If you think Cindy Lauper, Lady Gaga, Madonna, and Rihanna are pop stars, you’ll most definitely want to know more about the woman who premiered their styles. Often called “Goddess of Pop,” Cher remains a mega-icon in the English music industry. She has over a million fans worldwide, thanks to her extensive portfolio as a television host, singer, actress, and so much more.
She has achieved several accolades that thousands worldwide would die for –multiple Grammys, Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, and scores more. Her rise to stardom, however, wasn’t paved by a red carpet. She had to jump through her fair share of hoops to get to where she is today.
The Birth of a Star
Cher was born in California on May 20, 1946, as Cherilyn Sarkisian to Georgia Holt (born Jackie Jean Crouch), a model and actress of Irish-English-German-Cherokee descent, and John Sarkisian, an American-Armenian truck driver. Georgia Holt divorced Sarkisian and married bank manager Gilbert Hartmann LaPierre in 1961. He legally adopted Cher and her half-sister Georganne.
Her biological father was barely home after she was born, and her parents went their separate ways ten months after her birth. Her mother subsequently married actor John Southhall and gave birth to Georganne.
A Tough Set of Early Years
Cher’s early years with her mother were rough. The two traveled around the country and lived in several states – from California to New York to Texas. Her mother took up waitressing to support them in the initial years. Financial distress even forced Georgia to drop Cher at an orphanage one time.
They didn’t have much money growing up and sometimes used rubber bands to hold their shoes together. Her mother’s hard work slowly came to fruition when she started to get minor roles as extras in films and television shows. She even successfully kept an eye out for her daughters to take up roles on television.
A Wandering Mind That Dreamed of Fame
Even as a young child, Cher always knew that she had it in her to be famous. She was known in school as a daydreamer who fantasized about being famous. She often skipped classes and skimped on tests and assignments. Who had time for school when her goals were to be famous?
Her former classmates from a private school where her father had her enrolled recall that she always seemed like a star even though she never fit in very well with children from affluent families. Her outgoing personality and striking appearance gave her an edge.
Cher Starts Performing Young
One of her first performances was when Cher put together a production of the musical Oklahoma! in front of her fifth-grade class. Her cast consisted of a group of girls, and she assumed the role of director and choreographer.
When the boys in her class refused to participate, she played the male roles in the musical herself. The rigid gender norms of the 1950s were no match for her, even before she entered her teen years. By the age of 9, her voice had developed unusually low.
Even an Icon Has Icons
While the ‘Goddess of Pop’ may seem like an enigma herself, she did look up to several pop stars. After Cher watched Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, she decided to become a movie star. She hoped to emulate her wardrobe when she got dressed for school.
She was also inspired by the likes of Bette Davis, Marlene, and Katherine Hepburn. The absence of dark-haired actresses in Hollywood disappointed her. She wanted to see more women who looked like herself on the big screen and often felt unattractive.
“I couldn’t think of anything that I could do … I didn’t think I’d be a singer or dancer. I just thought, well, I’ll be famous. That was my goal,” she later commented at an interview.
Dyslexia Ate Her Attention
Teachers failed to recognize Dyslexia, accusing her of not paying attention
Throughout her school-going years, Cher was often chastised for not paying attention in class. Teachers said that her mind was outside the classroom and accused her of drifting off. At the age of 30, Cher was diagnosed with Dyslexia, a common condition that made it difficult for her to focus.
At interviews after stardom, she said that she was disappointed in how her teachers failed to recognize the condition and for not creating the environment she needed to spread out her wings to their fullest in school.
Cher’s First Boyfriend – Warren Beatty
She felt like school wasn’t the place for her, so she dropped out and moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of becoming a famous personality. It was there, at the age of 16, that she met Warren Beatty. He was 25 at the time. The relationship ended after a car crash shook the couple. Both survived, but their relationship didn’t.
Cher later revealed that she was glad that the incident took place and called it an important learning experience.
Music’s Most Fateful Meeting
The same year, Cher and Beatty parted ways, and the young star met Salvatore Bono, aka Sonny, in a coffee shop in Los Angeles. The two hit it off and went on to become one of the most sensational musical duos throughout the 60s.
Sonny was working for record producer Phil Spector, and Cher offered to work as Salvatore’s housekeeper. Sonny helped her land a backup singer role in one of Spector’s projects as the two got to know one another.
