Robert Hazard, a songwriter and musician from Philadelphia who wrote the 1983 Cyndi Lauper hit "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," has died. He was 59.

Hazard died Tuesday after a brief illness, his record label, Rykodisc, said in a statement. His wife, Susan, told The Philadelphia Inquirer her husband died unexpectedly after surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Hazard, born Robert Rimato, led the band Robert Hazard and the Heroes, a fixture in Philadelphia clubs through the mid-1980s. In an online posting a few years ago, he recalled how he got his big break when music journalist Kurt Loder, who was in town to review a concert, happened to stop into a bar where he was performing.

That led to a 1981 article about his band in Rolling Stone, and his song "Escalator of Life" became a hit soon after.

Recently, he played country music with a band called The Hombres. His latest album, "Troubadour," was released in October.

In recent years, Hazard and his wife ran an antiques shop near their home in Old Forge, N.Y.