Cyndi Lauper called for "fundamental rights" for women at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Sunday (12.09.21).

Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper

The 68-year-old singer took to the stage at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, to present the Best Pop award, but before she handed over the Moonperson statuette to 'Peaches' hitmakers Justin Bieber, Daniel Caesar and Giveon, she had an important message to deliver about the needs of females.

Referencing her most famous song, 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun', she told the audience: "How are you doing? I won a moon person at the very first VMAs in 1984. Things are a little different now.

"Yeah, girls wanna have fun. But we also want to have funds. Equal pay. Control over our bodies! You know, fundamental rights."

Cyndi's first MTV VMA was the Best Female Video accolade for 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun' - which beat off competition from her own 'Time After Time' and was nominated for a further five honours that year - and she recalled how she wanted to represent "all girls" with the promo clip.

She told 'Entertainment Tonight' backstage at the event: "I worked really hard to get 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun' to represent all girls, so that all girls could see themselves.

"I wanted to capture that, and I've got to say, we were the little engine that could. I was up for seven awards that year, didn't win one.

"[But] I was there, and I got to make this performance art."

The ceremony celebrated 40 years since MTV first hit television screens and Cyndi praised its lasting legacy.

She said: "You would never just listen to music again. You would see it."