Cher is one of the most iconic superstars in the world. From her rise to fame to her infamous relationships which were splashed all over the press, the singer gained fame in 1965 and shows no signs of slowing down.
Cher + Tom Cruise
In 2008, Cher finally spoke about her relationship with Tom Cruise in the 80’s when she was 39-years-old and he was just 23. Cher admitted she was crazy about the young, handsome, actor.
Cher and Sonny had one child together in 1972, a daughter name Chastity. Chastity was a common face as she regularly appeared on Sonny and Cher’s television show. Chastity was given her name after the film Chastity, which was produced by Sonny and Cher and in which Cher interestingly played a bisexual woman in one of her first roles. Her role proved rather relevant in later years when Chastity revealed her inner gender struggles.
Cher met Sonny Bono in 1962 when he was working for record producer Phil Spector. Cher took any opportunity to move up in the music world so when Sonny offered her a job as his housekeeper, she took it in the hope to get closer to Spector. Starting out as a backup singer on songs including the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby”, Cher quickly moved her way up and Spector produced her first famously unsuccessful single “Ringo, I Love You” under the name Bonnie Jo Mason.
Sonny and Cher’s Secret Marriage
Despite the status of their official marriage being somewhat of a mystery, Sonny and Cher were lovers and decided to perform their own unofficial wedding ceremony in a hotel room in Tijuana, Mexico. In 1964, Cher and Sonny exchanged vows in private with no family, friends or even a minister in attendance. Cher was only 18-years-old at the time and the couple exchanged $10 souvenir rings to cement their ‘marriage’ and had them both engraved with the name of their partner on it.
No Physical Contact
Despite their relationship being strong and their career going from strength to strength later on, Sonny admitted that he and Cher had much less than an intimate relationship. Sonny stated “we never had a good physical relationship.” He then added, “I can’t blame it on her. Maybe I was the lousy lover. Maybe I was the biggest pain because I’m a real physical person.” Despite his comments, their on stage chemistry wouldn’t give away any of this information to their audience.
Navy Not Pleased
In 1989, Cher caused a major stir with her single for “If I Could Turn Back Time.” The video showed Cher signing to a group of sailors in a less than appropriate outfit with the Navy being later dismayed after they were told the video would show her playing out a sweet story about a sailor who gets a letter. Her provocative outfit caused quite the controversy and landed Cher with a controversial name that would stay with her forever.
Cher and Sonny had established themselves in the 60’s as a ‘flower power’ type dup, wearing garish clothing and outrageous hairdo’s and make up but found a way to make it cool and were loved worldwide. However, despite making a success of themselves, the music industry and especially American pop culture was rapidly changing and the duo quickly lost their young audience due to their monogamous, anti-drug lifestyle during the sexual revolution and the rise of drug culture.
Separation From Sonny
Cher and Sonny were reported to have marital problems since late 1972 but maintained a united front until 1974. In Sonny’s diary, he wrote at the time “The public still thinks we are married, that’s the way it has to be.” However, Sonny then filed for separation citing ‘irreconcilable differences’ as the reason but only a week later, Cher countered his separation with a divorce suit and charged Sonny with ‘involuntary servitude’ claiming his withholding money and depriving her of their shared earnings.
Cher Rejected Elvis!
Back in 1976, the King himself, Elvis Presley, invited Cher to come to his concert in Las Vegas. Cher told David Letterman in an interview that he had requested she come and she said “I was about to do it and thought “No, I don’t want to.” She then told Letterman “I’ve regretted it ever since!” As some of the most iconic singers and performers in history, they would have made an incredible power couple.
When talking in interviews about her break up with Sonny, she noted that although he encouraged her, he was also very harsh. She said that she thought she was “more like a golden goose than like his wife…. I forgive him, I think. He hurt me in so many ways, but there was something. He was so much more than a husband – a terrible husband, but a great mentor, a great teacher.” Cher also noted how Sonny told her she would go to do great things.
