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Cher News – Cherworld.com – Cher Photos, Music, Tour & Tickets http://www.cherworld.com Mon, 16 Oct 2017 21:58:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Classic Cher extends dates into 2018 http://www.cherworld.com/cher-tickets/classic-cher-2018/ http://www.cherworld.com/cher-tickets/classic-cher-2018/#comments Mon, 16 Oct 2017 21:58:14 +0000 http://www.cherworld.com/?p=8459 By Demand, CLASSIC CHER Returns to Las Vegas and Washington D.C Area for Exclusive tickets available in 2018.

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By Demand, CLASSIC CHER Returns to Las Vegas and Washington D.C Area for Exclusive tickets available in 2018

In response to her triumphant return to the stage, legendary icon Cher has announced 2018 dates of her extended engagement CLASSIC CHER at Park Theater at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and at The Theater at MGM National Harbor in the Washington D.C. area. The 24 new show dates are scheduled Jan. 17 – May 19, 2018.

Since the Las Vegas premiere of CLASSIC CHER in February 2017, the over-the-top spectacle that celebrates the icon’s phenomenal 50-year career has continued to receive rave reviews from across the globe being hailed as a MUST-SEE show by critics and audiences.
The 24 shows going on sale Friday, Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. are as follows:

2018:

Jan.: 17, 19, 20, 24, 26, 27, 31 Park Theater at Monte Carlo
Feb.: 2, 3 Park Theater at Monte Carlo
Feb.: 17, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25 The Theater at MGM National Harbor
May.: 2, 4, 5, 9, 12, 13, 16, 18, 19 Park Theater at Monte Carlo
Tickets for previously announced 2017 shows Nov. 8 – 25 in Las Vegas are on sale now. Shows dates are:

2017:

Nov.: 8, 10, 11, 15, 17, 18, 21, 24, 25 Park Theater at Monte Carlo

Launching her career in the 1960s as part of Sonny & Cher, the Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Golden Globe Award-winning iconic star made unprecedented strides in what had long been a male-dominated industry. A worldwide superstar for more than five decades, Cher has sold more than 100 million records and conquered more challenges than a handful of other talents combined – recording, concerts, film, Broadway acting, television and directing.

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Cher to return to big screen in Mamma Mia 2 http://www.cherworld.com/cher-news/cher-return-big-screen-mamma-mia-2/ http://www.cherworld.com/cher-news/cher-return-big-screen-mamma-mia-2/#comments Mon, 16 Oct 2017 00:57:15 +0000 http://www.cherworld.com/?p=8452 Cher is preparing to be a ‘dancing Queen’ in the sequel to Abba movie musical Mamma Mia! The Oscar-winning actress is in London rehearsing choreography sequences for the film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. The Mail can reveal she will appear in two song and dance sequences in the follow up

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Cher is preparing to be a ‘dancing Queen’ in the sequel to Abba movie musical Mamma Mia!
The Oscar-winning actress is in London rehearsing choreography sequences for the film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
The Mail can reveal she will appear in two song and dance sequences in the follow up to the 2008 Mamma Mia! Movie, which starred Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Julie Walters, Amanda Seyfried, Dominic Cooper and Christine Baranski, all of whom are in the new film.
Lily James is also in the film as the younger version of Donna, Streep’s character.
The cast has been shooting on locations in Croatia but they will join Cher on the dance floor set up at Shepperton Studios later this week.
Cher’s role and names of the Abba numbers she’ll sing are being kept under wraps.

‘Cher’s our secret weapon. It’ll spoil the fun if we give anything away,’ an executive connected to the film explained last night.
Cher, 71, has not been in front of film cameras for several years, although she has been busy touring and collaborating on developing a Broadway musical based on her life and career.


Her Oscar was for best actress in Moonstruck in 1988.
The stage show will feature her signature chart-toppers such as I Got You Babe, Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves and The Shoop Shoop Song.
Cher revealed on her Twitter feed that she has been rehearsing dance numbers but didn’t disclose the name of the project.
However, she happily admitted to being in the UK where, she noted, ‘It’s always felt like home.’
Mamma Mia! started out on stage in London eighteen years ago where it remains a West End favourite.

