Cher Interviews – – Cher Photos, Music, Tour & Tickets Mon, 08 Oct 2018 00:40:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Cher opens up about career and new ABBA album Sat, 08 Sep 2018 04:49:03 +0000 Cher is back in the recording studio with her new ABBA inspired album Dancing Queen and at 72 hitting the road with her Here We Go Again Tour 2019 dates.

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For generations, Cher has been entertaining fans with her music, her acting, her glamour and her ageless energy. Now she’s back in the recording studio with her new ABBA inspired album Dancing Queen and at 72, she shows us why she’s better than ever. NBC’s Harry Smith reports for TODAY.  With a new 2019 American Here We Go Again Tour Cher has given fans reason to keep Believing.   Watch the complete Today show interview with Cher here.


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Cher Not Huge Cher Fan. Loves Being Cher Wed, 05 Sep 2018 01:50:28 +0000 With a new album of Abba covers, a Broadway musical about her life and a no-holds-barred take on her career, the 72-year-old pop icon is as outspoken as ever.

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“Can we do it in bed?” Cher asked, smiling slyly as she emerged from a knot of corridors in her sprawling hotel suite in Midtown Manhattan at about 9 p.m. on a sultry August night. Who would say no?

“I’m freezing in here!” she said. The rooms were meat-locker cold. So I trailed her back to the much warmer bedroom where she reclined on a king-size bed in all her Cher-ness: a trim black sweatshirt and jeans set off by the biggest, most sparkling belt ever worn outside a prizefighting ring. Waves of dark hair spilled around her shoulders; a printed bandanna was tied over the crown of her head. Her feet were bare.

She’d spent the last several hours in a recording studio, putting the final touches on “Dancing Queen,” her new album of Abba covers, which will be released Sept. 28. It was inspired by her return to the big screen in the movie musical “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” in July, and precedes the debut of “The Cher Show,” the Broadway musical about her life, with performances beginning Nov. 1.

Suddenly, a wave of uncertainty crashed over me: Was I supposed to get on the bed, too?

“Where’s your drink?” she asked, as I worried. Cher, 72, had ordered us frozen hot chocolates from Serendipity 3 — “the most magical place in New York,” she said. (“I wish I’d bought it when it was for sale.”) I picked up my cup from the bedside table. “Good, sit there,” she said, pointing to the chair beside the bed.

For the next 90 minutes she talked about the sweep of her life and multi-multi-hyphenate career. From variety show TV star to pop diva. From flamboyant concert headliner to Oscar-winning actress. And now, activist and legend: Her Twitter feed, with almost 3.5 million followers, is often politically bracing. She will be awarded a Kennedy Center Honor in Washington on Dec. 2, the night before “The Cher Show,” which she is co-producing, officially opens on Broadway. And in a reflective mood, Cher offered a cleareyed assessment of how her ultra-splashy public persona has coexisted with her naturally quiet self for more than 50 years. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

When you left home, at 16, was it to become a singer or actress, or did you just not want to be at home anymore?

I didn’t want to be bossed anymore. Little did I know I was going to get bossed a lot more. But that’s the way Sonny [Bono, her ex-husband] was. He was a Sicilian man of his generation.

It’s weird to hear you say that. You were such a boss on “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.”

Well, I really was confident before I met Sonny. I was this teenage ball of fire with unbelievable energy but no focus. And Sonny was all focus. He was like, “O.K., you’re going to go this way; you’re going to go that way.” And I was thrilled because I had no way. I was just bouncing off walls.

But singing wasn’t the goal?

No, that’s not what I started out to do. But I’d always sung. My mother, my uncle, my grandfather — there was always singing and guitars. My favorite thing in the world is to rehearse. I can pick any song and just stand there and sing it. No one in the audience to judge me. And I love the way singing feels in my body — because it’s so big, and I’m not. But the music comes out in the biggest way.

So, if you could do anything in the world, it would still be singing?

I was talking to Barbra Streisand one day, and she asked, “Why do you still sing?” And I said, “Because there’s going to come a day when I can’t.” No one will want to come and see me, and I won’t be able to sing the way I’m singing now. I have unbelievable pipes! My doctor says I’m a freak. But if I couldn’t sing, I’d be miserable.

And all the other things you do — the acting, the concert spectaculars, the tweeting — those are lesser …

I don’t account for things that way. I just do them. I’ve never planned a single thing in my entire life. It’s like this Abba album. I did the film. I didn’t ask to do it. My friend Ronnie Meyer called and said, “You’re doing ‘Mamma Mia,’” and hung up.

But you didn’t say no.

Ronnie used to be my agent. He ran Universal, and he’s my dear friend. So when he hung up, I thought, “Damn!” Then I thought, “Well, it’s going to take five minutes, and no one will even know I’m there.”

I hate to tell you, but you stole that movie.

I haven’t seen it. But can I tell you, I don’t remember doing anything memorable, except singing “Fernando.” Afterward, when Jen [her assistant] and I were packing to go home, I said, “You know what might be fun?” This is how I get myself into all kinds of trouble. “It might be fun to do an Abba album.” The songs are easy to sing, but they’re complicated, too. Some of them are hard as hell, which is why I was in the studio again tonight.

Had you ever considered an album of covers before?

Never. But everyone loved the idea when I suggested it — like I’d been planning it for a million years. “You’re a genius!” But I just thought it might be fun.

How are your versions of the songs different from the originals?

I wasn’t a big fan of Abba in the ’70s. Benny [Andersson] took the girls and used them like instruments. Sonny used to do that to me. He would carve out a place for them in the songs, and they would fit in that little place. But he didn’t give them space to sing the way they might have wanted to.

And your versions?

Mine are a lot freer. And it was a great time to do it. I’m a news junkie, and these are rough times. But when I was recording, I got swept up in the fun of it. The songs are silly and crazy, and for the album, I chose the ones that are saddest and the most fun.

When did you start feeling confident as a singer?

I never feel confident. Off and on, I’ve felt good about my singing. But I’ve never been a huge Cher fan. I like doing it more than hearing it. So except for a couple of albums …

What’s your favorite?

It’s probably between “Believe” and a highly underrated album called “Closer to the Truth.” There’s not a bad cut on either one of them. I’ve made millions of albums, and most of them are absolutely no good. But some of them aren’t bad.

Let’s talk about acting. When your TV variety show went away and your pop career stalled for a minute, you moved effortlessly, it seemed, to acting. You said you didn’t set out to sing. Did you set out to act?

I set out to be famous! I set out to be Cinderella. I saw two movies when I was a kid: “Dumbo” and “Cinderella.” And on the way home, I started singing the songs in the car. My mother punched my dad and said: “Listen! She’s singing songs from the movie.” I’d never heard them before. I didn’t understand the reality. I just knew I wanted to be on that screen.

Was it hard to get into rooms with directors like Robert Altman and Mike Nichols?

I knew all these famous people, but none of them would give me the time of day. I went to Mike Nichols one day for a part in a movie called “The Fortune,” and he said: “No. You’re wrong.” I just looked at him and said: “You know what? I’m very talented, and one day you’re going to be sorry.” I have no idea why I said that.

And when I was doing “5 & Dime” [“Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean”] on Broadway, Mike came to see me backstage, and he said: “You’re very talented. And I’m sorry.” Then he asked if I wanted to do a film with him and Meryl Streep. I said sure. I was actually more interested in something else that day, but I thought: This could be fun.

Did you like the script?

When we started filming “Silkwood,” I had no part whatsoever. It was tiny. And then Mike would say, “Cher, I want you in this scene.” Or: “Cher, I want you to say that.” I had no idea I was even working — or acting. “Sit on the couch and eat popcorn, and when the kids come in, say this.” That’s what it was like. I just knew that everyone was my friend, and Mike was like my dad. I even called him “Dad.” It was like playing.

For many people, acting is extremely hard work.