During divorce proceedings from Sonny, Cher had a two-year relationship with record executive David Geffen, who was the one who freed her from the business arrangements with Sonny, making her work exclusively under Cher Enterprises, Sonny’s company. Geffen took Cher’s career even further and secured $2.5 million deal with Warner Bros. Records of which she began working under that label in 1975. Although the relationship didn’t work out, the success Geffen brought her was a bonus with many people stating that he built a musical empire for her.
Cher’s divorce from Sonny definitely took its toll on her, with her personal life under constant scrutiny from the press and the public. She then took a break from the public eye and the entertainment industry. In 1979, she made a comeback with the disco-orientated album ‘Take Me Home’ which led to her earning $300,000 per week for her residency show in Las Vegas, which lasted from 1980 until 1982, as well as undertaking other ventures during that time as well.
Just four days after finalizing her divorce from Sonny, Cher married rock musician Gregg Allman. Depsite filing for divorce only nine-days after they wed due to Allman’s hard drug and alcohol addictions. However, the couple reconciled within a month. Her marriage to Allman produced a second child, Elijah Blue, born in 1976. Her marriage to Allman was increasingly troubled and added to her issues with Sonny, causing the cancellation of her show which was airing at the time.
Cher was thrust back into the limelight after her movie success, leading her to record and release new albums which all hit the number one spot. From this, her 2002-2005 ‘Living Proof: The Farewell Tour’ ended up being the highest-grossing music tour by a female artist. Three years later, in 2008, her success grew even further and she signed a $180 million deal to headline the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for three years, making it her second Vegas residency.
Cher’s Return To Film
Despite becoming an Academy Award-winning actress, Cher took a break from film for seven years to focus on her music. In 2010 she decided to accept a role as a burlesque show owner in musical Burlesque also starring Christina Aguilera and Kristen Bell. Although the movie received mixed reviews from critics, the soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy award and Cher received praise for her leading role in the film, commending her power house voice and acting abilities.
Cher’s Role Model
From a young age, Cher was fascinated by movie stars, so it was only right that she went on to become an award-winning actress in her later years. As a child, her role model was the iconic Audrey Hepburn after Cher watched her in the famous 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Cher then began following in the footsteps of Audrey, planning her outfits and behavior after the star and specifically her character in the movie.
Cher’s unique long raven locks, tall frame and general popularity attracted the attention of iconic fashion magazine Vogue. In 1967, then-Vogue editor Diana Vreeland discovered her at a party for Jacqueline Kennedy and was immediately drawn to her. Cher then began working as a fashion model for photographer Richard Avedon and appeared in the famed magazine in 1969. The shots were black and white and showed Cher in different aesthetically beautiful poses which also enhanced her career in the entertainment industry.
In 2006, Cher auctioned off furniture, paintings and decorative objects from her home in Malibu. The auction also included a number of personal and recognizable items including memorabilia, jewelry and stage costumes. The total of the auction came to a huge $3.5 million with a portion of the proceeds going to the Cher Charitable Foundation. Some of the iconic items were resold on ebay for thousands of dollars from her adoring fans. Cher’s bed sold for over $80,000 while one of her necklaces sold for $90,000!
From early on, Cher was known to display unconventional behavior for a young woman in her era. She became notorious for acting out, dressing provocatively, and giving performances in the lunch hours for other students on her own accord. Within her social circle, she shocked her peers, wearing midriff bearing tops when it was not the norm. Her affinity for standing out from a young age was echoed in later life through her image, outfits and presence.
Cher Didn’t Believe
Although she was seen as a star by many around her, including Sonny who told her that he knew that she would go on to be hugely successful, Cher did not believe in herself. She noted that she wanted to be famous since she was a child but always felt unattractive and untalented “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.”
Chastity Comes Out
At the young age of 18, Chastity took the brave decision in coming out as a lesbian. Of the decision, she wrote “as a child, I always felt there was something different about me. I’d look at other girls my age and feel perplexed by their obvious interest in the latest fashion, which boy in class was the cutest, and who looked the most like cover girl Christie Brinkley. When I was 13, I finally found a name for exactly how I was different. I realized I was gay.”
Chastity To Chaz
In 2008, Chastity made headlines again as she revealed she was transitioning into Chaz and now identified as a male. The transition was confirmed by his publicist in 2009 who said, “It is Chaz’s hope that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue, just as his coming out did.” Chaz’s legal transition was completed in May, 2010 when a California court granted his request for a gender and name change.
