Nearly 18,000 fans packed the Hollywood Bowl Saturday (April 30, 2005) night for what is being called Cher’s very last performance ever. The singer (and Oscar-winning actress) brought her three-year circus-themed tour to a close with her 365th show. She opened the show with some candid remarks about her likely successors, which alternately had the crowd laughing, booing and clapping. “All right, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez,” said Cher. “All right. Okay, I’ll tell you something that happened and this is the truth. One night I got so excited by you guys. I was at a concert and it was so exciting they’re like, ‘Boo, boo,’ and then I said, ‘Oh, they’re a bunch of little hoes aren’t they?!’ Yes. But don’t you know, two of them were really angry and didn’t think it was a joke. No, no, I’m not gonna mention any names. Well, all right but, big butt! Yes.
She was a little pissed off. But I don’t blame her. She doesn’t understand that I’m just kidding when I call her a little hoe, you know. It’s just my sense of humor. I call myself a little @#%$, they’re little hoes. It just works for me, you know. So, whatever, so whatever. I have to proceed with the show, and those girls are coming, so we have to prepare ourselves. So, ladies and gentleman, and flamboyant gentleman, and boys and girls and children of all ages, welcome, to the Cher show! And I– and I just have one thing to say to those young girls coming up: Follow this you bitches!”
Born in 1946 Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPiere, Cher began making a name for herself when she paired up with Sonny Bono. The two met in a Los Angeles coffee shop when she was just 17. Cher and Sonny moved into together, and later fell in love and got married. They starred in a popular ’70s sitcom called simply “The Sonny and Cher Show.” It first started gaining attention because of the couple’s edgy fashion choices. The two defined hip and groovy for a time, with Cher’s revealing Bob Mackie dresses and signature waist-length hair, and Sonny’s far-out pants, shaggy hairstyle and fur vests.
The talented twosome also shared significant al success over the years. Sonny and Cher hit gold with their single, “I’ve Got You Babe” and expanded their world-wide renown with the songs “The Beat Goes On” and “Baby Don’ t Go.” The pair had one daughter, Chastity, whom they introduced to the world on their variety show. But family life did not survive the pressures of celebrity. The marriage ended and both remarried. Cher even became known for her erratic choice of men. But when Sonny Bono died in 1998, Cher greatly mourned the loss and in a very public eulogy called him the “love of her life.”
Cher fan Deron Gooden says he has been a following the inimitable singer for more than 20 years. “I’m almost 40, so I grew up with the Indian headstresses, the Sonny and Cher Show, Chastity coming out on stage, the Bob Mackie gowns, um, followed her through, you know, all the men, the boys, the outfits, the bare backs, she’s amazing. She’s a legend, she’s a legend,” Gooden said. Meanwhile, 44-year-old Robert Moreno says he has attended four previous shows.
“This is great, great. I brought like twelve friends with me, so they’re like in awe right now. We have the best seats. We’re like fifth row from the stage. It’s great. So what a way to end, you know, all of this. It’s great,” Moreno said. And, Alfred Perena got on a plane and flew hundreds of miles to see the superstar for one last time. “I came from Mexico, I am from Guadalajara, so I came to see her show here. And I enjoy it,” Perena said.
In the past three years, Cher has toured the globe, performing in such countries as Russia, Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Holland, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, etc. Although she claims to be done with singing on stage, the tireless entertainer is said to be already working on a new album. According to her publicist, Cher slept on her tour bus in the parking lot of the Hollywood Bowl the night before her final tour appearance. There she watched black and white movies to stay relaxed. (Cher favors the vintage Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films.) After the concert, Cher planned to throw a party at her Malibu, California home for her cast and crew.
Just before she went on stage, Cher gathered her team (and members of the Village People in full costume) and asked everyone to hold hands. The group started singing the theme to the Mickey Mouse Club as a large cake was brought out to mark the occasion. Cher took one look at it and quipped, Okay, everybody has to blow!” She then thanked everyone for helping make her final tour so memorable.
“This is unbelievable,” said Cher. “What started as a 59-date tour grew and multiplied beyond our wildest expectations. I love all you guys and I won’t say goodbye, only so long.” She then hinted at a future project, which might bring her tour company back together again. Finally, Cher closed her backstage comments in saying, “Go be fabulous so we can party! Amen!”