Judy Craymer the producer who helped create the show also backed the 2008 film which took one billion dollars at the box office worldwide.
There is no official word on a story line for the sequel, though sources point to a potential prequel concept with focus on characters played by Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, and Pierce Brosnan set before the action of the original musical.

The sequel is set to feature Abba hits not featured in the original musical, “along with some reprised favorites,” Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus are aboard again to provide music and lyrics and serve as executive producers.

Source Daily Mail

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Cher sold her Stock now wants it back http://www.cherworld.com/cher-news/cher-sold-stock-now-wants-back/ http://www.cherworld.com/cher-news/cher-sold-stock-now-wants-back/#comments Mon, 09 Oct 2017 05:54:32 +0000 http://www.cherworld.com/?p=8443 Cher is going after a bio pharmaceutical company, claiming officials there tricked her to sell her stock at a low price.

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Cher is going after a bio pharmaceutical company, claiming officials there tricked her to sell her stock at a low price only to see the company’s value soar.

Cher says she bought 300,000 shares of Altor in 2013.. but 2 years later a company official spoke to her directly and offered to buy her shares back for $1.50 each. However, according to the docs, he withheld key info about upcoming successful clinical trials of the drugs they were working on for cancer and HIV research.

The singer claims essentially what the guy didn’t tell her was that they had made an incredible breakthrough in both cancer and HIV treatments.

Cher sold the stock and soon after … the price went through the ceiling.  Happens to everyone who invests in stocks, right?

She’s suing for unspecified damages. Poor old Cher unfortunately missed out on making millions off the health care system and she is mighty pissed off about it.  I thought Cher tweeted healthcare was supposed to be free for everyone?

Cher alleges fraudulent concealment and breach of fiduciary duty. In addition to Soon-Shiong, defendants include Altor Acquisition LLC, Altor cofounder Hing C. Wong and Fred Middleton, a vice chairman of Altor’s board. The suit asks for damages and attorney fees and costs.

“Cher decided to sell her shares in January 2016 [after] she made a substantial profit in less than three years,” Middleton said. “Her decision to sell was completely discretionary as she was under no duress to sell.”

“The lawsuit has no merit. We intend to vigorously defend against it,” Soon-Shiong’s spokesman, Michael Sitrick, said in a statement.

Source – TMZ

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Cher Gets Real About Jeans for The Gap http://www.cherworld.com/cher-news/cher-gets-real-jeans-gap/ http://www.cherworld.com/cher-news/cher-gets-real-jeans-gap/#comments Wed, 13 Sep 2017 23:30:20 +0000 http://www.cherworld.com/?p=8408 Future has earned himself a slew of major endorsement deals since his rise to superstardom, and now he’s joining a pop icon for his newest branding move. The Atlanta rapper stars alongside Cher for their new ad as a part of Gap’s ‘Meet Me in the Gap’ fall campaign, and

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Future has earned himself a slew of major endorsement deals since his rise to superstardom, and now he’s joining a pop icon for his newest branding move. The Atlanta rapper stars alongside Cher for their new ad as a part of Gap’s ‘Meet Me in the Gap’ fall campaign, and we’re getting a first look at the commercial.

The teaser video for the ad (below) shows the two sitting on some steps in an all-white setting, with Cher singing a cover of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People” record from 1969. The platinum-selling MC backs up the veteran pop star with some of his signature vocals, as well as his notable ad-libs, which he laces over an edgy hip-hop beat in the background.