Cher’s Response To Chaz
Cher admitted that although she was fully accepting and not bothered when Chaz revealed his gender reassignment to her, in later years it did actually affect her. She stated that it was “a strange change for a mother to go through”. Cher also said that she was afraid to see her child in case she didn’t recognize him and even asked him to save his old answering machine greeting so she could still hear his previous voice.
In 1998, Sonny died in a freak accident while skiing. That same month, Sonny and Cher had received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame for their contributions to television. Later that year, Cher published a book noting the ‘first-time’ events in her life, many of which included Sonny but because the manuscript was almost finished before his death, she couldn’t ignore it even though she debated putting it in “I couldn’t ignore it, could I? I might have if I cared more about what people think than what I know is right for me.”
Many celebrities are given numerous endorsement opportunities to enhance their career and generate revenue. It has been said that Cher is responsible for some of the most baffling celebrity endorsements of all time. In 1994, she launched her own line of mail-order home furnishings which were described as resembling “a sort of medieval L.L. Bean.” She also went into informercials for a line of skin and health care products which would have killed anyone else’s career, but not Cher’s.
Cher’s Plastic Surgery
Cher has always been a vision of beauty but has had some help from surgeons. Cher has admitted to having a breast augmentation, a nose job, veneers and a facelift. She said “Yes, I have had a facelift, but who hasn’t? I have become the plastic surgery poster girl.” It was also rumored that she has ribs removed in order to narrow her waist, had botox and fillers, laser resurfacing and vampire facials to keep her appearance looking youthful.
Gregg Allman Death
In May 2017, Cher’s second ex-husband, Gregg Allman, passed away at the age of 69. Gregg and Cher were married for a total of four years and when saying goodbye to her late husband, she tweeted “Words are impossible, Gui Gui”. Despite their ups and downs, Cher told magazine’s over forty years ago, “Nobody ever made me feel as happy as Gregory did … he’s wonderful.” Cher paid her respects to her late husband by attending his funeral as well.
Cher The Icon
On May 21, 2017, Cher was honored with the coveted Billboard Icon Award for being “one of the most dominant figures in music and entertainment for more than six decades”. From her ability to switch genres so easily and successfully, Cher has dominated the music chart for so long and is loved by so many. In her acceptance speech, Cher delivered a heartfelt speech and thanked her mother and Sonny for seeing something special in her, leading her to make such a great career for herself.
Battle With Sickness
Cher has publicly noted her battle with the Epstein-Barr virus after being diagnosed back in the 80’s. It is said that the virus has no cure and that at some points, the symptoms of the virus can be debilitating for the sufferer. In 2014, Cher was forced to cancel remaining dates of her ‘Dressed To Kill’ tour due to her illness, with many expressing concerns about her well-being and if she has played down the general state of her health.
Cher has been an advocate and philanthropist for a number of important issues. She has supported health research and patients quality of life, anti-poverty initiatives, veterans rights and vulnerable children. She has her own Cher Charitable Foundation, supporting international projects including the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Operation Helmet and the Children’s Craniofacial Association. Cher has also been an advocate for combatting the AIDS pandemic, hosting numerous gala events alongside the iconic Elizabeth Taylor at the Cannes Film Festival.
‘Dear Mom, Love Cher’
In 2013, a Lifetime documentary movie was green-lit about Georgia Holt, the mother of Cher. The film is centered around Cher and her family history, featuring interviews from Cher herself, her mother Georgia, her sister Georganne and Cher’s children Chaz Bono and Elijah Blue Allman. The release of the movie coincided with Cher’s 25th studio album, ‘Closer To The Truth’. The documentary was awarded the ‘Women’s Image Network Award for Outstanding Show Produced by a Woman’.
It is estimated that Cher is worth around $350 million and it was reported that in 2017, she divided up her fortune to give away. With her own alleged health struggles, it was said that Cher bought homes for her children and divided up her estate to her family. In new records obtained, Cher’s business manager and trustee, Warren Grant, transferred her interest in her $2 million Malibu estate to her sister, Georganne LaPiere Bartylak while share resides in her other Malibu home with her ailing mother.
