It’s no doubt that everyone in the world knows of Cher’s incredible career.
Cher, also known as the Goddess of Pop, has graced our eyes and ears since she was one half of the folk rock duo Sonny & Cher. Cher transitioned from music to television and later to film, showing us that she is the definition of a triple threat.
It was 1965 when she and Sonny started singing together, followed by their very successful The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour show. Sonny and Cher were a couple for the ages and showed a facade of two people who loved each other as much as can be. They shared a daughter together, Chastity, who later in life transitioned into a man, Chaz.
Cher has had several musical lives so to speak, meaning that she has had many hits that have had several years in between. Cher has been able to revive her career time and time again, most recently being the subject of a Broadway play! Cher has been married twice in her life, once to Sonny Bono and once to Gregg Allman. She has two children, Chaz and Elijah. Her film career has been as successful as her musical one. Cher has won an Emmy Award, Academy Award, Grammy Award, three Golden Globe Awards and a Cannes Film Festival Award!
Some of the films that have put Cher on the map are Silkwood, Mask, The Witches of Eastwick, Moonstruck, Mermaids, and Burlesque, to name a few. Her television appearances as herself way outnumber her film roles but her time in front of the big screen made her the revered actress that she is today. She can sing, dance and act, like we said – a true triple threat. Check out the little known facts about the life of the woman we know and love.
What you may not know is that Cher has had quite a dramatic personal life, and what she hasn’t told us through her music or interviews, we can now reveal…
Born To Be A Star
When Cher was in the fifth grade she organized her fellow students to put on a performance of Oklahoma which was to be put on for her teacher and classmates. Apparently she was forced to play the parts of all the men in the show as none of the boys in her class wanted to participate in the play.
The Story Of Cher And Sonny
Cher met Sonny in 1962 when he worked for record producer Phil Spector. Cher knew that to have a chance at fame, she would need to somehow work with Spector. After spending time at the studio, Sonny offered Cher the job as his housekeeper which she quickly accepted. She started off singing backup with the singer but soon Cher had Spector produce her first album, Ringo, I Love You.
She Upset The Navy
During her video for 1989 hit “If I Could Turn Back Time”, Cher sings to a group of sailors in a rather raunchy outfit. When the video came out, the Navy were not expecting it since they were under the impression that the video was going to revolve around a sailor receiving a letter.
Cher and Sonny welcomed their daughter Chastity into the world in 1972. The little girl often appeared on her parents’ show so audiences met her many times. She was actually named after the film that Cher and Sonny produced and Cher starred in about a bicurious woman.
Sonny and Cher were huge in the ’70s and known for their ‘flower power‘ hippie style. They lost their younger audience in later years due to the conservative movement that came after the freedom decade.
Cher And Sonny Married In Secret
In 1964, Cher and Sonny got hitched during a ceremony in a hotel room in Tijuana, Mexico. Cher was 18-years-old at the time and the ceremony was not legitimate since there were zero witnesses. Despite this, the couple exchanged vows and had $10 rings engraved with each other’s names on them. Their ‘marriage’ was a secret until many years later.
She Had Quick Success In Television
Sonny & Cher rose to fame musically in the ’60s and since their careers were quickly sky rocketing, they decided to strike whilst the iron was hot and move onto TV with The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. The public and the critics loved Cher for her funny, bubbly personality and the show was nominated for several Emmy Awards.
Cher And Tom Cruise Were An Item
That’s right, then-39-year-old Cher and 23-year-old Tom Cruise dated briefly and although their romance was short lived, she admitted that she really liked him.
A Passing Relationship
During the divorce, Cher engaged in a relationship with record producer David Geffen. Ultimately the two-year romance didn’t work out but Geffen was the person who helped her get out of a legal obligation under Sonny’s company, Cher Enterprises. He also landed Cher a $2.5 million record contract with Warner Bros. Records. Geffen became one of the main platforms to propel Cher’s career even further.
Just four days after Cher officially became divorced from Sonny Bono, she got hitched to rock star Gregg Allman! It didn’t last long however, only taking the ’70s legend nine days to file for divorce. The pair reconciled later however and even had a child together. Their marriage became extremely rocky and even affected Cher’s music career at some points – she had to cancel shows because of it.
As well as being musically gifted, Cher made an incredible impression with her acting skills. She originally made her debut in the ’80s on Broadway but soon moved to the big screen, starring in Silkwood which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She starred alongside the likes of acting legend Meryl Streep and eventually earned an Academy Award for Best Actress in Moonstruck – an amazing achievement for a woman without much acting experience!
Even More Success
As well as hitting milestones within her acting career, her music career was still evolving. With many successful number one albums to date, Cher decided to take her music on the road with her 2002 tour becoming the highest grossing tour ever performed by a female artist. As well as this, Cher signed a $180 million contract to perform at the famous Caesars Palace in Vegas.
Cher stayed out of the limelight as much as she could during her divorce with Sonny but in 1979, she made an amazing comeback with her disco-style album, Take Me Home. The pop star also landed a Las Vegas residency show from 1980-1982 – she was earning a whopping $300,000 a week!
Chastity Came Out
The child of Sonny and Cher, Chastity waited until she was 18 to make the brave decision to come out as lesbian. The now-48-year-old lives as a transgender man named Chaz Bono and seems extremely happy being his authentic self. He stated, “As a child, I always felt there was something different about me… When I was 13, I finally found a name for exactly how I was different. I realized I was gay.’
Auctioning Off Her Possessions
You can only imagine just how many luxurious belongings Cher has accumulated over the years and as much as she cherishes them, 10 years ago she decided to hold an auction. She wanted to auction some items off including both personal belongings and professional items like her memorabilia, jewellery and costumes. A huge portion of her $3.5 million profit went into Cher’s charity The Cher Charitable Foundation.
