Cher the Love


Candi Stratton channels pop legend Cher

As a 1980s Chicago cabaret performer, Candi Stratton impersonated Cher for the better part of a decade.She has marched in Mardi Gras as the American pop legend and has taken her glitzy Cher tribute show to clubs around Australia.It started out when I was about seven, when The Sonny & Cher Show started, back in the early 1970s, Stratton explains.I was hooked as a little boy. A lot of the kids on my block [in Chicago] would constantly put on little shows in their garages.

My friend Mark and I were putting on a show practically every other week after The Sonny & Cher Show.

Mark would play Sonny and I would play Cher and Id put this big black T-shirt on the back of my head for my big black long straight hair.

We had the busiest show on the block, thats for sure.

From the beginning, Stratton found Chers style beguiling.

Even at seven years old because Im sure that I knew sooner or later I was going to come out of the closet it had to be the costumes and the glamour of her, she says.

My mum and dad used to laugh every weekend, and they were a bit worried. And look now at how I turned out as a transgender woman after reassignment surgery in 1989.

After marrying an Australian, Stratton moved here about three years ago and decided to pull out my Cher again.

And it kind of took off again to the point that Cher herself paid attention.

Ive been to all her concerts but I never ever went once as Cher, Stratton says.

When she came here to Australia I saved it for one special show. I went with a good friend of mine who got me second-row tickets in Newcastle.

People were coming up and taking photos before the concert. All of a sudden Cher came out on stage and she looked at me and made reference.

[She said,] I was backstage watching my little TV as I was getting ready and I noticed you all out there taking photos with that Cher impersonator, and she looked right over at me.

There were two other guys there from Sydney. They grabbed me over the front row and brought me to the front of the stage for her last number.

At the end of the show Cher came up and she put her hands together like she does and she bowed to me. I bowed back and she said, Come on, girl, get your hand up, and she gave me a high five.

Thats the closest Ive gotten to her.

For the moment, Stratton will have to content herself with her own Cher show, which shes performing at Burwood RSL next week.

Its a tribute to her life with the videos, the , the costumes, the speech, her movies and everything, Stratton says.

Theres more dialogue in this show, which we thought would work better in the RSL.

Burwood RSL is also where Stratton picked up the Miss Gay Universe crown last month. She hopes her own event helps to change attitudes outside the inner city too.

Im out there working just like Carlotta does to make people understand we are people with a heart and a soul and were no different than anyone else, she says.

The more of us out there entertaining, the more acceptance therell be.

Courtesy of SSONet

Candi Strattons Cher show is on at Burwood RSL on 31 March from 8pm. Book at House of Priscilla in Darlinghurst, on 0422 369 608 or at the Oz Cher Show website.

“Article originally appeared in Sydney Star Observer”

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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
Cher the Love, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

15 Responses to Cher the Love

  1. cher u go girl get yours u deserve it.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. devinity davis

    Candi Stratton is ONE OF A KIND. A legend in her field, and the BEST cher impersonator I have ever seen.. She beats out Elgin Kenna.. The guy who toured with Cher in the late 80’s early 90’s.. Its hard to believe Candi isn’t really HER on stage.. if you can.. go see the show.. you can also check out for more info, pictures, videos, etc..


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  3. i entered in this woman`s web page and don`t like it so much, so CHER is CHER and nobody can be like her so then CANDY i`m sorry but i didn`t like your show SORRY!!!!!!!!!

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  4. Mike

    I saw the show and Candi doesn’t claim to be Cher, it is her tribute Cher, (and if any of you have read Cher’s books she loves Drag queens and especially ones that impersonate her!)
    Candi’s show is about her life and how the different songs from Cher have affected her life. The costumes were true to detail to Cher and the Show was spectacular!
    Bravo Candi it was great!


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  5. black_rose

    i would love to see the show, there are some great Cher impersonators male and female. Its such a shame we dont get many in the UK. i have just checked out candi’s web site and she looks great as Cher, you go girl

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  6. Mark

    You know what don’t even try to impersanate cher OK. You do not look like cher one bit. You look like a retard trying to be cher.

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  7. Larry

    I love the website and I think she looks alot like Cher, and I am surprised at all the Cher fans being so nasty and negative. Cher who appreciates anyone who takes the time to emmilate her! learn a lesson people!
    Like Cher live your life by Karma and be nice onto others!


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  8. Larry

    I just found Candi’s myspace site
    it has an interview with her on it talking about herself it was great check it out!

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  9. I admire Candi for impersonating Cher – she’s not easy to impersonate. I should know, I’m a Cher impersonator myself, but not a drag queen, a woman who impersonates Cher (check out my website – I appreciate anyone who spends the time and energy to study the character they are impersonating and do it well. I was in the ‘Walking in Memphis’ music video as Cher’s double and met her on the set. I do believe she is fascinated more by drag queens who impersonate her than women who impersonate her – but hey, we can’t all be perfect!

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  10. Oh yeah right! Like any one can ever get close to Cher’s body! na ua 60 is the age of Cher and she’s look’in great! CANDI is stupid to even try!

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  11. karen

    you must be a very nasty bitter person, all of you should be ashamed to say the nasty things you have said about this person.
    before you pass any judgement maybe you should learn more about these people that impersonate our Goddess!

    there are many impersonators out there and in their own right they bring their rendition or how they perceive Cher to their audiences,
    now candi has an interview on my space and also some videos on Youtube that I have found and I for one have become a fam of this brave person who has lived her life they way she wanted against all odds!

    Congrats Candi


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  12. malt biscuit

    Hay candi, I just found your website and I must say it’s great! I’m glad to see you doing well and hope maybe some time in the new you might be able to make it back to Adelaide for another
    show or a visit. Please take care and hopefully speak to you soon. Malt,brynn and keith.

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  13. I agree with Sandra Wood that it is not easy to impersonate Cher, as I am also a Cher impersonator (woman doing live vocals). Based on watching Candi’s videos from her shows, she does an amazing job recreating the excitement and glamour of Cher’s concerts with a very nice production. It’s called ENTERTAINMENT, not claiming to be recreating completely the persona, look and energy of the celebrity. If you took all of the Cher impersonators in the world and combined them, you MIGHT come up with the real persona, look, voice, and character of the real Cher. Impersonators are entertainers, and in my opinion, Candi is a great entertainer.

    Lisa Irion
    Cher Impersonator

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  14. candi stratton as cher how cool

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  15. candi as cher wow

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