It didn’t feel that way to me. Also, I didn’t have to look at an audience. My whole life, I had to look out at the audience and go: “How am I doing? Do you like this?” But when you act, you only have to look at the other actors. You just have to trust them and find a way to become this other thing.

Were the people in your life surprised you were good at it?

When “Silkwood” came out, Mike called and told me that the trailer was playing at this theater in Westwood [in Los Angeles]. He said: “You’ve got to see it. It’s great.” So, I went. They showed scenes from the movie, but I didn’t really look like Cher. And the announcer said, “Starring Meryl Streep,” lots of applause. “And Kurt Russell,” more applause. “And Cher,” and everyone in the theater started laughing. I was really hurt, but I kept thinking, No, this is their honest reaction. So I called Mike and said, “Dad, they all laughed.” And he said, “They might be laughing before the movie, but they won’t be laughing after the movie.”

In fairness, the big feat of your acting career is that you’re able to submerge your gigantic public persona into these human-size roles.

Listen, people have all kinds of ideas about me. There’s the sparkly me and the quiet me. But the quiet me comes more naturally. If I could do “Silkwood” for the rest of my life, I’d be very happy.

You made a spate of good films: “Mask,” “The Witches of Eastwick,” “Moonstruck” — your Oscar. But then they stopped. Did you start saying no, or did the offers dry up?

No, I got really sick [with the Epstein-Barr virus]. For two years, I couldn’t work. It was terrible. I ended the second year with pneumonia. All these movie offers were coming in, but I had to turn them all down. I was really, really upset about it. And when I came back, I had to work my way back up from the beginning — doing concerts and stuff like that.

Was there ever a partner in your life — Sonny, Gregg Allman, David Geffen — or a good friend who was a great adviser to you? Or have you always relied on your own instincts?

Before I met Sonny, I was very much a person who relied on her own instincts. But I was very young and just handed that over to Sonny. Then when I left him, I was real happy. But I started to make huge mistakes in front of everyone because I was still 16 inside. I hadn’t grown.

What kind of mistakes?

Like marrying Gregory [Allman] and getting divorced so fast. But I had to make my mistakes in front of everyone.

Because you were so famous?

Yeah. And then I went to Las Vegas, and people thought I was an idiot because I had this big show with all these costumes. I was so bored. The last thing I wanted to do was just stand there and sing. And then I wanted to be an actress. I remember Francis [Ford Coppola] came backstage after a show. He looked at me and said, “Why aren’t you doing movies?” I just broke down sobbing. And that’s how I got myself, in a roundabout way, hooked up with Robert Altman and “5 & Dime” in New York.

Let’s talk about “The Cher Show,” the Broadway musical of your life that features a host of your hits. The premise is three versions of you — teenage Cher, pop-star Cher and mature Cher — all interacting with one another. Was that your idea?

No, that was the idea Rick Elice [the show’s book writer] always had. It was what kept me coming back to him. It took years and years to develop this show. But I think it’s a great idea because I’ve lived for so long that I really have been distinct personalities.

Right now, which version jumps out at you?

The young girl, [called] Babe [played by Micaela Diamond], is so brilliant. She just graduated from high school, and it was either go to college or come do this show. She took a big gamble. And she’s so much like me when I was young that she doesn’t even have to do anything. But they’re all working to find me at different points in my life. That’s the great hook.

Your life has been so public. Did you want to use the musical to correct the story of your life or add to it?

We go back and forth on this a lot. You have to know something more about me after the musical. That’s important to me. Listen, I didn’t have a play about myself before, and I was living very happily. So, I want it to be true and fun and like life is: Sometimes you’re great, and sometimes you’re pathetic. Sometimes you’re tired, and sometimes you break down. It should be like that. And nothing should be glossed over.

Can you feel tender toward young Cher now? The mistakes she made?

I try not to think about her much. Everybody has good things happen and bad things happen, and long stretches where nothing happens at all.

How about in reverse? Would young Cher look at you on that bed and say: Well done!

Of course! But look at where she is. She’s young; she knows nothing. She only wants to be this. [Cher points at herself.]

But you’ve always been more than “this” — feather headdresses notwithstanding.

Well, every time I go out and talk to an audience, I try to put that across. “Here’s the glitz, and here’s who I really am.”

You’ll be receiving a Kennedy Center Honor this year. Has it annoyed you not to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?

It used to annoy me. But I know it’s just a boys’ club, and they don’t think I’m cool enough. But that’s O.K. My life is humming along without it. It’s humming along even without the Kennedy Center Honor. I was just terrified that Trump would be there.

Do you worry about alienating Trump supporters with your freewheeling, often political Twitter feed?

Trump voters don’t like me anyway. And I don’t blame them. I say terrible, true things about him. I hate him because he’s using his job to make money. But mostly, I hate him because he’s tearing this country down, and it’s going to take generations to put it back together, if we even can.

I guess if you held back, you wouldn’t be Cher.

That’s true. I’ve gotten death threats from his supporters — with pictures of me in the gas chambers. People writing, “The wrong Bono went skiing that day.” [Sonny Bono died in a skiing accident.] But I can’t hold back. It’s about character. My mom would beat me to death if I lied. I’m not starting now.


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Cher steps out in London for Late Show Wed, 20 Jun 2018 00:32:32 +0000 James Corden's hugely popular Stateside talk show is set to take his hometown of London by storm in the following four days with special guests Cher and Paul McCartney.

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James Corden’s hugely popular Stateside talk show is set to take his hometown of London by storm in the following four days with special guests Cher and Paul McCartney.

Diva and tweetstorm extraordinaire Cher was seen exiting her hotel on Tuesday as she made her way to the The Late Late Show with James Corden.  On the show Cher displayed her disdain for the President of the United States by preferring to eat a cows toungue rather than saying one nice thing about him. Also discussing her upcoming movie role in Mamma Mia 2 Here We Go Again.

Appearing in high spirits, the 72-year-old hitmaker cut a sensationally stylish appearance as she headed out into Britain’s balmier climes.

Known for her bold and eccentric style displays over the years, Cher didn’t disappoint.

The Believe singer opted for a lace black top, which proved to be ever so slightly semi-sheer and belted in at the waist with chain detailing down the side.

The look was completed with matching leggings and towering boots, while her essentials were toted in a super cool studded handbag.

Cher sported her signature centre-parted raven tresses, which were glamorously curled, while her age-defying features boasted a striking coat of make-up.  Wonder if the diva was wearing her Uninhibited fragrance that she debuted at Trump Tower in 1987?

Cher will air from London on the Late Show 19th June 2018.

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Cher Not a Fan of her 6 Decades Sat, 20 May 2017 08:05:06 +0000 Cher sits down with Billboard to discuss her 6 decade career her fascination with Donald Trump and dislike of her own work.

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Cher’s hotel suite has an indoor swimming pool.

She has been performing at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for years, including her (try not to laugh) Farewell Tour in 2002. MGM always gave her a suitably fabulous suite. But one day, a few years ago, she stumbled on a secret.

While walking the grounds with an MGM executive, she noticed a hidden part of the sprawling casino — a gated enclave called The Mansion, which resembles an 18th century Tuscan palace. The Mansion has 29 villas that are, she was told, reserved for high-rollers — Middle East sultans, venture capital titans or Donald Trump relatives who can lose $250,000 in a weekend and giggle about it. These villas can’t be requested or reserved. They are for the most “I” of VIPs.

I want to stay in one of those said Cher.

Oh, no no no said the casino executive, possibly even bowing to her. We don’t do that. Not ever. Never.

I want. To stay. In one. Of those she repeated.

She met each refusal with insistence. Eventually, they relented.

Close to midnight, she’s sitting on an elegant couch in one of her MGM suite’s approximately 100 rooms, and thumbing out a Twitter message.

Jen Ruiz, Cher’s personal assistant and protector for the last 24 years, peers over her shoulder and winces. “Cher, don’t,” she says gently.