The Beginning of Cher and Sonny
After spending a lot of time together, Sonny and Cher felt they connected extraordinarily. Though Cher was 18 years old, they exchanged marriage vows in a private wedding ceremony in Tijuana, Mexico. They exchanged $10 wedding rings that had their names engraved on them.
Their friendship thrived, and they were successful musicians, but the couple went through a snag in their marriage. In an interview years later, Sonny remarked that despite their dissatisfaction with each other and their relationship, they stayed together to continue to have successful careers.
Embracing the Hippie Life of the 60s
The cultural climate in the United States when Sonny and Cher first started their careers was very different from what it ended up becoming by the end of the decade. At the same time, during the 60s, the world was undergoing change, and hippie culture was taking over, and Sonny and Cher’s message was not going down well with the general audience.
She, however, adapted well to the changing trends and became a fashion icon, with bell-bottoms, bandanas, and colorful Cherokee-inspired clothes.
Good Things Come to Those Who Wait
Despite having the right contacts, Cher did not rise to fame overnight. She was in the background for quite a while and sang backing vocals for songs like “Be My Baby” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.” These were produced by Phil Spector, who Sonny put her in contact with.
When she finally recorded her first solo single called “Ringo, I Love You,” it was not received well, and radio stations refused to play it. Because of Cher’s deep voice, RJs thought it was a gay man singing a love song to Ringo Starr from the Beatles.
Even Stars Get Insecure Sometimes
It might be hard to believe, but Cher didn’t always believe in herself. Though she knew that she would be a star from a young age, she did have her moments of self-doubt and low self-esteem. As a youngster, she didn’t think she could be a vocalist or an actress. She, however, maintained that she wanted to be famous.
Even in her later years, after she received mainstream recognition and was recognized for her work, she couldn’t convince herself that it was because of her talents of ability.
Yes, Cher Used to Have Stage Fright
In the initial years of her solo career as a singer and performer, Cher experienced anxiety in front of large audiences. She would turn into a nervous wreck when on stage in front of large gatherings. Sonny would often sit on the stage while Cher performed. This was to help her overcome her stage fright.
Looking at Sonny on stage with her while performing in front of an audience helped her beat her stage fright.
The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour
As the duo grew more popular, they were given a chance to host and present a TV show. They called it the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. This propelled her name and face into recognition. The show aired from 1971 to 1974 and was watched by over 30 million people across the United States of America.
The show was praised for its ‘comedic timing.’ Cher perfected her acting skills through different roles in the comedy sketches featured on the show, such as the cheeky housewife Laverne, the sardonic waitress Rosa, and historical vamps, including Cleopatra and Miss Sadie Thompson.
Vogue Time for Cher
During her journey to global stardom, she was welcomed to a party facilitated by Jacqueline Kennedy in 1967. Diana Vreeland, the supervisor of fashion magazine Vogue, saw Cher chatting in a group and suggested she try her hand at modeling.
After just two short years, famous photographers like Richard Avedon were photographing Cher. Her pictures were featured in Vogue magazine for the first time. The high contrast in the images brought her best features, and she has since graced the magazine’s cover multiple times.
Baby Number 1: Chaz
Cher and Sonny became parents in the spring of 1969. Their child, assigned female at birth, was named after a film they had produced together called Chastity. Chastity first came out as a lesbian at the age of 17, and in June 2009, he came out as a transgender man and changed his name to Chaz.
Chaz’s sexual identity reportedly made Cher feel guilty and afraid. However, she came to accept Chaz just the way he is and started to grow to be an outspoken advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights. “LGBT people don’t have the same rights as everyone else. I think that is unfair,” she said at an event.
When Cher felt like Sonny’s Golden Goose
Several years into their marriage, Cher called Sonny a “terrible husband” and felt like she was being used as a “Golden Goose,” i.e., an instrument of money-making, more than his wife. Despite that, she felt like she did accumulate a lot of resources and opportunities through her relationship with Sonny.
Despite having hurt her “in so many ways,” her career as an entertainer, artist, singer, performer, and the overall famous person was guided extensively by Sonny, Cher has acknowledged.
Sonny And Cher Go Their Separate Ways
Marital problems had been evident in Cher and Sonny’s relationship since late 1972, but appearances were kept up since late 1974. Sonny once wrote in his journal, “The public thinks we are hitched [and] that is how it needs to be.” The ultimate breakup wasn’t pretty.
