered by her husband, Tony. The Friends of Theresa Fund has been established for her surviving 5-year-old son, Nicholas.
During the benefit, Lauper could be seen backstage managing the acts as emcee and overall organizer. At the end of a long evening of performances, Lauper then gave a forty-five minute concert that included some of her blockbuster hits from the 1980s, including “True Colors” which she dedicated to Theresa.