Cher laughs. The delight of doing things she shouldn’t do still resounds in her, even at the age of 71 (which she turns on May 20). “Jen, I am who I am, it doesn’t make any difference what I’m supposed to be.” It’s easy to imagine this exchange of caution and defiance happening several times a day.

No one has ever said, “Gee, I wonder what Cher is thinking.” During her six-decade career as a singer and actor, she has earned a reputation for blunt opinions, clothes that reveal more than they conceal and an unchaste flair for expletives. Long before the acronym DGAF was in vogue, Cher had no F’s to give. In one of her most infamous moments, she called David Letterman “an asshole” — to his face, and on his own TV show.

“They don’t make them like her anymore,” says Pink. “She is the smartest, wittiest, most sharp-shooting rock star ever. And her style was always the most fearless.” Cher has won an Oscar, a Grammy and an Emmy. As a solo artist, she has had 22 top 40-charting hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and because of her unmatched longevity, she was the first artist to score a No. 1 single on a Billboard chart in the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, ’00s and ’10s.

There were, however, way, way, waaaaaay more failures than successes. “Things just didn’t come easily to me,” she says. “I made lots of mistakes.” Nevertheless, she persisted.

“She has been a big star for a long time,” says entertainment mogul David Geffen, her longtime friend and former romantic partner. “Not many people can say that. But she’s beautiful, talented and incredibly funny, so it’s not a surprise.”

A few weeks after our May 1 interview in Vegas, Cher will be back in town to accept the Billboard Icon Award. “ ‘Icon’ is a stupid word,” she says dismissively. And she’s right — like “diva” and “legend,” it has been ruined through overuse. If Ronald Reagan and John Waters are both icons, what does the word mean?

And yet — sorry, Cher — “icon” is a useful word if it’s clarified: An icon of what? To some, Cher is an icon of having an indoor pool in your Las Vegas suite. But as she talks about her volatile, unlikely career, it becomes clear that’s not how Cher sees it.

To ferry Cher from Los Angeles to Vegas, MGM has sent its largest private jet, a narrow-body, twin-engine Embraer 190. During the 41-minute flight, stewardesses serve champagne topped with raspberries to the small group of passengers, followed by a light dinner and, the coup de grace, cookies with Cher’s name on them. (They are delicious.) Several of her girlfriends sit in the rear of the plane, chatting about iron deficiencies and ex-husbands.

Cher sits in the front and announces that she’s sick. “What can we do for you?” asks Roger Davies, her co-manager.

She took a long and indirect route to this kind of luxury and attention. “When I think about my life, it was a really good life. It was hard. It was crazy. And it was laced with amazing and treacherous and sad, like everybody’s life.” For every “Believe,” there has been a “War Paint and Soft Feathers,” a “My Best Friend’s Girl Is Out of Sight” or an Allman & Woman, the duo she formed in 1977 with temporary second husband Gregg Allman. Sometimes, she jokes that after nuclear war, only two things will remain: cockroaches and Cher.

Fame was always going to be Cherilyn Sarkisian’s path out of poverty. Her mother, Georgia Holt, worked as an actress, with scant success, and married eight times. Cher’s father, John Sarkisian, was a truck driver and a heroin addict who went to prison four times and was, perhaps fortunately, rarely around. Unable to care for a baby, Holt put Cherilyn in an orphanage for a few weeks. They lived a volatile, bohemian life in the San Fernando Valley, a tantalizing 30 minutes from Hollywood. “My mom was destitute,” says Cher.

She began running away from home, she claims, as soon as she could ride a tricycle. “I hated school. I’m dyslexic. I couldn’t really read or spell, and I didn’t understand numbers. If you’re dyslexic, numbers look like little scratches.”

Cher wanted to be an actress since she was 4. “Not exactly an actress — I wanted to be a cartoon. I saw Dumbo and Cinderella, and I wanted to do that.” There was one problem: no evident lack of talent.

The story of how she met Sonny Bono, a married songwriter who was 11 years her senior, has never been told the same way twice. But Bono led her to stardom, despite a path that resembled Napoleon’s march to Moscow.

“Sonny was 28 or 29, and he had given up his dream of being a singer,” she says. Bono had co-written a hit, “Needles and Pins,” but he’d had little other success, so he took a job in record promotion. “I was this massive amount of energy with no direction,” says Cher. “I knew what I wanted to do, but I never would’ve gotten there without Sonny.”

Bono also worked, as a lackey and punching bag, for Phil Spector, the greatest music producer of the pre-Beatles era. While hanging around Gold Star Studio with Sonny, Cher sang backup vocals on a few momentous Spector hits, including The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ ” by The Righteous Brothers.

In Cher, Bono saw one last chance to be a hitmaker. No one else shared his confidence. “Everyone hated us,” recalls Cher. Doris Day was the model of femininity, not a woman with long black hair, a big nose and an androgynous, almost manly contralto voice. “People were frightened of us. They thought we were dirty, because of how we looked. They tried to beat us up.”

She and Bono released songs under different names — Caesar & Cleo, Bonnie Jo Mason, Cherilyn — with no success. When a single bombed, they would pick a new name and go to another record label.

Finally, in 1965, Sonny & Cher had a No. 1 Hot 100 hit, the enduring “I Got You Babe.” The next year, Cher released “Bang Bang,” written and produced by Bono; it went to No. 2. Of her next 12 singles, only one made the top 30; eight didn’t even chart. She and Bono landed 10 top 40 hits, but also made two feature films that were epic flops. By the late ’60s, the hippie look they had helped create was common, and Bono’s ’50s-inspired songs sounded passé.

Audiences were indifferent to their live shows, so the pair passed the time onstage by making the band laugh: Cher insulted Bono, and he took it with a lovestruck grin. It was a classic comedy-duo partnership. “He was Lou Costello and I was Bud Abbott. I was the sharp one who looked good in clothes. Sonny was the lovable goofball.”

A TV executive at CBS liked their shtick and gave them a variety show. By 1971, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour was one of the 10 most popular shows in the United States. It was the first of Cher’s many second lives, and cemented her image — not so much an image as a fact, really — as a woman who claimed privileges usually reserved for men, including honesty, independence and confident sexuality.

The show was a striking mix of comedy, music, costumes (Cher’s tight, low-cut dresses were designed by Bob Mackie) and animation. It was, for its time, innovative — one of the first shows to use chroma key special effects, a forerunner of green screen. Sonny & Cher were hip, at least for network TV, but also married, with a young child, Chastity — now Chaz — who often appeared on the show, establishing them as a traditional TV family.

The ratings never flagged, but Cher was unhappy with Bono’s dictatorial control of her life and career. “I weighed 93 pounds, was constantly sick, could not eat, could not sleep. I got suicidal,” she once said. So she left him.

“Maybe we should have never been husband and wife,” she muses now. “Sonny could be the best person you ever met — the funniest, the most adorable.” She pauses, reluctant to insult Bono, who died in a 1998 skiing accident. “Or not. He was like the little girl with the curl.”

But once she was free of Bono, she floundered. “He had made every decision for me. I knew how to sing and how to be a mother. I didn’t know anything else.”
Cher learned that Bono owned 95 percent of Cher Enterprises, and she owned none. “That was rough,” she admits. Again, she won’t linger on the grievance. “I could forgive him almost anything. I mean, he tried to take our daughter away from me during the divorce, and it didn’t work. The day our divorce was final, he grabbed me in front of the courthouse, bent me back and stuck his tongue in my mouth. We were both laughing hysterically.”

According to their contract, Cher was forbidden from working without Bono. “I really was alone. Flat-out alone, and penniless.” For advice, she turned to David Geffen, then a young and canny music executive. “She needed a lot of help, in a lot of areas,” he recalls.

Cher needed another second life.