Sonny filed for a separation in February 1974, apparently due to “irreconcilable differences.” Cher retaliated a week later with a divorce suit and charged Sonny with “involuntary servitude.” She alleged that Sonny had kept money that they had both earned together. Cher won custody of Chaz, and the divorce was finalized on June 26, 1975.
Two Years with David Geffen
Cher started dating record executive David Geffen while divorce proceedings with Sonny were going on. They dated for two years. Her new boyfriend freed her from her business arrangement with Sonny and got her a deal worth $2.5 million with Warner Bros records.
She soon began work on her first album in 1975. “They intended that [this album] was going to make millions of fans around the world take her seriously as a rock star, and not just a pop singer,” says biographer Mark Bego.
Keep Your Distance from the Feather Headdress… or Should You?
Cher found herself in a cultural appropriation controversy when she released a new song, “Half Breed,” in 1973, including a feather headdress with yellow-orange patterns for its promotion.
Despite Cher being 1/16th Cherokee on her mother’s side, members of the Native American community heavily criticized her and accused her of cultural appropriation. The controversy, however, did not affect sales, and “Half breed” was certified gold after it sold over a million copies.
Marriage Number 2
Just four days after her divorce with Sonny was finalized, Cher married Gregg Allman, the front man of the Allman Brothers. The two got married on June 30, 1975. Cher filed for divorce nine days later. She did so because of his issues with heroin and alcohol. He used drugs regularly and was always drunk.
The two, however, managed to reconcile and soon had a child together – Elijah Blue. Blue is Cher’s second son after Chaz.
The Return of Sonny and Cher
The Sonny and Cher show came back to TV around the same time she married Allman. On the day of its premiere in the February of 1976, the show was a massive success, and ratings were through the charts. The audience, however, did not take to Cher’s open acknowledgment of her divorce.
Banter about Sonny’s short stature, the divorce, her reportedly extravagant lifestyle, and her troubled relationship with Allman was not received well by CBS viewers. The show was canceled in August 1977.
Disco Years: Cher Gets Her Groove On
After her show got canceled, Cher took on disco – a road she had previously avoided. Take Me Home, her first disco album, was a massive success and landed her a deal at the Las Vegas residency worth $300,000. She attended that from 1979 to 1982. Though her passion lay in Rock and Pop, her success gave her a new perspective.
“I never thought I would want to do disco … [but] it’s terrific! It’s great music to dance to. I think that danceable music is what everybody wants,” she said at an interview later.
Missing the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll
Cher was invited as a special guest to one of Elvis Presley’s shows by the King himself in 1976 at a concert in Las Vegas where he would be performing. She, however, turned him down.
Decades later, while speaking to popular TV show host David Letterman, she expressed that she greatly regretted the decision. What an exciting gathering it would have been – The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll meets the Goddess of Pop.
It was only a KISS
Cher also encountered Gene Simmons, bass guitarist of the rock band KISS, at a party in 1979. Sparks flew when she asked him for an autograph for her kid. They reportedly saw each other on and off for about two years, but they never really went exclusive with their relationship.
The two never really hit it off that well. She also legally changed her name to just ‘Cher,’ instead of Cherilyn Sarkisian La Piere Bono Allman, to rid herself of the men’s surnames that she no longer wanted to be attached with.
Cher’s Bff Paulette: Through Thick and Thin
Even a pop goddess needs a constant companion to share her joys and sorrows with. For Cher, it was her assistant Paulette Betts. She was married to a man called Dickey Betts, the guy who founded the Allman Brothers band. This was the same band her second (and ex) husband were a part of.
Cher told her deepest and darkest secrets to Betts, and the two stuck together till the end. Though they were not often seen together in public, Cher knew she could call upon her best friend for a shoulder to cry on or for a hug following good news.
Cher Knew How to Stand Out
It can sometimes be hard to pinpoint exactly what Cher was famous for. Was it performances, her singing, her TV show? The truth is, she made a career out of being different and standing out. The world had never seen a woman as fierce and outgoing as Cher. She knew what she wanted, and nothing could stop her from achieving her dreams.
Even her looks have always been special and have inspired millions. Her outlandish and freaky outfits always stunned audiences and drew them to her even more. Her shock value kept her relevant.