There is only one Cher. The pop divas of today owe a debt to the trailblazing star, who at 71 continues to innovate with her music and boundless personal style. As the ultimate icon of unabashed glamour, she’s served as inspiration for countless designers and provided the world with decades’ worth of headline-making red carpet looks. With that kind of influence, Cher could easily channel her fashion cred into merch or a capsule collection of her own, but for the always unorthodox star, there’s no point in taking on a project unless it’s going to be a good time. “If someone says, Do you want to do something?, the first thing I think of is, Oh, that would be fun! And that’s how I decide,” said Cher on the phone from Washington, D.C. “So when the Gap said, ‘Would you like to do something with a younger artist?’ I thought, ‘Yeah, that would be cool. I would like that.’ ”

The artist in question was Future, the chart-topping performer-producer whose hits have come to define hip-hop’s current sound. Joining forces for the new Gap denim campaign, the pair unite to sing a rendition of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People,” a track handpicked by Cher. “It’s just a great song,” she explains of her choice. “It’s got so many little things that go on in between these really profound lyrics, like the kid’s rhyme in the middle of it. Problems that we had when it was first done are the problems that we have now. They gave me a million songs [to choose from] and that was the song that I was drawn to.”

With lyrics that touch on issues of racism, sexism, and other interpersonal biases, the song is an especially timely choice. Its message of finding common ground with people who on the surface may seem different is underscored by Cher and Future’s collaboration. Though she admits that she wasn’t versed in Atlanta’s hip-hop scene before they worked together, Cher found Future instantly charming. “I got familiar once we got on the stage he rocked a little bit,” she says. “It was funny. He was very cute yet shy, and really he liked to have fun.”

Of course, doing the commercial was about more than simply making a great cover song with one of the moment’s hottest acts. Advertising’s power comes from its ability to normalize ideas that extend beyond products themselves, a fact Cher is aware of. “When I was young, there were just white people on commercials. That was it,” she says. “If you see [representation] all the time, then it just becomes the norm.”

When it comes to bigotry, Cher has zero patience. A firebrand on social media known for her emoji-laden tweets, she’s every bit as opinionated offline. “It’s just mind-boggling and so awful,” she says of the recent white supremacist marches in Charlottesville. “Prejudice makes no sense—it’s ridiculous, and if people stopped for just one second and thought about why the fuck they were doing it, they’d stop.” But although she’s disappointed with the current state of affairs, the resistance movement has left her inspired. “You look at the Women’s March when we went to Washington and the marches that we did down Fifth Avenue the night of the election,” she says. “You saw all these young kids, all these young people, [their generation] has lost those prejudices. They’re just shedding it like a terrible old snakeskin.”

Politics aside, there is one thing everyone knows about Cher: Her fearlessness extends to her wardrobe. From those legendary Bob Mackie performance costumes to her bohemian ’70s looks, her ever-evolving style has been consistently compelling. Still, it comes as something of a surprise to learn that music’s grande dame is a fan of online shopping. “It’s easy. You can send it back, and I don’t have to put on makeup or anything to go out,” she explains. And though she enjoys the occasional St. Tropez designer shopping spree, she’s just as happy picking up a few essentials at Free People. “They have some great things,” she says. “Look, also, you can have a lot of money and have gold faucets, you know what I mean? Money doesn’t make you chic.”

It’s that directness that makes her fashion advice so compelling. “I like what I like and I don’t care what the fashion is,” she says. “You have to wear what’s good for your body. It doesn’t even make any difference how in-fashion you are if you look like shit.” Having already tested out most of the current trends on their first go-round, she’s not about to edit her wardrobe to suit the masses. She’s long hung on to favorites like worn-in leather jackets and low-rise denim, which she wears until they fall apart. “I have one pair of jeans that I’ve worn so much that they are almost all patched because of holes,” she says with a laugh. “Not because of fashion, just because I wore the ass out of them! There are so many fabulous patches on them.”

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The concept of age-appropriate dressing also gets a thumbs-down. “Look, my mom’s 91 and she is a cool dresser,” says Cher. “She hasn’t really changed anything since she was in her fifties, so I don’t believe in that Oh, you get to a certain age and you have to cut your hair and you have to stop doing one thing or another thing. I just think that I’ll wear some of the stuff I have as long as I can get into it.” We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Source – Vogue

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Cher gets animated for Ooga Boo music video http://www.cherworld.com/cher-news/cheroogaboo/ http://www.cherworld.com/cher-news/cheroogaboo/#comments Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:30:46 +0000 http://www.cherworld.com/?p=8400 Celebrity icon Cher guest stars in Season 3 of the series as Chercophonie, a rock diva character who is as famous for her off-key tunes as she is for her outrageous fashion sense.