The Marriage That Never Happened
From 2008 until 2013, Cher was in an on and off relationship with former Hell’s Angel Tim Medvetz. The biker was 24-years her junior and they met through friends and instantly clicked through their mutual love of Harley Davidson’s. In the middle of their relationship they went their separate ways after a hectic tour schedule became too much to handle but their reconciliation was prompted by Cher’s children. The couple’s plans to marry in Las Vegas fell apart later on.
Star From A Young Age
When Cher was in the fifth grade, she produced and starred in a performance of the musical Oklahoma! for her teacher and the rest of her class. Cher went to organize a group of girls and directed and choreographed their dance routines. Due to being unable to persuade boys to partake in the production, Cher acted and sang the male parts single-handedly. Her unusually deep voice allowed her to perform all the roles flawlessly, receiving praise from everyone.
Cher’s Stage Fright
Although Sonny wanted to launch Cher as a solo artist, she had a serious bout of stage fright and found it hard to perform by herself. For this reason, she had Sonny perform on stage with her, joining in the harmonies and becoming a great duo. Cher’s nervousness was disguised by looking at Sonny and she commented that she got over her stage fright by looking at him. From this, in 1964, Cher and Sonny went under the name of Caesar & Cleo, releasing a number of failed singles.
Cher Doesn’t Love Cher
In 2016, Cher admitted in an interview with Maria Shriver that she was not entirely satisfied with herself stating “I’m never satisfied. I’ve never really been in love with Cher. She’s all right, but it’s like I’m not a huge fan.” Despite admitting that she knows she works hard and is her own biggest critic, when she looks in the mirror she said “Oh, I just see me,”. She went on to say that she made it in the industry because she never gave up.
Autotune is one of the most used technologies in music today with many artists using it to enhance the sound of their voice but it is not commonly known that Cher was the musician who pioneered the technology. Cher’s hit ‘Believe’ was produced by Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling and they realized that instead of enhancing her voice using the tool, turning the speed setting to zero would create a futuristic sound that turned into the iconic song.
Cher’s Music Style
Cher’s success has been partially down to her musical versatility. She has employed musical styles including folk, pop, punk rock, arena rock, power ballads, disco, new wave and hip hop. The reason for all the different styles is down to Cher wanting to “remain relevant and do work that strikes a chord.” Her voice has also been described as contralto and author Nicholas E. Tawa as “bold, deep, and with a spacious vibrato.”
Throughout Cher’s career, she has always been asked how she maintains her phenomenal figure. Many people have put her physique down to plastic surgery but Cher has asserted that she regularly works out and has a strict diet. Even in her older years, it has been said that she is a woman in her 70’s with a body of a woman in their 20’s. During her award acceptance at the Billboard Music Awards she told the audience she can do a five-minute plank!
Despite the fact that Cher joined the music and entertainment industry from a relatively young age, this did not stop her from excelling in school. Although Cher was far from the perfect student, aiming to stand out in as many ways that she could, it was reported that she still earned very good grades, especially in English and French classes and was known for being an exceptionally intelligent and creative individual in her younger years in education.
Cher and Gene Simmons
In 1979 it was reported that Cher was dating rock star Gene Simmons for around a year. The two got together after Cher asked for his autograph for her daughter, Chastity at a party. The two agreed on maintaining an open relationship and seeing other people with Cher stating ‘He might spend the night with other women, I also have a very masculine attitude to dating, but Gene is the one I’m crazy about.’ The two split after Simmons fell for Diana Ross.
Cher Shunned Son’s Wedding
After a rift with his mother, causing him to move out of her home, Cher’s son Elijah eloped with his wife Angie as his mother shunned their engagement. Elijah explained ‘I wasn’t going to wait for anyone’s approval and congratulations just like I’ve never waited for any of that my whole life. The way I eloped with my wife is the same way I’ve done everything I’ve ever done. I don’t know any other way and we knew it was the right time.’ Following the wedding, Elijah was not invited to Christmas with his mother
Before becoming a successful solo artist, Cher worked with Sonny under Phil Spector. The pair would often be used as backup vocalists whenever Spector was in need of extras. This means that she can be heard in some of Spector’s biggest records. Cher featured on hits such as the Crystals’ “Da Do Ron Ron,” the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” and the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.” Ironically, Spector produced Cher’s debut solo single, “Ringo, I Love You,” which flopped in the charts.