Cher got her first tattoos way back in the 1970s when very few people had them, and they were seen more and more as a trademark of rebellion and edginess. She received widespread public criticism for her multiple tattoos. However, twenty years later, she got them lasered off because of how popular they had started to become. She wanted her body and tattoos to be unique, and when everyone had what she had, it no longer seemed special.
This truly shows that she was a rebel from the start and how hard she strived to maintain her brand of uniqueness.
All Aboard the Tom Cruise Ship
Cher dated Tom Cruise way back in the 80s before he became the big-time Hollywood actor that he is now. She met him when he was a wide-eyed 23-year-old in Los Angeles. Cher herself was around the age of 39 at the time.
Even though she was one of his younger partners, Cher, in a later interview, said that she would place him in the Top 5 Lovers. Romance could have blossomed into something bigger and better, but their hectic work schedules did not allow it, and they broke up.
Mama Mia! That’s Meryl!
Cher and Meryl Streep are another powerful celebrity friendship we can all get behind. The two met on the set of Silkwood in 1983 and have since maintained their relationship and speak often. The two posed on the red carpet during the premiere of Mama Mia! on July 16, 2018. On that occasion, they also shared a sweet kiss.
In Silkwood, Cher played a real-life whistle-blower, Karen Silkwood’s lesbian best friend and roommate named Dolly. While working together, Streep and the singer became close friends right away.
Another Feather in her Overflowing Hat
Cher’s performance in the 1987 film Moonstruck earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress. In the film, directed by Normal Jewison, she assumed the character of Loretta Castroni. She was supposedly so excited by the award that her long list of people to thank left out one important name – the Director himself!
She later felt terrible about the boohoo and made up for it by paying for a full page in Variety magazine, thanking Norman for the opportunity and giving him credit for the movie’s success. Her apology was accepted, and the two made up.
Cher’s Risque Navy Music Video Controversy
Cher found her name in headlines once again in 1989 after her music video for “If I Could Turn Back Time” was criticized for being too promiscuous. The video had been shot on a US Navy battleship.
She had received permission to shoot aboard the USS Missouri. It was unclear what Cher would be filming, and the final product ended up being too explicit. Her outfit was made up of skin-tight leather and body-hugging fishnet. It was looked down upon so poorly that MTV never aired it on the channel before 9 pm.
Fashion Icon, Among Other Things
Cher was to boomers what Lady Gaga was to millennials. From Sonny and Cher’s bellbottoms and fur vests to her Native American ‘costume’ in the 1970s, she was accused of cultural appropriation; Cher’s clothing has always sparked controversy.
Some of her most controversial wardrobe pieces include the leather dress from “If I Could Turn Back Time” and the spiky, glittering harness and headgear she wore to the Oscars in the 1980s. Her fashion sense was truly always ahead of her time, and she paved the way for icons of the next generation.
Cher Called David Letterman an Asshole
Cher was one of the first guests David Letterman wanted to interview after he started the Late Night with David Letterman show on NBC. She, however, avoided the talk show for about four years. His team sent repeated invitations till she finally relented.
Finally, Letterman asked Cher why she had evaded the show for so many years on the show. It turns out she thought David Letterman was an asshole. Of course, this was a joke, but Letterman revealed that her comment shocked him and admitted that he got a dose of his own medicine. Later, Cher slipped him a note saying, “Dear David, you’re not an asshole.”
Where the ‘Sonny’ Don’t Shine
A skiing accident in South Lake Tahoe, California, in 1998 took Sonny Bono’s life. He was 62 when the incident took place. Sonny was the father of her child, her mentor, and her best friend, who was with them from the start of her journey.
She was devastated when he passed. The two were awarded a Hollywood Star of Fame when a few months after his death. Cher accepted the plaque on his behalf. Cher’s autobiographical essays, The First Time, heavily featured Sonny and his role in her life.
Getting Her Autotune On
Around the time autotune became a thing, there were a lot of conversations about whether the synthetic-sounding technical tool was ‘allowed’ or not. Of course, it was, but it was criticized for concealing the artists’ true voices.
Cher was not afraid to experiment with the new technology and first used it for her song in 1998 with her hit song “Believe.” Surprise! People loved it, and following her example, hundreds of other artists followed suit, and autotune came to be quite widely used in the industry. Even today, it is one of pop music’s most heavily used effects to this day.