One evening in march, At MGM’s National Harbor casino, 10 miles south of Washington, D.C., a married couple eating Southern food at the bar of a Marcus Samuelsson restaurant chat up other diners who are similarly excited about seeing Cher. “I had to twist his arm,” says a 50-ish woman wearing a blazer over a plunging lace top. She nods at her gray-haired husband, who looks like the leading man in a Viagra ad, and adds, “I told him, ‘She’s not going to do this forever.’ ”

Cher’s tour, dubbed Classic Cher, is a speed-run through her hits, costumes, videos and marriages. The set design evokes a Persian flophouse. There are about a dozen costume changes — Cher doesn’t wear the same outfit for more than two songs — plus wigs, aerialists, lasers, a montage of her films, a giant mechanical elephant, lots of butt-cheek and, via video, duets with Bono. It’s dizzying.

There are also jokes, mostly about Cher’s age (“Instead of showing my ass, I should be in an old folks’ home”). It’s festive and cheeky, but by the end of the show, when she finishes with “Believe,” the middle-aged man next to me is quietly crying.

Lindsay Scott, her effectual Australian co-manager, shepherds me backstage, where Cher is meeting and greeting. Scott asks if I want to take a picture with Cher; I hesitate. Scott introduces me to Cher, and adds, “He’s not sure if he wants to take a picture.”

“Take the picture!” she commands. “I could die!”

We take the picture.

In her Classic Cher concerts, she sings truncated versions of the three No. 1 singles that, in the first half of the ’70s, defined her post-Bono career: “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves,” “Half-Breed” and “Dark Lady.” She seems uninterested in those songs, and Geffen confirms, “She didn’t like a lot of her big hits. She wanted to sing rock’n’roll.”

When I ask, in her Las Vegas villa, if I could convince her that “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves” is one of the greatest pop songs of the last century, which it is, she stares blankly at me the way she once did at Bono. “No,” she says decisively.

In the ’70s, her Hollywood friends — Geffen, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Joni Mitchell — were making great art; Cher felt ashamed of her songs. She wanted to sound like Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Mitchell or, especially, the Eagles. Anything but Cher. “I’m not a Cher fan,” says Cher. “I just don’t think my aesthetic taste lies in her direction.”

On the strength of Cher’s comeback, Geffen moved her from MCA Records to Warner Bros., music’s most prestigious label. She recorded serious songs, by respected writers — Jackson Browne, Janis Ian, Neil Young — and they flopped. America didn’t want Cher as a Serious Artiste or a Rock Chick. She didn’t have another hit until, bending with the wind, she went disco in 1979 and recorded the lascivious “Take Me Home.”

In the ’80s, she solidified an excellent movie career, starring in Silkwood, Mask and, in 1987, Moonstruck. But even in Hollywood, no one banked on her — when Moonstruck did badly with test audiences, “MGM shelved it,” she says. “They hated it, weren’t going to put it out. But MGM had a movie called Overboard, which didn’t do well. They had nothing to put in the theaters.” Cher won an Academy Award for best actress, as well as praise from film critic Pauline Kael, who called her “devastatingly funny and sinuous and beautiful.” (“I fell in love with her in Moonstruck,” says Pink.)

At the same time, she revived her music career with a new incarnation: the MILF of hair metal. “If I Could Turn Back Time,” driven by a memorable music video in which she wiggles in a fishnet body stocking in front of a crowd of approving sailors, became her biggest hit since “Dark Lady.”

She likes “If I Could Turn Back Time” and her other late-’80s power ballads, which is puzzling — those songs aren’t exactly Joni Mitchell, or even the Eagles. “That was OK. By that time, I figured out I wasn’t going to ever be the Eagles.”

Like autumn follows summer, her MTV phase led to another Cher’s-too-old period. She was also laid low by the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes prolonged illness and fatigue. By 1993, she was rerecording “I Got You Babe” with Beavis and Butt-head, surely not her worst collaborators. No American record label wanted her. Then Rob Dickins, president of Warner Music U.K., offered her a deal.

Her first album for Dickins, the ballad-heavy It’s a Man’s World, “was crap,” she snorts. “I don’t remember what’s on it — I didn’t like any of it.” Dickins wanted her to make a dance album in England, but by insisting, he triggered Cher’s teenage rebellion. She refused. “So he said, ‘Let me rephrase that. I’m going to send you some songs — when you like them, tell me.’”

In England, she recorded “Believe,” which went to No. 1 in 23 countries. Who but Cher could score the biggest hit of her career at 52, with a song she hated, in a style she didn’t want to sing? Recording it was “a nightmare” — she fought with producer Mark Taylor, and after she stormed out of the studio, he dosed her vocals with Auto-Tune, giving the song its surprising, modern feel. It was the biggest single of 1999 on the Hot 100.

Since that triumph, she has released only two studio albums on a major label, and she has made only one live-action movie since 2004. Her peers are either dead, retired (Tina Turner) or similarly puzzled (Aretha Franklin) by the same dilemma: What’s the role of an old, restless icon in American culture? “I don’t like getting old. I’m shocked that I can still run across the stage at my age. I thought I’d be dead,” says Cher.

She lives in a Malibu mansion with her son, Elijah Allman, 40, a musician and painter (“He’s talented, but he won’t buckle down,” she frets). Chaz completed sex reassignment surgery in 2009. “My relationship with my kids is great right now,” she says with a big smile. “Let’s freeze this moment, because God knows what’ll happen tomorrow.” She’s single, and has been “for a while. I loved all the men I was with, but I seem to have a two-and-a-half-year sell-by date.” She explains this with a quip: “My mom once said, ‘You should marry yourself a rich man.’ I went, ‘Mom, I am a rich man!’”

Her grandmother lived to 97, and her mother is 91 and still fussing, so Cher may have another few decades to go. She has slowly been working on an album she won’t discuss, “an idea I’ve had for a long time.” She’s also working, with Jersey Boys writer Rick Elice and Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller, on a Broadway musical about her life and career. (Seller has told her it will open in 2018.)

She has been and is an icon of many things: strength, good humor, sarcasm, fashion, doing what you want whenever you want, not behaving appropriately, dressing outrageously, disrupting convention and dating younger men, to pick just a few. She’s also a model of versatility and, a trait of which she’s proud, durability.

“I seem to be able to keep tapping into [the culture]. Like, Twitter. How? At my age?”

With 3.3 million followers, she may be the social network’s oldest influencer. Buzzfeed only half-insincerely called her “the world’s most beloved Twitter user.” She has coined her own 140-character language, full of emojis, CAPS LOCKS and insults. The chief target of her ire is the orange-tinted 45th president of the United States.

“Since Trump was elected, I have to hide my telephone, because I’m so outraged. Twitter is like a drug. It creeps into your life, and you have to say, ‘Time to put a stop to this. I’m a grown-up.’” However, her commitment to mature silence never seems to last long, especially if Trump does something egregious.

“The president is cheating and getting away with it, and using the White House to make money, and he’s going to take health care away from people, and people are going die. It’s outrageous. You feel like you’re screaming ‘Fire!’ and no one’s listening.”

“The Democrats fucked up so bad in their message, and how old [the leadership] is. You’ve got to pray that old people die before young people can get involved with the party. I told Hillary [Clinton] she should have a group of millennials give their ideas about government.”

On Twitter, as in her concerts, Cher knows and accepts what people want from her. “My idea, every night before I go onstage, is that this is a gift I was given, and can give to people. While they’re watching my show, they don’t have to think of anything else. It’s something that makes people feel good. That’s all I do — make people feel good.”

by Rob Tannenbaum

This article originally appeared in the May 27 issue of Billboard.


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Cher is not Finished.. yet Mon, 24 Oct 2016 01:04:12 +0000 The iconic singer-actress is returning to the stage next year for a series of performances on both sides of the US because, well, she can't imagine not working, not even at 70.

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Cher is not finished.