After successful careers in both music and film, Cher has built up an incredible net-worth of $305 million. With a catalog of hits and album spanning a variety of genres, Cher has certainly appealed to the masses and made absolute fortunes through her musical endeavors. She then had a series of impressive acting performances in movies such as Silkwood, Mask, and Moonstruck. Cher has also performed regularly at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, replacing Celine Dion in 2008.
Despite having a good relationship with her mother, times were not always easy for the family. Cheryl would often need to move around the country and Georgia Holt would often need to leave her little girl at an orphanage from time to time. Sometimes, Cher would need to stay at the orphanage for weeks at a time. The time was hard for both of them and was well documented in some of Cher’s biographies. But nowadays, life is easier for Cher and her mother.
During David Letterman’s early spell as a chat show host, he was desperate to get Cher on his show. After repeatedly declining to come on, she finally succumbed to Letterman’s pleas and guest appeared in May 1986. When asked why she wouldn’t come on the show previously, she answered by calling him an “a**hole.” Letterman loved her response and pull out a cigar in admiration of her sheer audacity. He respected Cher for basically doing to him what he does to his other guests.
Hall Of Shame
Despite an incredibly successful career both on the big screen and on the radio, Cher has never been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But in true rock ‘n’ roll fashion, she has not let the snub affect her, to the point where she doesn’t even care. She told CBS, “I don’t need to be in a hall to rock.” And even though she hasn’t made it into the hall of fame yet, she is the only artist to reach number one in six straight decades.
Heroics With Meryl
Amongst Cher’s many celebrity friendships, one of her fondest comes in the form of critically acclaimed actress Meryl Streep. In an interview with US Weekly, she claimed that the pair once took part together in an incredible act of bravery. While in New York together, they saved a young lady from getting mugged. As well as this, Cher and Meryl Streep have acted alongside one another in their careers, most notably in Academy Award nominated drama, Silkwood.
Acceptance Speech Gaffe
When Cher won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in 1988’s Moonstruck, Cher was summoned to receive her award and make an acceptance speech. Cher was delighted to give thanks to her makeup artist. However, in her excitement, she ended up forgetting to mention the director of the movie, Norman Jewison. After her gaffe, Cher made a concerted effort to pay respect to Jewison. She took out a page in Variety in order to thank the filmmaker.
In light of the success of Cher’s hit single “Half Breed,” she discovered that she was actually 1/16th Cherokee on her mother’s side. Despite the success, members of the Native community protested when the artist performed the song in a feathered headdress on her show. The single was certified gold in the US and sold over 1 million copies. It was from the album of the same name, which although wasn’t received well by critics, also reached gold.
Ever wondered what Cher’s actual full name is? Well have no fear, we’ve got you covered in case you didn’t know by now. Cher was born Cherilyn Sarkisian and was born in El Centro California. She was born to John Sarkisian and Jackie Jean Crouch. Sarkisian was an Armenian-American truck driver who had alcohol related issues, while Crouch was of Irish, English, German and Cherokee descent. When her mother remarried Gilbert LaPiere, he adopted Cher under the moniker Cheryl LaPiere.
In a music career that has spanned over six decades, Cher has released 25 studio albums. Some of the most successful records include Heart Of Stone, which was certified 3x platinum in the US and Believe, which came out during the artist’s late nineties renaissance. The album was certified 4x platinum in the US, selling over 10 million copies worldwide. During this time, Cher embarked on her Do You Believe? Tour, one of the highest grossing tours ever for a female artist.
Although Cher has a clean image, she actually got six tattoos in her younger years. She got her first tattoo in 1972 and wanted to create a shock factor by having them. In the 1990’s she began having laser treatments to remove the tattoos and the process went well into the 2000’s. She commented “When I got tattooed, only bad girls did it: me and Janis Joplin and biker chicks. Now it doesn’t mean anything. No one’s surprised.”