Doing it all – Pop, Rock Folk, Disco
Cher was perhaps one of the most diverse and multi-talented stars of her time. She continuously reinvented herself throughout her career and jumped to and from different genres to the delight of her audiences. She dove deep into Pop, Rock, Folk, Disco, and country music, often fusing these genres as well. She even had short stints in hip-hop, electronic dance music (EDM), and techno.
Her deep, bold, spacious vibrato allowed her to find herself at home in genres that artists took forever to break into.
100 Million Records Sold but No Place for Cher in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Despite selling over 100 million records, super successful sold-out tours for decades, and a massive influence over younger generations, Cher still isn’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which many considered the Bible of Rock n Roll.
So why isn’t Cher in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Experts are just as baffled. Many say it is because of flaws in the system, while others say it stems from sexism in the English music industry. But we’re sure Cher isn’t too worried, considering she has every other award left there is to win out there.
Missing Out on Morticia
Throughout her career in acting, Cher mainly starred in comedies, dramas, and romance. She has appeared in a total of eighteen films. She has also dabbled in theatre, video game roles, scores of television commercials and has directed a piece for the motion picture, If These Walls Could Talk in 1996 and some of her music videos.
Various international television commercials and high-profile print advertising companies have paid big bucks to have her in their commercials. One role she regrets not scoring was Morticia Addams from the 1991 film, The Addams Family.
How Cher Reacted When Her Son Came Out
“It wasn’t easy,” Cher said when her son, assigned female at birth, came out as male. Though she has been a long-time supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community, her son’s 10-year transition was a new experience, something she hadn’t experienced before. She admitted that she wishes she could’ve handled it better.
Chaz’s coming out was a major win for the trans community. He was one of the first in the mainstream to do so. He also starred in Dancing with the Stars as the first trans man on a major TV network about something other than being a transgender person.
From Chastity to Chaz
Four decades after he came out, Chaz went under the knife to transition his physical body from woman to man. He documented the process in his memoir, “Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man.” He also wrote about it in his bestseller – “Becoming Chaz.”
When a California court finally granted his request to change his legal name and gender, the process finally came to an end. As the son of two extremely famous TV personalities, he was constantly under public scrutiny. He hoped that the attention he got from the media would sensitize the public to trans people and that others who were still in the closet would see him as an inspiration.
A Constant Pillar for Her Son
Despite not handling his coming out very well, Cher stood by Chaz throughout his transition and supported his decision. “It was strange for a mother to go through,” she said, speaking about the transition period. Medical technology for the female to male transition was not as advanced as it is now. Cher said that she was frightened in the beginning and was wary of doctors.
Their relationship continues to move in the right direction. Chaz admitted that he did have his inhibitions and wondered how this would affect the public image of his parents, but ultimately, with the support of his parents, he made the best decision for himself.
Cher’s Time Touring the Globe
A musician’s life is not as luxurious as it may seem. Tours, high-stakes performances, and the public’s gaze can be a lot to take sometimes. In 2002, Cher began her 3-year tour called ‘Living Proof,’ the highest-grossing music tour by any female artist ever. After the tour, she returned to her second residency in Vegas.
Afterward, she signed a three-year residency where she headlined at the Las Vegas Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace. The gig lasted three years. Her tour shows were a huge hit and were complete with elaborate costumes, set designs, and exciting lighting.
Burlesque with Christina Aguilera and Kristen Bell
Cher played a role in the musical film, Burlesque opposite Christina Aguilera and Kristen Bell before her second Vegas residency was up. The show’s soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy. Though the film wasn’t a huge hit, Cher’s performance in it was widely praised.
The writer/director had to put in a lot of effort to convince Cher to do the show. He approached her several times. She thought about it for a long time as she wanted to know what Steven would do with the movie.
Cher’s Philanthropy and Charitable Organizations
No one takes philanthropy as seriously as Cher does. Her charitable projects have ranged from health research and patients’ quality of life to anti-poverty initiatives, veterans’ rights, and vulnerable children. She also started the Cher Charitable Foundation that supports international projects such as the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Operation Helmet, and the Children’s Craniofacial Association.
She also gave backing to the Get A-Head Charitable Trust, an organization to improve the quality of life for people with head and neck diseases. Other causes that have her support are Keep a Child Alive, the Peace Village School in Kenya, and Malaria No More.