The iconic singer-actress is returning to the stage next year for a series of performances on both sides of the US because, well, she can’t imagine not working, not even at 70. Despite bidding fans farewell in past tours, Cher is not prepared to say her final goodbye.

“Someday, I will be finished,” she said during a recent interview to promote her forthcoming “Classic Cher” residency tour. “That’s really what I’ve said to myself: ‘Someday, you won’t be able to do this, but you’re able to right now.’ It’s like my mom misses driving. My mom loved driving. She can’t do it anymore.”

For now, Cher says she’s still capable of staging an extravaganza – and that’s what she intends to do.

The pop legend’s residency, which launches February 8 in Las Vegas, will feature revival performances and new takes on classics. Here the unabashedly honest artist tackled an array of topics:

On why her new show is called “Classic Cher”

“Oh, it’s just some bull**** word. It’s because I’m going to try and distill my career and let everybody remember and see who I was, what I did and try not to disappoint people. Like I hate it if I go to a concert and they don’t do the songs I want to hear.”

On whether she would perform with a Sonny Bono hologram

“No, a hologram doesn’t work for an arena because it doesn’t bend, so we do a big screen and angle it because it’s mostly him singing. We found all these videos where he’s facing me and I can sing facing him. It works out really well.”

On reviving one of her favourite past performances

“There’s a song that I love that was a hit called After All. One time, when I was in Vegas, I did it in this amazing boat. It came out of the mist … It made the song seem so much more mysterious and poignant and whatever, but few people saw it, so I’m going to bring that back.”

On emojis, which she frequently uses on Twitter

“For me, they are imperative. Emojis are like hieroglyphs. They really are hieroglyphs. You can use them to create emotion. You can use them to punctuate something. You can use them instead of words. I don’t understand punctuation at all because I’m so dyslexic.”

On Snapchat

“I find it fascinating, but I don’t have time to do everything. I have to have time to do other things. I can’t devote my life to it. Sometimes I go on too long (on Twitter) and think, ‘This is so dumb. You’re a grown-up.”‘

On her son, Chaz Bono, playing a hillbilly cannibal on the latest season of American Horror Story

“There’s more to come. The more he does, the better he’s going to be, but I think it’s great. I mean, come on. That’s your first thing, and it’s American Horror Story. It doesn’t get better that that.”

On the presidential election

“I can’t even bring myself to watch the debates. That’s how emotionally involved I am.”

On the most important political issue

“If the Republicans get the Supreme Court, we can say goodbye to all the strides we’ve made that are important, just for civil liberties. When you see the people he’s surrounded himself with up to now, one can only imagine who he’d pick to lead the country. He doesn’t want to do it. He wants to be the king, but he doesn’t want to do the work.”

On Donald Trump’s comments on Howard Stern’s show

“If someone said that my daughter was a hot piece of (expletive), I would put my fist through his (expletive) face.”

– AP


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Cher Talks Fame in unearthed 1999 Interview Wed, 11 May 2016 01:24:58 +0000 Cher identifies with being egotistical in an unearthed Entertainment Weekly interview with Benjamin Svetkey in 1999. The interview is brought to life through a cartoon.

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Cher Interview 1999

Of three terms that connote a diva (temperamental, egotistical, difficult), Cher identifies with just one: egotistical. The singer and actress, who has repeatedly reinvented herself as a performer since the 1960s, told Benjamin Svetkey in a 1999 interview for Entertainment Weekly that her ego is a necessity.

“Well I spend so much time having to think about myself and so I’m really self-centered,” Cher told Svetkey, “which doesn’t make me completely oblivious to the things that are happening around me. It just makes me more conscious of myself than is healthy and that I would like to be. That’s just the way it is.”

The interview with Cher is the latest conversation re-imagined by Blank on Blank, as part of its project to bring celebrity interviews to life through animation. The singer opened up about her struggles with dyslexia, revealing that she can’t read music.

“I just hear it,” she said. “But I’m better with lyrics. I have kind of a photographic memory because of it. I can read something and pretty much get the feeling of it the first time.”

Despite being “pretty intelligent,” Cher said her severe dyslexia prevented her from enjoying school.

“School was pretty much an impossibility for me,” she said.

Regarding motherhood, Cher said she didn’t think of herself as the best mom, but that it was important to let her children be who they wanted to be.

“I’m a cookie decorating mom,” she said. “I don’t bake them, I decorate them.”

Source Entertainment Weekly

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Cher Reflects on 50 Years with Billboard Interview Sat, 08 Aug 2015 06:49:41 +0000 Cher talks with Billboard about her 50th years in show business, whether she will tour again and future plans to record. Read the full interview at

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Cher Billboard interview

There’s divas, and then there’s Cher.

Her iconic Billboard chart career started 50 years ago, when the then-19-year-old’s single “All I Really Want to Do” arrived on the Billboard Hot 100 dated July 3, 1965. A little over a month later, as one half of Sonny & Cher, she was at the top of the chart with “I Got You Babe.” Ever since, it’s been a blur of smash singles, blockbuster films, hit TV shows and, of course, those fabulous Bob Mackie-designed gowns.

In total, she’s earned 33 solo hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including four No. 1s. Further, she’s tallied 29 albums on the Billboard 200 chart. The entertainer’s most recent album, 2013’s Closer to the Truth, marked her highest-charting solo effort ever, when it debuted and peaked at No. 3. Incredibly, she’s also earned a No. 1 single on a Billboard chart in each of the last six decades.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Cher’s debut on Billboard’s charts, we spoke to the woman herself. In our lengthy chat, we talked about her frustration of doing “poppy” songs in the early 1970s, how David Geffen “wasn’t that interested” in her musical comeback in the 1980s (on his own label!), and how an act of “desperation” led to the famed vocoder sound of “Believe.”

Cher also talks about her “hope” of heading back on tour, and her tentative plans of recording new music.

It’s the 50th anniversary of your debut on Billboard‘s charts. I don’t know if you can believe that, but it is indeed true.

Did I debut before Sonny & Cher?

You did, actually. [Cher’s solo single] “All I Really Want To Do” [a cover of aBob Dylan song] debuted before Sonny & Cher.

Yes, we were in a huge fight with Terry Melcher.

Oh really?

Yep… Terry Melcher [produced] The Byrds’ version [of “All I Really Want To Do”]… and said they would bury us. But they didn’t exactly bury us.

[Laughs] No, no. You did just fine.

On the Hot 100 dated July 3, 1965, both Cher and The Byrds’ respective versions of “All I Really Want to Do” debuted on the chart. Cher started at No. 86, and The Byrds bowed at No. 83. (A week later, Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe” debuted on the list.) Cher’s version of “All I Really Want To Do” eventually peaked at No. 15 on the Aug. 21-dated chart — the same week The Byrds’ rendition topped out at No. 40.

Below, an image from the Aug. 28, 1965, issue of Billboard magazine: Sonny & Cher are pictured in a photo, where they were presented with an award recognizing their No. 1 single with “I Got You Babe.”

Cher Billboard

Do you remember at the time, was it a big deal for you [to debut on the charts]?

Are you kidding? I mean, Jesus, it was everything that we were living for. It was what we were breathing for. It was our goal to do it. We struggled and struggled and struggled because of the way we [Sonny & Cher] looked. And people didn’t get it until we went to England and then came back and they thought we were English. But I mean, we looked different than anyone else. We got thrown out of every place. We couldn’t get in. … Like, our friend Jack Good was the producer of [the TV variety show] Shingdig! and he loved us. But we had a hard time getting on that show because we looked so strange to everyone. And then he said, “You’re wasting your time here, go to England, that’s where it will happen for you.” … But you know, we struggled. We had songs that didn’t do anything, and then all of a sudden we had all these songs on the [chart] at one time…

Between July and December of 1965, Sonny & Cher charted five singles on three different labels (Atco, Reprise and Vault), while as solo acts, both Sonny and Cher notched two hits each (on Atco and Imperial Records, respectively).