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Netflix is still very much in its world conquering phase. It just straight up poached Shonda Rhimes from ABC, it’s scooping up prestige indie films in a very earnest hunt to win an Oscar and it, obviously, continues to own the Emmys.

Now, for its latest feat, Netflix has convinced Cher, an artist who has released just one new album in the past 16 years, to record a brand new song for a children’s cartoon show. We’d joke about Netflix now hunting for Grammys as well, but as it turns out the streaming service already has four Grammy nods under its belt (including for the Orange is the New Black theme song and the Stranger Things score).

Of course, this is not just any Cher song. She recorded it in character as “Chercophonie,” an avant-garde rock diva alien who can only go out in public in disguise from their show Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh.

It is also of note that the song is called “Ooga Boo” and that there is also a corresponding video. While the premise of this is all very silly, Cher turns it into a genuine bop, because such is the power of Cher.

Cher seems to be particularly picky about what she’s recorded in the last decade. There was an album in 2013 (Closer To The Truth), a contribution to the soundtrack of her 2010 film Burlesque (“You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me,” by the acclaimed Diane Warren), a contribution to the documentary Cries From Syria, a duet with her mother, and a couple of unreleased collaboration (with Lady Gaga and Wu-Tang Clan). She has not been particularly prolific, and this might be considered her first dance floor jam in at least four years..

Cher once told David Letterman that the reason she doesn’t record much music anymore is because she keeps forgetting to get into the studio, but apparently all it took was the power of Netflix to remind her. Drag queens throughout the world clearly thank them.

In between relentlessly bashing president Trump on Twitter day in day out like a broken record, Cher has also promoted her part on the kid’s show:

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Cher says goodbye to her Gregory http://www.cherworld.com/cher-news/cher-says-goodbye-gregory/ http://www.cherworld.com/cher-news/cher-says-goodbye-gregory/#comments Sun, 04 Jun 2017 03:25:10 +0000 http://www.cherworld.com/?p=8385 Cher and legions of fans lined the streets of Macon, Georgia, this morning to honour music legend Gregg Allman as he’s carried to his final resting place.

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LEGIONS of fans lined the streets of Macon, Georgia, this morning to honour music legend Gregg Allman as he’s carried to his final resting place in the same cemetery where he and his band members used to hang out and write songs amid the tombstones.

The service was private, with only about 100 people attending inside a small chapel. Mourners, including Allman’s ex-wife Cher, filed past white columns into the peach-coloured building as five black stretch limousines waited outside.

Some came through a back entrance.

Former US President Jimmy Carter said he would attend, honouring The Allman Brothers Band keyboardist who drew large crowds to campaign events during his 1976 presidential race.

Police closed downtown streets to accommodate the crush of fans coming to watch Allman’s body being taken from the chapel to Rose Hill Cemetery, where he will be buried near his late brother, guitarist Duane Allman.

Their band began its rise to fame in the central Georgia city south of Atlanta about five decades ago, and used to write songs while hanging out in the cemetery, Alan Paul wrote in One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band.

“He’s somebody who has been in my life first as an artist and later as a real person since I was about eight years old, and so it’s shocking to think of the world without him,” said Paul, 50, who interviewed Allman many times for his book.

Allman, who blazed a trail for many southern rock groups, died May 27 at the age of 69 at his home near Savannah, Georgia, said Michael Lehman, the rock star’s manager.
He blamed liver cancer.

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Allman was raised in Florida by a single mother. Allman idolised his older brother, Duane, eventually joining a series of bands with him.

Together they formed the heart of The Allman Brothers Band before Duane died in a motorcycle crash in 1971, just as they were reaching stardom.

In his 2012 memoir, My Cross to Bear, Allman said he finally felt “brand new” at 50 after years of overindulging in women, drugs and alcohol.