Cher is known for her beautiful, flawless skin and her youthful looks but recently gave fans a glimpse into how she creates that. She once said she owes it to ‘good genes’ and said ‘I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I eat really good food,’. She also revealed she receives a lot of help in the beauty department saying ‘There’s a team of five dozen people, and it takes them two hours. That’s the truth’.
When Sonny and Cher’s musical career wasn’t going the way they had planned, they turned to television in the 1970’s, starring in a show called The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. The show went from strength to strength and made Cher into a household name and popular television personality. The show received numerous Emmy award nominations, making Sonny and Cher stars all over again. During it’s three year run, the show was watched by over 30 million viewers.
Cher’s Life On Broadway
In 2017, Cher revealed to fans that a Broadway show was going to go ahead about her life. The all-singing, all-dancing show promised to feature songs from her catalog and chronicle her life. From her time as a backup singer to her relationship with Sonny and moving from music to movies and Broadway, the show promised to give fans an all-round view of the icon’s life. Cher promised fans the show will be on Broadway come 2018.
Cher’s Fender Bender
Cher’s rumored to be a former flame of director and actor Warren Beatty and perhaps one of the reasons their relationship ended was the small car accident that they both got into. Beatty admitted that it was his fault, but it still was a scary experience especially for Cher who was just 16 years old at the time. Beatty was nine years older than Cher, making him 25 years old at the time. It’s reported that Cher’s glad the accident happened as she learnt from it.
Having dropped out of school aged 16, Cher now admits one of the reasons why was because of her struggles with reading and writing basic texts. At the age of 30 she was diagnosed with dyslexia and now believes this is the reason for her failures at school. She recently stated in an interview that she always received C and D grades. Cher also admitted she felt let down by her teachers who didn’t recognize her dyslexia and left her undiagnosed.
Social Media Queen
Cher might be notoriously known as the Queen of Pop, but she is also queen of social media! She has over 3 million followers on Twitter and over 2 million on Facebook. Even Kim Kardashian recently uploaded a load of photos dedicated to Cher on Instagram. Cher really shows that age is no limit to being popular – at the grand age of 71 she is still just as popular on social media as younger stars in their teenage years. Go Cher!
TV Show Failures
Cher’s singing career might have spanned decades but she also had aspirations of acting. One of her dreams was to play Mortica in The Addams Family. However, her dream was never fulfilled and eventually the part went to Anjelica Houston. We wonder if Cher watched the show anyway? In any case, Cher has acted in her fair share of TV Shows and films so we hope that she wasn’t too disappointed at not playing Mortica. You win some, you lose some.
The Original Fashionista
With many artists today trying to have a more outrageous outfit than the next, Cher was actually the inspiration for all of it. In 1986, she wore an iconic black headpiece to the Oscars, making heads turn and in 1970, she wore a Native-American, goddess style look which has now been recreated numerous times. No matter what she wore, Cher always created a controversy or had people talking about her appearance, keeping her a tabloid and pop-singer favorite.
Cher The Actress
In the 1980’s, Cher made her Broadway debut and then starred in the film ‘Silkwood’ which earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1983. The film also starred Meryl Streep and Kurt Russell, integrating Cher into the Hollywood community, working among legends. From this, she went on to win over critics and went on to star in The Witches of Eastwick, Suspect, and Moonstruck which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Best Friends Forever
When you’re as famous as Cher it’s important to have some good friends to count on and that’s exactly what she has. Paulette Betts is Cher’s personal assistant as well as closest friend and confidant. Interestingly, Paulette was married to singer and guitar player Dickey Betts, who founded the popular group The Allman Brothers Band. The pair were married for for a few years in the 70s, before getting divorced, and they have a son together called Duane.
Cher’s Son Elijah Shunned
Elijah recently opened up about his troubled relationship with his mother stating that he felt shunned as a child after being sent to boarding school at age seven. Elijah’s struggles led him to turn to drugs from a young age. He noted that his past struggles have led him to think negatively about how he will be when he starts his family. Although he noted his hardships he has said, “You know, she’s really talented. She’s gorgeous — I mean, she’s Cher. What’s not to love?”