Lending Her Voice to Minorities and the Marginalized
She has also supported organizations that work in women’s rights, activism for the black community, and the LGBTQIA+ community. Especially after her son’s coming out as a trans man, her work in the community has increased quite a bit.
The 1997 national Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays convention invited her to speak as their keynote speaker. She received the GLAAD Vanguard Award for making a “significant difference in promoting equal rights for lesbians and gay men” in May 1998.
Helping Fallen Soldiers
American soldiers and returning veterans have also received help from Cher through an organization called Operation Helmet. This organization provides free helmet upgrade kits to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
To serve military personnel who have been disabled in foreign countries, she contributed to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. The organization also helps those who return from war-torn countries and suffer serious injuries. She participated in humanitarian efforts in Armenia in 1993 by taking food and medical supplies. Cher received the amfAR Award of Inspiration in 2015 for “her willingness and ability to use her fame for the greater good.”
Dear Mom, Love Cher
Cher took part in a documentary about her own life in 2013, called Dear Mom, Love Cher. As one may guess, the documentary was about her life and her relationship with her mother, Georgia Holt. The latter had to go through several difficult circumstances to raise her two daughters.
The film also focused on Cher’s family history. It was released around the same time her album, called Closer to the Truth, came out. It aired on Lifetime in May 2013 and won the Women’s Image Network Award for Outstanding Show Produced by a Woman.
Cher Falls for Hell’s Angel
Cher started to date Hell’s Angel and TV show host Tim Medvetz in 2008 when she was 62. At the time, Medvetz was around 37. Their romance lasted about five years. The two almost got married but decided to call it off instead.
“I just broke up with someone, but I need a little bit of a break. I don’t believe in going from one relationship to another – I have girlfriends that won’t leave someone they’re with until they have someone to move on to, and you just can’t do that,” she told the press after the breakup.
Never Satisfied, Never Beaten
In a 2016 interview, Cher said she was her worst critic and was never satisfied with her work. Her perfectionism is what pushed her to where she is today. Even though her shows and performances made a lot of money, it did not mean anything to her if she was unsatisfied. People often told her they would kill to be where she was, but she pushed herself to be better.
Though she did have a few rough years in the middle of her music career in the 1980s, she continued to take acting lessons. Many did not take her seriously as an actress at the time, and she strived to prove them all wrong.
Old but as Solid as Gold
Though she has aged quite gracefully, we might add that she maintains her excellent health through a strict diet and regular exercise. In a recent interview with Ellen, she admitted that she had an “old-fashioned” workout routine that included planks, squats, and fire hydrant moves.
To maintain her toned body, she works out five days a week and does Zumba. She also owns a machine called a Power Plate, which uses “whole-body vibration technology.”
Even at the age of 75, her skin continues to glow thanks to her plant-based diet, including potatoes, salads, vegetables, pasta, legumes, and fruits. Cher usually gets her sugars from fruits such as papaya, bananas, and nectarines.
A Face That Cost a Pretty Penny
Much media attention has been given to Cher’s look, particularly its youthfulness, vibrancy, and tattoos. She went under the knife a few times to get a nose job, a boob job, and a facelift and has spoken about the procedures many times in public.
The “poster girl” of plastic surgery is what many journalists have called her over the years. She currently has six tattoos. She got her first one in 1972. She also had quite a few erased after inking came more into the mainstream. She liked to do things for the shock they created.
Living With Health Issues, Criticism
Though she follows a healthy lifestyle, complete with exercise and a plant-based diet, Cher contracted the incurable Epstein-Barr virus in the early 1990s and developed chronic fatigue syndrome. Because of this, she was too exhausted to sustain her music and film careers and left them behind.
She worked on other projects during her illnesses, starred in infomercials, and launched health, beauty, and diet products. Through these, she earned about $10 million in fees. Saturday Night Live parodied her skits, and critics considered her a sellout. Many suggested that her film career was over.
Cher’s Awards and Acknowledgments
Cher has been nominated for over 400 awards and has won over 300 of them. Throughout her 50-year career, including when she was with Sonny, she has won a Grammy, an Emmy, an Oscar, three Golden Globe Awards, and best actress at the Cannes Film Festival Award. She sold over 100 million records across the world. Her net worth is over $350 million. At one point around 2002, her net worth was estimated at $600 million.
All this success can be summed up in an astonishing $350 million net worth today. Cher is also the only artist to date to have achieved a number-one single on a Billboard chart in each of the past six decades.
