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20 May 2021, 10:54
Cher is one of the world's most popular singers and actresses, with a career spanning seven decades.
American legend Cher is known by many as the 'Goddess of Pop', and for good reason.
She is known for her distinctive contralto singing voice, and for having success in various forms of entertainment, from music to film and beyond.
Cher first found fame in 1965 as one-half of the folk rock husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher, most notably their song 'I Got You Babe' and a hugely popular TV show, and she soon began a solo career.
In the 1980ss, she made her Broadway debut, and also found success in films such as Mask and Moonstruck, which won her an Academy Award for Best Actress.
Cher has sold over 100 million records to date, and is one of the world's best-selling music artists. She has also won a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, an Academy Award, three Golden Globe Awards, a Cannes Film Festival Award, the Billboard Icon Award, and more.
She is also renowned for her political views, her somewhat comedic social media platform, philanthropic projects, and social activism, including for LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS prevention.
Cher has had countless comebacks throughout her incredible career, and here are all the big facts you should know about the talented music icon.
Cher was born on May 20, 1946. She celebrated her 75th birthday in 2021. She was born in California.
Her father, John Sarkisian, was an Armenian-American truck driver, known to have drug and gambling problems.
Her mother, Georgia Holt (born Jackie Jean Crouch), was a model and part-time actress.
Cher's father was rarely around when she was a child, and her parents divorced when Cher was just ten months old.
Her mother later married actor John Southall, with whom she had another daughter, Georganne, Cher's half-sister.
In 1961, Holt married bank manager Gilbert LaPiere, who adopted Cher and Georganne.
Cher's mother is still alive, aged 94 as of 2021.
Cher was born Cherilyn Sarkisian.
She chose a shortened version of her name, 'Cher', as her stage name by the time she started releasing music in the mid-1960s.
Cher met performer Sonny Bono in November 1962, when he was working for record producer Phil Spector. Cher's friend moved out, and Cher accepted Sonny's offer to be his housekeeper.
Cher and Sonny became close friends, and later lovers. Although Sonny wanted to launch Cher as a solo artist, she encouraged him to perform with her, as she suffered from stage fright, and so he began joining her onstage, singing the harmonies.
Originally going under the name Caesar and Cleo, Sonny & Cher were a big success in the charts thanks to their hit 'I Got You Babe', and they secured a very popular US TV series.
They had marital problems since 1972, but they kept it relatively secret until 1974. "The public still thinks we are married," Sonny wrote in his diary at the time, "[and] that's the way it has to be."
In February 1974, Sonny filed for a separation, citing "irreconcilable differences". A week later, Cher asked for a divorce, charging Sonny with "involuntary servitude", claiming that he withheld money from her.
The couple battled in court over finances and the custody of their child, who was eventually granted to Cher. Their divorce was finalized on June 26, 1975.
Following Sonny Bono's death in a skiing accident in 1998, Cher delivered an emotional eulogy at his funeral, calling him "the most unforgettable character" she had met.
On June 30, 1975, just four days after finalizing her divorce from Sonny, Cher married rock legend Gregg Allman, co-founder of The Allman Brothers Band.
She filed for divorce just nine days later, because of his heroin and alcohol problems, but they reconciled within a month. However, they divorced in 1979.
As of 2021, Cher is presumed to be single.
When asked about her dating life in 2018, she said: “I’m still on the lookout. The problem I have with all the boyfriends lately is that I don’t want to go any place with them because you can’t keep a relationship going in this kind of goldfish bowl, where everything you do and every picture you have taken will be on Instagram. There’s no way to keep something… special.”
Other famous faces Cher has been romantically linked to, include Tom Cruise, Hell's Angel Tim Medvetz, comic book writer Ron Zimmerman, Toto's David Paich and Kiss frontman Gene Simmons.
With Sonny, Cher had one child, Chaz Bono, in 1969. In 2009, Chaz came out as a transgender man, and his transition from female to male was legally finalised a year later.
Chaz has worked as an activist for various causes, and has acted in several projects including American Horror Story.
With Gregg Allman, she had one child, Elijah Blue, born in 1976. He is the singer and guitarist for the rock band Deadsy.
Cher is estimated to have a net worth of around $320 million (£241m).
Cher has a contralto singing voice, and has been described by author Nicholas E Tawa as "bold, deep, and with a spacious vibrato".
Ann Powers of The New York Times called it "a quintessential rock voice: impure, quirky, a fine vehicle for projecting personality."