But hepatitis C ruined his liver, and after getting a transplant, it was music that helped him recover.

Allman felt that being on the road playing music for his fans was “essential medicine for his soul,” according to a statement from the Big House, the Macon museum dedicated to the band.

Allman married Cher in 1975 the year her divorce from Sonny Bono was finalised.

Cher was Allman’s third of seven wives and the pair had a son, Elijah Blue Allman.

Cher filed for divorce nine days after their wedding because of Allman’s heroin addiction but they reconciled within a month and remained married until 1979 when they divorced.

Their son, Elijah, had recently fallen out with his mum after she refused to congratulate him on his engagement and subsequent marriage to Angie King.

Lehman said he spoke with Allman the night before he died.

“He said the last few days he was just, you know, tired,” Lehman said. The night before he passed away, Allman was able to listen to some of the tracks being produced for his final record, Southern Blood, Lehman said.

The album is scheduled to be released in the fall.

“He was looking forward to sharing it with the world and that dream is going to be realised,” Lehman said. “I told him that his legacy is going to be protected, and the gift that he gave to the music world will continue to live on forever.”

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How Cher gets away with looking like this aged 71 http://www.cherworld.com/cher-classic-show/cher-gets-away-looking-like-aged-71/ http://www.cherworld.com/cher-classic-show/cher-gets-away-looking-like-aged-71/#comments Tue, 23 May 2017 01:26:03 +0000 http://www.cherworld.com/?p=8379 It’s rare that Gwen Stefani is upstaged. But the chanteuse didn’t stand a chance when she presented the Icon Award to Cher on Sunday night at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas.

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It’s rare that Gwen Stefani is upstaged. But the chanteuse didn’t stand a chance when she presented the Icon Award to Cher on Sunday night at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. No one was looking at the blonde in a gold frock, when they could goggle at the 71-year-old in an outfit that’s best described as a sheer black body-stocking with strategically placed sequins, plus vast Brian May wig and leather jacket.

But then Cher once declared, “Until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great.”

You can’t say she doesn’t walk that particular sartorial tightrope in superb fashion. She modelled two eye-popping outfits on Sunday, both of which seemed fashioned from a couple of pairs of 10-denier tights and a jar of rhinestones.

Keen followers of pop history noted the sheer black outfit she wore to sing If I could Turn Back Time was wittily modelled on an ensemble first seen on Cher in 1989.

Although lovers of Liberace-style spectacle might reckon the silver-spangled scrap of nothing she wore first, accessorised with one puce heart-shaped nipple pastie (left breast), was even more show-stopping; not to mention the platinum-blonde, Cleopatra-styled wig.

Only the hardest hearted would deny the fact: age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety performances. True, for a minute I was put in mind of Cristal Connors in Paul Verhoeven’s cult classic movie Showgirls, who says snarkily to her understudy, “I’m getting’ a little too old for that whorey look.”

While Piers Morgan may have expressed disdain from the safety of the Good Morning Britain sofa at her sartorial choices, it’s almost impossible to deem someone ridiculous if they’ve already made it clear they don’t give two pins about dignity and age-appropriate attire.

Perhaps the most appealing thing about Cher is that she never seems to be billing herself as a sex goddess. Unlike that other great stayer Madonna, who at 58 years-old always appears grimly determined to project a vision of her own yoga-taut hotness to the public.

Cher is the ultimate vaudeville hoofer, embracing camp excess as her joyful birth-right. There’s a Mardi Gras sensibility to her performances, which makes you want to shed your own years, leap onstage and shimmy alongside her. It’s no coincidence this performance took place in Vegas, where more is never enough and vulgarity’s a virtue.

Furthermore, most women will know how the pop star feels about trotting out old outfits. When a mature female can still model ensembles she first wore aged 20 or 30, then she absolutely wants the whole world to know about it. If Princess Anne can perform public duties in outfits from the 1980s and pass this off as parsimony (when surely it’s a subtle form of boasting about her ageless figure?), well why can’t Cher recycle her old Spandex?