‘Cher’ The Wealth
As she gets older, the superstar has thought about where her fortunes will go after she passes. She recently decided to share her assets with people closest to her and have supported stuck by her. Her fortunes have been divided between family members, her children, her sister, and her children.
Cher also has an incredible portfolio of property both across the east and west coasts. Cher has made her money working hard, investing in houses at several locations. She currently lives in her Malibu home, which she built around 1999. It is reportedly worth about $40 million.
Second Son Elijah’s Elopement
Cher’s second son Elijah, who she had with her second husband, Allman, eloped with Mariangela King in 2013 after expressing her disapproval and refusing to give the couple her blessings. At an interview, Elijah said that he “wasn’t going to wait for anyone’s approval and congratulations just like I’ve never waited for any of that my whole life.”
Their relationship soured after the episode, and even afterward, Cher did not congratulate them on their marriage. The couple did not even receive an invitation to her annual Christmas party. He still went on to become a successful musician.
Cher Made Elijah “Feel Like the Family’s Black Sheep”
Elijah often went on record to describe his relationship with his mother and how he felt like the ‘black sheep’ of the family. He also reportedly felt shunned by his parents, who sent him off to boarding school at 7. Cher thought the decision to send him to boarding school would be best for Elijah, but he lamented that the lack of a proper family structure is why he started to depend on drugs as a youngster.
Elijah also said that he often pined for a father figure in his youth and tried to bond with the various men his mother dated.
Words Are Impossible, Gui Gui – Cher After Allman Died
Even though their marriage was short-lived, Cher mourned the death of her husband, Gregg Allman. He died at the age of 69 due to Hepatitis C, which was diagnosed in 1999. That, along with complications due to a liver transplant, took his life. He died at his home in Savannah, Georgia.
“I’VE TRIED… WORDS ARE IMPOSSIBLE GUI GUI. FOREVER, CHOOCH,” Cher tweeted when he passed. She also attended his funeral.
Name on the Billboard
Cher was honored with the Billboard Icon Award in 2017 for her role as one of the most dominant figures in music and entertainment. Her career of over six decades led her to achieve this award.
In her speech, she thanked Sonny, her best friend and mentor, and Georgia Holt, her mother. She remains one of the top-selling female recording artists of all time. Fifty-one of her 83 singles have charted on Billboard’s Hot 100, the main pop chart. She has released twenty promotional singles and appeared in twenty-six other songs.
Her Record of Highest Record
Cher has released 25 studio albums. Her 1989 album, Heart of Stone was certified 3x Platinum in the US and Believe (1998) was certified 4x Platinum. It sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
Her newest studio album, Dancing Queen, was released on September 28, 2018. It debuted at number three with first-week sales of 153,000 album-equivalent units. This was her highest debut sale for an album in the United States. It also earned her the biggest debut sale for a pop album by a female in the United States that year.
Taking on the New World of Social Media
Cher loves communicating with her fans on social media. She currently has over 2 million followers on Instagram, 3.9 million on Twitter, and 613,000 subscribers on YouTube. She frequently updates her fans about her whereabouts and gives people glimpses of her personal life now and then.
Time magazine named her “Twitter’s most outspoken (and beloved) commentator.” At the same time, the New York Times said that “Cher is an outlier, perhaps the last unreconstructed high-profile Twitter user to stand at her digital pulpit and yell (somewhat) incomprehensibly and be rewarded for it.”
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
Cher is now 75 years old. At this age, one would expect her to stop and enjoy life as it is, but she has shown no signs of letting up. The past decade has been just as fruitful for her, and while she is taking it slow, she’s actively finding more projects to do. Since her recent comeback in the movie Burlesque, she also played a role in Zookeeper (2011) and is playing a role in Mamma Mia’s Broadway show! Here We Go Again.
In October 2019, Cher launched a new ‘genderless’ perfume, Cher Eau de Couture. She spent four years making the iconic scent. Cher was also announced as the new face of fashion brand Dsquared2.
The Cher Show Debut
Cher produced a musical about her life in 2018 called The Cher Show. It featured songs about her life and career and details about her humble beginnings and heartbreaks. It officially premiered at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago.
Rick Elice wrote it. Three actresses played Cher during different stages of her life. A US tour of The Cher Show is set to be launched this year, as it was postponed during the COVID-19 pandemic.