“All of us invent ourselves. Some of us just have more imagination than others.”

Cher, American Singer and Actress, 1947-present

With Cher’s outré sense of style, signature raven locks, trademark deep contralto and commanding stage presence, she has become an American pop icon, award-winning actress, and female role model.

Born Cherilyn Sarkisian in El Centro, California, Cher was raised by a single mother, a Southern belle who married six times. She had a regular childhood, and started as a teen singing backup for The Ronettes on “Be My Baby.” At the age of 16, her life would change forever when she met Sonny Bono, then 27, and they fell in love. Almost overnight Sonny and Cher became America’s most famous couple, with concerts, a TV Show, and their iconic 1965 hit “I’ve Got You Babe,” from their aptly named debut album, Look at Us. Cher was clearly the more photogenic and talented of the two, but Sonny managed to bilk her out of their fortune 11 years later when they divorced. 

Never one to wallow in regret, Cher went on to marry rock star Gregory Allman of the Allman Brothers four days after her divorce was finalized. Cher filed for divorce nine days later over Allman’s heroin addiction, though they continued their relationship. There would be many other men, too – Cher famously said that men were an extravagance, like eating dessert, but she really liked dessert.

Cher would reinvent herself as a solo performer, with hits like 1989s “If I Could Turn Back Time,” and as a serious actress, winning the Best Actress Oscar for portraying an Italian-American widow in Moonstruck. Always in the public eye (did she or didn’t she have ribs removed to change her waistline?) she’s remained in control of her image, that of glamor, strength, and self-sufficiency. When her mother suggested she needed a rich man, she is said to have replied “I am a rich man.” 

In 2000, Cher moved on to dance music, winning a Grammy for “Believe”, and has been a fixture on stage in Las Vegas since 2008. Most recently, she has contended with and accepted the transitioning of her son Chaz Bono. 

She is an animal welfare advocate – especially for the plight of elephants, travelling to Pakistan and Cambodia to perform rescues in the 2021 documentary Cher and the Loneliest Elephant. Not afraid to be political, she recorded “Happiness is Just a Thing called Joe” for Biden’s presidential campaign. Cher Cares, her charity, helps disadvantaged and isolated communities in the U.S.


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