We had solo songs and we had [Sonny & Cher] songs. What happened was there were songs we made before, so when “I Got You Babe” became famous, they released the songs that we had done before “I Got You Babe.” So everything was just released at one time.

“I Got You Babe” was released on Atco Records, as was most of the duo’s material in the 1960s. When “Babe” broke, Reprise Records reissued the 1964 single “Baby Don’t Go,” while Vault Records re-released “The Letter.” The latter had previously been issued in 1963 under the artist name Caesar & Cleo — Sonny & Cher’s former stage name. “Baby” peaked at No. 8, and “The Letter” reached No. 75.

Sonny & Cher charted a total of 18 singles on the Hot 100, with five of them reaching the top 10. Their final entry together was 1973’s No. 77-peaking “Mama Was a Rock and Roll Singer, Papa Used to Write All Her Songs Part 1.” As Sonny & Cher found success on the charts, so did Cher as a soloist. She earned seven Hot 100 hits before the 1960s concluded, including the No. 2 smash “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down).”

Were you ever surprised by a single that did way better than you thought it was going to do?

Well, “I Got You Babe.” Sonny woke me up in the middle of the night to come in where the piano was, in the living room, and sing it. And I didn’t like it and just said, “OK, I’ll sing it and then I’m going back to bed.” So I was never a very good barometer. I loved songs that weren’t as big of hits. I loved “Just You” [a No. 20-peaking single]. I loved “All I Really Want to Do” too; that was fun. Everyone thought that was a Sonny & Cher record because they didn’t know I could jump the octaves that easily.

Sonny was working for producer Phil Spector in the early 1960s, and after meeting Cher in 1962, the pair sang background vocals on Spector-produced songs like The Righteous Brothers’ No. 1 hit “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (“That was the last song I ever did background on,” says Cher) and The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.”

Your first No. 1 hit on your own was in 1971 with “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves.” You had three No. 1s in the ’70s, and they were the story songs that were so successful for you. Are there any of those songs — because you’ve joked about how you always have to do these songs in concerts — where you’re just a little tired of doing them? Or do you still love doing them because the people love hearing them?

You know, I don’t love doing them myself. I love when Bob [Mackie, the fashion designer] makes me a great costume. [Laughs] And then, you know, everybody goes “oooh” and “ahhh.” And that’s fun for me to see… But I know people love them so much, that they don’t bother me. I actually never loved them that much when I recorded them.

I think most people would be surprised by that. Because we think when an artist records a song, they must really love it or want to record it for some reason. 

But you know what, you had to be back in the time then. I mean, back in that time, people had A&R men and they brought you songs, and they gave you songs, and you did the songs. And especially women, you know? I didn’t really get a chance to pick my songs back then. … They were hits. You know, I don’t know a lot of times what a hit is because a lot of times commercial songs, I don’t really love them. You know, [at the time] I was into Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell and theEagles, and those were the kinds of songs I wanted to do, but they just didn’t seem… Like, I was doing these kind of poppy songs. I was not content, necessarily, to do them, but… Like, I never liked “Dark Lady,” and it was a big hit. [It went to No. 1 in 1974.] I was like hanging around with Anjelica Huston and Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, and I was singing [“Dark Lady”]. They’re making like fabulous art and I’m making “Dark Lady.” But then they were huge hits, and so, you know, somebody says, “You can’t argue with huge hits, Cher.”

It’s still art. It just depends on how you look at it, I suppose. I mean, I still think [“Dark Lady”] is fabulous. I mean, come on. It’s “Dark Lady.”

Well, it’s very kitschy… and it seemed to go along well with people’s idea of who I was at that point. And I really kind of wanted to do rock and roll. I wanted to do harder rock. I got a chance to do it later.

When you did your Casablanca Records albums [Take Me Home, featuring the No. 8-peaking title track, and Prisoner, both released in 1979], was that sort of the same idea? People presented songs to you, and you’re like, “All right, I’ll do these songs…” Or did you have a little bit more control?

No, I had more… Bob Esty [who produced the two albums] and Neil Bogart [the founder of Casablanca], I mean, they came with songs, but if I didn’t like it, I didn’t do it. After I left Sonny [they divorced in 1975], I would listen to people, but if I didn’t like a song… And also, I did some really kitschy songs, like [1979’s] “Shoppin’.” But I liked it!

One of my favorite songs of yours is [1979’s] “Hell On Wheels.” I think it’s so fun, and I love that music video that you did where you’re roller skating around in the middle of the desert… I just think it’s awesome.

Well, it was really fun. You know, it wasn’t a great song, but it was fun to do.

You had this huge break [from music] in the ’80s when you were doing movies [like 1983’s Silkwood and 1985’s Mask]. Was there ever any sort of hesitation when you came back in 1987 with [the Geffen Records release] “I Found Someone”? [It was the first single from her self-titled album for the label — and her first album in over five years.] Or were you like, guns a-blazin’, “We’re gonna make this happen”?

No, I wasn’t guns a-blazin’. I worked with [Geffen A&R executive] John Kalodner, and you know David [Geffen, the founder of his namesake label] wasn’t that interested. I mean, you know, David is one of my best friends and I love him, but he wasn’t that excited. But John Kalodner… I remember Dave and I were somewhere. It was an awards show, and I remember we were sitting behind John Kalodner, and Dave said, “You know, I have to go with John Kalodner. He believes that you have another… another time in you. He believes that the fat lady hasn’t sung. He believes that it’s not over,” you know? So I put my hands in John Kalodner and he brought [me] songs.

One of those songs was the rocking “I Found Someone” (co-written and produced by Michael Bolton), which debuted on the Hot 100 dated Nov. 21, 1987. It was the first single from Cher’s self-titled Geffen Records album, and it was her first Hot 100 hit since 1979 (“Hell On Wheels”). “I Found Someone” ultimately peaked at No. 10 on the March 5, 1988-dated chart, shortly before Cher would win the Academy Award for best actress (for Moonstruck). Cher scored two more hits from that self-titled album: “We All Sleep Alone” (No. 14) and “Skin Deep” (No. 79).

I had a really good time with those songs. They were songs I wanted to do, you know? I mean, maybe all of them didn’t come out perfectly, but they were songs I really loved, and it was what I wanted to do. I wanted to do that kind of music. It fit me well, and I felt it. I really felt that music. I wasn’t a very good singer then, even though that was a pretty good song. I’m a much better singer now.

You think that you’ve been able to sort of grow into your voice and become a better singer? Have you taken singing lessons?

I did. Before I did that album, I had just been doing movies and hadn’t sung at all. I think I sang at Paul Newman’s house one night, around the piano, but I just wasn’t sure how this [her self-titled Geffen album] was gonna go. Bernadette Peters told me about this fabulous teacher named Adrienne Angel. She really helped me with my voice and made it so much better. Gave me control, gave me higher notes. I mean, I sing a billion times higher than I was ever able to sing in the beginning.


Listen to “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” and “I Hope You Find It.” When I went in to sing “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” I kept telling everybody, “I can’t do this song, I’ve tried to do it a million times, and I can’t do it.” And then walked in and did it.

I thought the range on the last album — Closer to the Truth, which contains “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” and “I Hope You Find It” — was wonderful. I think people might be surprised, like, “Oh, this is Cher?” People assume that [your voice] is going sound one way…

I honestly think that the most fun I ever had making a song was “Believe.” Because you didn’t know it was me in the beginning, and I was so excited.

Was that the intention? 

No, it just came out of desperation.


Mark [Taylor, “Believe” co-producer] hated what I was doing and he kept saying to do it better, because it didn’t really pop until the chorus. I just couldn’t do it. We had a huge fight. I stormed out. I mean, we were really close — we’re still really close — but he just kept going “It’s not good, it’s not good.” And then I said, “Well, if you want it better, get somebody else.” And I walked out.