And, frankly, if she can do a “five-minute plank” – as she boasted when handed her award – then she’s rewriting the laws of nature and can tear up the rule book as she pleases.

When you look at this great survivor of the 1960s, you don’t see mutton dressed as lamb, you see Cher dressed as Cher.

Source – The Telegraph

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Cher accepts 2017 Billboard Icon Award http://www.cherworld.com/cher-news/cher-accepts-2017-billboard-icon-award/ http://www.cherworld.com/cher-news/cher-accepts-2017-billboard-icon-award/#comments Mon, 22 May 2017 04:12:34 +0000 http://www.cherworld.com/?p=8356 Cher dusted off her old costumes and routines as she performed Believe & Turn Back Time at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday. Her performance was introduced by Gwen Stefani who called her a role model and said she taught women ‘how to be strong.’ Cher then

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Cher dusted off her old costumes and routines as she performed Believe & Turn Back Time at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday. Her performance was introduced by Gwen Stefani who called her a role model and said she taught women ‘how to be strong.’ Cher then went on to sing If I Could Turn Back Time as she wore a flashback black outfit from all her recent tours. And she delivered a quick speech as she picked up her Icon Award.

Although viewers may have expected the outspoken critic of Donald Trump to go after the president, she refrained from even mentioning him with producers fingers firmly held on the mute button in case of a tirade.

Instead, she delivered a speech that thanked her long time collaborators but failed to thank her own fans. She also thanked her mom and Sonny Bono for seeing something “special” in her.

“I’ve wanted to do what I do since I was four years old and I’ve been doing it for 53 years,” she said, noting she’d turned 71 the day before. “I want to thank my mom because when I was young, my mom said, ‘You’re not going to be the smartest. You’re not going to be the prettiest. You’re not going to be the most talented. But you’re going to be special.’ And when I met Sonny, he said the same thing. And there was really nothing about me that led anyone to believe that I was going to be special.”

“I think luck has had so much to do with my success,” she told the Billboard audience. “I think it was luck and a little bit of something thrown in.”

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Cher Not a Fan of her 6 Decades http://www.cherworld.com/cher-interviews/cher-not-fan-6-decades/ http://www.cherworld.com/cher-interviews/cher-not-fan-6-decades/#respond Sat, 20 May 2017 08:05:06 +0000 http://www.cherworld.com/?p=8352 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 to receive Billboard Icon Award & Perform Believe http://www.cherworld.com/cher-news/cher-receive-billboard-icon-award-perform-believe/ http://www.cherworld.com/cher-news/cher-receive-billboard-icon-award-perform-believe/#comments Thu, 04 May 2017 22:24:49 +0000 http://www.cherworld.com/?p=8334 Cher is set to give her first awards-show performance in more than 15 years at this month's Billboard Music Awards.

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Cher is set to give her first awards-show performance in more than 15 years at this month’s Billboard Music Awards.

The singer will perform her 1998 hit “Believe,” which spent four weeks at No. 1 and 31 weeks total on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, at the May 21 show.

Additionally, she will receive the Icon Award, which has previously been presented to Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond and more.

“I’m honored to receive the 2017 Billboard Music Awards Icon Award and take the stage to celebrate my love of music with my fans,” Cher said Thursday in a statement. “Seeing so many powerful artists — especially female artists emerge and take their place in history through the years — has been incredible. I’m honored to be amongst the previous Icon Award winners and to celebrate this milestone achievement by performing ‘Believe’ on the show.”

The 2017 Billboard Music Awards will broadcast live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 21, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC. The show is produced by Dick Clark Productions.

“Cher’s incredible talent has inspired both audiences and other artists for more than six decades,” said Allen Shapiro, CEO of Dick Clark Productions. “Her impact on the industry has been monumental and unlike any other. We are honored to celebrate her exceptional career with the 2017 Billboard Music Awards Icon Award and look forward to what’s sure to be an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime performance.”

As previously announced, other performers will include Celine Dion, Bruno Mars, Drake, Ed Sheeran, Lorde, Nicki Minaj, Imagine Dragons, Florida Georgia Line and John Legend.

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