Cher’s Role Model
Since a very young age, Cher knew that she wanted to become famous and sing and act around the world. She became very inspired by Audrey Hepburn when she watched the ’60s hit film Breakfast At Tiffany’s. Cher became so obsessed that she even dressed like Hepburn and tried to copy her behaviour.
Back To Business
Cher was a wildcard for sure, but her career choices were safe ones. When she wanted to focus on acting, she would take a break from music and vice versa. After a seven-year break from music, in 2010 Cher starred alongside Christina Aguilera and Kristen Bell in musical film Burlesque. Although, the movie received mixed reviews, the soundtrack became a big hit and was even nominated for a Grammy. Cher’s performance both musically and acting wise gained praise.
Credit: Roughly Daily
Early in her career, Cher was set to become a solo artist but she suffered from stage fright and could only perform when on stage with Sonny as she could look at him and feel safe. How cute!
In The Bedroom
Sonny admits that he and Cher lacked sexual chemistry, stating, “we never had a good physical relationship. 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.” You would never have guessed this judging by their chemistry on screen.
Sonny & Cher Get Divorced
In 1974, one of the most popular and well-loved couples in music were no more and were said to have been going through issues since 1972. To save face, Sonny said, “The public still thinks we are married, that’s the way it has to be.” He filed for legal separation whereas Cher filed for divorce citing “involuntary servitude” also accusing Sonny of withholding joint earnings. As you can imagine, the divorce went from amicable to destructive very quickly.
Cher Struggled With The Breakdown Of The Relationship
A few years ago, Cher reflected on her relationship with Sonny, revealing that not everything was as happy as it seemed and that she felt “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.” Even though the pair have bitter memories, Cher admitted that it was Sonny who pushed her to greatness.
Death Of Sonny
In 1998 the world and Cher learned the sad news that her ex-husband Sonny had died in a skiing accident. Despite not being married anymore it was huge loss for Cher and her family. The news came just months after the musical duo had received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Elvis On The Prowl
After Cher’s divorce, she became a highly-sought bachelorette in the industry, with many famous admirers including that of Rock ‘n’ Roll legend Elvis Presley! He invited Cher to one of his concerts in Las Vegas in 1976 but she declined the offer. She spoke about it to David Letterman stating, “I was about to do it and thought “No, I don’t want to.” I’ve regretted it ever since!”
After the passing of her ex-husband, Cher released a memoir speaking about a number of events during her life. It was named ‘first times’ and the majority of the content revolved around her memories of Sonny.
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Nearly every musician in the business today uses autotune in some way, shape, or form to perfect their performance. But it was Cher’s hit single ‘Believe’ that was the first ever chart song to use it!
She’s Got Brains
Unlike many pop stars of today, Cher has a full education and was the near-perfect student at school, excelling in English Literature and French, of course.
Gene Simmons of KISS and Cher began dating in 1979, it was reportedly after the two met when Cher took daughter Chastity to get an autograph from the singer. The two had a relationship for about a year, but agreed to have an open relationship and continue to be physical with other people.
Credit: Radar Online
In the 1980s Cher was diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus and has been feeling the effects of the sickness ever since. The disease is a form of herpes which leads to communicable mononucleosis, flare ups are debilitating and can cause the patient to be immobile for long periods of time. The illness actually forced the singer to cancel a number of performances on her ‘Dressed to Kill’ tour in 2014.
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Like many musicians Cher is just a stage name, she was actually born Cherilyn Sarkisian. She is of Armenian descent on her father’s side, while her mother is Irish English and German.
Cher The Musical
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Cher announced in June 2017 to her fans that her life’s story and saga will be continued in a Broadway show that is expected to open its doors in 2018. It will be a coming of age musical of how she started as a back-up singer to worldwide fame.
Credit: Radar Online
Due to her own health and the fact she is a major celebrity, Cher has been at the centre of anti-poverty inititiaves around the world and even has her own Cher Charitable Foundation.
It is reported that Cher’s net worth is estimated at $305 million after an incredible career in the music industry.
Credit: Cher Scholar
Just like most major celebrities Cher is no stranger to making money endorsements. From her own furniture line, yes furniture, to hair products, the singer has certainly milked her celebrity status for all it’s worth!
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Cher with a reported Net Worth of well over $250 million, people in the know say that she bought homes for all of her children and has divided up her holdings and estate amongst her various family members. The singer who is reportedly not in good health, currently lives in Malibu taking care of her mother, while her sister was given Cher’s Malibu estate which is worth and estimated $2 million. However, her sons are a different case.
Death of Greg
In 2017, Cher mourned the death of her second husband Greg Allman when he passed away at the age of 69. She let her feelings known via Twitter in a simple tweet ‘Words are Impossible, Gui Gu’.
Chastity To Chaz
Cher and ex-husband Sonny shared a child together, as Chastity was born in 1969. In 2008, Chastity made the decision to have a sex change and in 2010, transitioned into Chaz. A documentary titled, Becoming Chaz was debuted on the Oprah Winfrey Network in 2011.
According to reports Cher has cut both her sons out of her Will as she prepares for her passing. It is unconfirmed but her decision is to likely be connected to the fact her son Elijah didn’t want her at his wedding.
Cher as mentioned as dabbled in the world of film and cinema, one of her more successful roles was as Rusty Dennis in the 1985 film Mask, alongside Sam Elliott. She won the Best Actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Elliott nearly told down the role because he was on his honeymoon, but his partner Katherine Ross rang the producers up herself and made him do it!