And then the next day I saw this boy named Roachford [on TV]… and he was [using] a vocoder. And so I called Mark, and I said, “I’m coming over.” Walked in, and I brought [Roachford’s] CD and played it for him. And he said, “Cher, we can’t do the vocoder because you’ve already sung it.” And so he said, “You know, I’ve been playing around with the pitch machine. Go home and let me see what I can do.” I came back the next day and he started to play it for me, and … I said, “We have to just stop and hold on to this moment.” And then he kept going, and we were high-fiving and jumping up and down. Then we had to fight the record company because as fabulous as Rob Dickins was [the then-chairman of her label, Warner Music U.K.] … he said, “You know, the Germans don’t like it because they can’t tell it’s you.” And I said, “You can change it over my dead body.”


And then it was great. And everyone loved it. I came home to play it for one person. I only wanted one person to hear it, and it was [producer/songwriter/record executive] David Foster. He listened to it with his back to me. He was over the [control] board, and he had his hands out, and he was kind of bent over a little bit. And then, after he heard it, he turned around and he said, “There’s only one thing wrong with this song.” And I thought, “Oh my God, what is it?” And he said, “I didn’t do it. I didn’t produce it.”

“Believe” was a hit throughout Europe at the end of 1998, including a seven-week run at No. 1 on the Official U.K. Singles Chart. (It’s the U.K.’s best-selling single by a solo woman, with 1.8 million sold.) “Believe” crossed over to American shores that December and would hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 dated March 13, 1999. With the ascent, Cher notched her first No. 1 since 1974’s “Dark Lady.” “Believe” would spend four weeks atop the chart and finish 1999 as the No. 1 Hot 100 single of the year. Cher’s album of the same name would sell 3.6 million copies in the U.S. (according to Nielsen Music) and reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart — her then-highest-charting solo album ever. Cher’s next album, Living Proof, was released in 2002. But fans would have to wait more than 10 years for her next studio effort, 2013’s Closer to the Truth. It was led by the single “Woman’s World,” which reached No. 1 on the Dance Club Songs chart. It was the first of three top five singles on the chart from Closer to the Truth.

Your career trajectory has been so crazy. You can come back after so long with an album like Closer to the Truth, which was your highest-charting solo album ever (debuting and peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard 200). And then you go out on tour and you remind people about how much wonderful music you have. I think people kind of forget, or don’t realize, because your career has been so varied…

No, it’s just been so spotty. I mean like, I didn’t realize that I hadn’t done anything in so long. Was it 11 years? I don’t know. I didn’t think about recording again. And then finally, one of my managers said, “You really should do that.” And so I finally got in [to the recording studio]. The first song I did was “Woman’s World.” The [record] company [Warner Bros. Records] wasn’t excited, truthfully, but they gave me the shot, so I have to give them credit. But then when I did that, and everyone heard it, they thought, “OK, maybe she still has it.”

Well, you do. [Laughs] Are you working on anything right now?

I was supposed to go to… Mark [Taylor] has a song and I loved it, and I was supposed to go to England to do it. But then I wanted to go on vacation. And so…

Well, you know…

…I went on vacation instead. So I’m going to be in England to do something in October, so I’ll go early and work with Mark.

Cher Twitter

I have to ask, you went on tour for the last album [the Dressed to Kill Tour], and because of your health issues [an acute viral infection that affected her kidneys], you had to cancel the second leg. Is there hope that you might be able to go out on the road again?

Yes, absolutely. … I’ve got everything. Nothing went anywhere. … I will keep “Dressed to Kill” and “[Welcome to] Burlesque” [in the set list], because those are my two favorite songs to do, actually. We’ll probably get rid of “Take It Like a Man” [from Closer to the Truth] and we’ll put in some more hits, probably. I don’t know. You know, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do this. That’s my wish. But I can’t say that I actually will be able to… My will is pretty strong, so… I don’t know.

And also, you have all those Bob Mackie outfits that we haven’t seen yet. Which, you know, would be amazing to see.

Mackie has regularly designed wardrobe for Cher’s performances and tours through her career, but initially couldn’t provide outfits for the Dressed to Kill Tour. However, he was slated to contribute new outfits for the tour’s second leg.

Oh my God. You can’t believe how amazing they are… Oh, he did stuff that you just cannot even believe. It’s so far out. And he didn’t want to do it either, because he thought he didn’t have it to do. And he came back with stuff that you cannot even believe how beautiful they are. And so outlandish, but perfect.

That would make the perfect sense. Outlandish goes with you just a little bit sometimes, you know.

Truthfully… we thought I was going to be well a lot earlier than I was. But honestly, the doctors didn’t tell me how sick I was at the time. They just kind of led me to believe that I would be able to go on tour a lot earlier. But I was so sick for such a long time, so there was no way. So I got out of the hospital, and I think I was home for what, a couple of days, and went over to a [wardrobe] fitting. As a matter of fact, I had to sit down a bunch of times because I kept going ‘I’m gonna pass out, I’m gonna pass out.” But I was so excited that I just was standing up. And drinking lots of Dr. Pepper.

The Dr. Pepper, of course. [In Cher’s concerts, the diva regularly jokes about her love of the beverage.] But everything is fine, you’re OK now? You’re all good?

Yeah. I’m much better. I’m so much better. But kidneys take a huge toll on you.

I can only imagine. Literally. I would have to imagine because fortunately I have not had that issue yet.

I’ve never had any issue like that, truthfully. Nothing ever happened to me. I was so lucky. I’ve been so lucky.

Well, you’re kind of … you can’t be knocked down. You’re kind of a superhero.

You know what? I’m kind of a warhorse. Tina [Turner] and I are such… we just knew to do it. You know, we just worked until the work was over. And I got that kind of ethic from Sonny, because he never wanted to stop working.

(Our interview with Cher was lightly edited and condensed.)


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Cher Gets the Last Word – Interview Wed, 06 Aug 2014 02:44:08 +0000 Late at night, she gets social, holed up in the bedroom of her eye-popping Moorish-castle-meets-Venetian-palazzo high on a bluff in Malibu. Stretched out on a bed that once belonged to the wife of Rudolph Valentino, Cher turns to Twitter to share what’s on her mind. Nothing seems off-limits. (An example:

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Cher Interview

Late at night, she gets social, holed up in the bedroom of her eye-popping Moorish-castle-meets-Venetian-palazzo high on a bluff in Malibu. Stretched out on a bed that once belonged to the wife of Rudolph Valentino, Cher turns to Twitter to share what’s on her mind. Nothing seems off-limits. (An example: “How did you celebrate Madonna’s birthday?” someone asks. Cher’s answer: “I got a colonic.”)

Late at night, she also chats by phone with reporters. “I’m eating while talking to you,” she says in that famous throaty contralto that long ago made her the Goddess of Pop. A giggle. “Peanut butter. Crunchy, of course!”

Cher’s unabashedly frank attitude endears her to millions of fans. She’s as witty as she is physical — and always, always sexy. An intriguing blend of Armenian-American and Cherokee, she’s also extremely adept at staying in the game. Her reign as an undisputed diva is among the longest in show business. Now 68, she was just 19 when she hit the national stage with then-husband Sonny Bono. She has won a best-actress Oscar, an Emmy, three Golden Globes and a Grammy. And she has scored a No. 1 record in each of the past six decades. Her 26th studio album, Closer to the Truth, released last fall, was her first in more than 11 years and entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 3, making it her highest-charting album ever. As she rightfully boasts, “I’m so the phoenix.”

Though she swore that her 2002 Living Proof: The Farewell Tour would be her last, she’s back with her Dressed to Kill Tour, with headdresses as tall as buildings and elaborate costumes that cast her as a Greek gladiator, a gypsy queen and a Byzantine divine being. She attributes her success to her perfectionism. “I’m not a confident person,” she says, “and I’m really not a Cher fan. But I want to make sure I’ll do a great job, so I go balls to the wall and try to do every single thing I can.”

