Tituss Burgess gave a tribute befitting an Icon when he covered Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” at Billboard‘s 2018 Women in Music event Thursday night (Dec. 6) at New York’s Pier 36. Lauper received the Icon Award at the gala, which also honored Ariana Grande as Billboard‘s Woman of the Year.
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star put his Broadway bona fides to good use for his tribute to Lauper, putting his own spin on her 1984 hit “Time After Time.” Backed by just a grand piano, Burgess took unpredictable liberties with the classic song’s melody, starting in a soft whispered tone before going full Broadway glory note on the soaring final chorus.
Lauper sat front and center and beamed at Burgess as he reinterpretated her song, and his powerful performance earned a standing ovation that led into Lauper’s own standing O as she hit the stage to accept her award.
We’ll add video of the performance when it’s available.