Says Stanley Tucci, a costar of her 2010 film Burlesque, “The most remarkable thing about Cher is that she constantly reinvents herself but maintains a strong sense of identity.”

Becoming Cher

She’s been her own person almost since her birth as Cherilyn Sarkisian, in El Centro, Calif., the daughter of a truck driver with a drug habit and a struggling actress-model-singer. Cher’s parents divorced before she was a toddler, and her mother, Georgia Holt, briefly placed her child in an orphanage. Holt remarried several times and produced another daughter, Georganne; stepfathers were rarely in the picture, and Cher routinely flirted with trouble. “When I was a kid, my friend and I ran away and hopped a train,” she says. “I was always this strange child who wanted more adventure than was allowed. I think I learned a lot from my mother,” Cher adds. “She really didn’t take s— from anybody.”

Yet the two often butted heads. Holt was fine with Cher’s dating Warren Beatty at age 16, but hit the ceiling when her daughter dropped out of high school and moved in with Bono, a married songwriter and record promoter 11 years her senior. Says Cher, “She kept going, ‘Why are you going to throw your life away on him? You have so much potential, and you’re so special.’ ”

Sonny & Cher

But Bono saw Cher’s talent and focused her “scattered energy,” she says. They married in 1964. The duo’s infectious pop hits cut across all strata, and they captured 30 million weekly viewers with The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. But the marriage came unwound in 1972, largely, according to Cher, because she grew up, literally: “He didn’t like me older, and I mean, like, 25.” He cheated on her, and when they dissolved their business partnership, he sued her. Still, she forgave him, she says, “because we had a relationship that defied all kinds of things.”

When Bono died in a skiing accident in 1998, it was their daughter, Chastity, who informed Cher, out of the country, via telephone. “I have never heard my mom as devastated by anything,” says Chaz, 45, as he is now known. “Their core bond and that first-love thing just kicked in for her.”

Even today, Cher sometimes feels Sonny around her: “I have this fabulous chandelier in my sitting room, and it goes off and on all the time for no reason. I always think it’s him messing with me, because that is what he would do.”

Cher, the Mother

Chastity had come out to her parents as a lesbian before Sonny’s death, and Cher did not take it well at first — though she has long been revered as an icon in the gay community. She eventually found acceptance, even after Chastity underwent gender-reassignment surgery, a process finalized in 2010. Cher remembers, however, the sadness she felt one day when she phoned Chaz. “He’d forgotten to erase his old outgoing message,” she says. “I thought, ‘I’m never going to hear my daughter’s voice [in person] again.’ ” Today, Cher advises parents with children wrestling with sexual identity to “have faith and hold on. It’s scary because you don’t know how you’re going to feel.”

She refuses to comment on her relationship with Elijah Blue, 38, her musician son from her marriage to rocker Gregg Allman in the ’70s, but the two are reportedly estranged. Yet, Cher notes, she and Allman have stayed in touch. In fact, she says she has remained friends with almost all her old beaux. She now dates occasionally but keeps it quiet because “being Mr. Cher” is hard on a man’s ego. In answer to why she often dates younger men, she says, “Older men rarely liked me. If it wasn’t for younger men, I would never have a date.”

Pushing Past Insecurities

She concedes that she isn’t always easy to be around. “Depression just gallops through our family,” she says. Eating right and exercise give her stamina, but, she adds, “Every once in a while I think, ‘Jesus, you’re so old! How did this happen?’ I haven’t looked in the mirror in years. The only time I was happy with the way I looked was when I was, like, 40 to 45.”

Yet she pushes past her insecurities because she is still full of creative ideas. There’s a play about her in development, in which she just might take a turn as herself. “I’m also writing this thing that starts with my grandmother’s life,” she says, “and ends with my mother getting off the table, because she was going to get an abortion with me.” Her voice leaps with excitement. “It should be a film!

“Diane Warren wrote ‘You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me’ for Burlesque,” Cher continues, “and that’s the closest to who I am. I don’t intend to step aside. This is the first generation that’s said, ‘We’re not going to roll over and play dead because we’re a certain age.’ It’s like saying to the Rolling Stones, ‘OK, you’ve had your time in the sun. Now go put on some plaid shorts and play golf.’ ” A beat. And then hysterical laughter.

The old joke has it that when a nuclear holocaust destroys the world, the only things to endure will be cockroaches and Cher. She’s stopped asking herself why she’s such a survivor, but she knows she is. And we do, too.



You can still BUY TICKETS to see Cher’s Dressed To Kill Tour here.

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Cher on Graham Norton Sat, 26 Oct 2013 22:29:28 +0000 Cher appeared on Graham Norton in the UK and the show could barely fit all of these superstars on one chair with Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jennifer Saunders also stopping by.

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Cher appeared on Graham Norton in the UK and the show could barely fit all of these superstars on one chair with actor Robert De Niro, actress Michelle Pfeiffer and comedienne Jennifer Saunders also stopping by.  Cher performed her new single I Hope You Find It from album Closer To The Truth.


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19 things Cher wants to share Thu, 03 Oct 2013 02:59:09 +0000 Cher had a chat with Australian newspaper Perth Now and talked about her new album Closer To The Truth, Dressed To Kill Tour and whether she will tour Australia.

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Cher Interview

Cher had a chat with Australian newspaper Perth Now and talked about her new album Closer To The Truth, Dressed To Kill Tour and whether she will tour Australia.

You are one of the few celebrities who speaks their mind on Twitter … and the spelling suggests it isn’t an assistant doing it for you …

I’m non-traditional at Twitter. Maybe because of my lack of grammar and spelling and the lack of characters sometimes I’m unable to express myself. I believe what I believe so I don’t care. I just say what I want.

Do you block haters?

Sometimes I do. It depends on my mood and what acting out they’re doing. If I’m in a bad mood they can act out less.

You had to be talked into making your new album Closer to the Truth. Now it’s out are you happy with the reaction?

I’m really happy. I don’t know what I expected. I believe this is my best album and I’ve made some real clinkers. I’m happy people are giving it a chance.

Which of those clinkers would you love to erase ?

Maybe not entire albums, I’d just like to go through each album and erase the one song where it’s a case of ‘Oh my God what were you thinking?’

Do you cringe at old songs?

I don’t listen to myself. People mention a song and I think I should go back and listen but what for? I don’t like listening to myself anyway so it’d just be a double whammy for me.

There are two songs written by Pink on this album, you seem to have a lot in common …

I think We’re both the same kind of women – upfront, no bulls—, quite who we are. What you see is very much what you get.

You’re a big fan of Pink’s Dear Mr President..

She was able to capture everything that I felt in that one song. It just stayed with me forever. I go on YouTube and play it sometimes.

Would you ever cover it?

No. You don’t cover Pink songs, sorry. But with these songs she just gave them to me and said ‘These are for you’. And they are two really good songs.

You made autotune popular on Believe. And it’s reappeared on this album.

Only when it’s needed. OnTake It Like a Man I wanted the autotune on the verses. It was like Believe. We couldn’t make Believe right because the verses were so interminable and not very interesting. That’s what I felt about Take It Like a Man. It took forever to get to the chorus. I’m the only one who wanted the autotune. I like it, I think it sounds cool.

Many people use it to hide the fact they can’t sing …

Well, I can (sing). People are in love with autotune. It is interesting. It does do something extra.

Do you still go clubbing?

I hardly ever get to go to clubs because everyone’s got a camera phone. It’s hard for me. I don’t feel free anymore.

Who’s your favourite Cher impersonator?

Some people are so hysterical. I would have never thought to do the things they do online. There’s a guy (Charlie Hides) who does me, (Lady) Gaga and Madonna. It’s brilliant.

You’re the first to make fun of the fact you’re 67.

Nobody dislikes my age more than me. I can’t help it that I’ve been here this long.


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