After six decades in the entertainment industry as a singer, an actress, and an icon of pop music, Cher has had one of the longest and most diverse careers of any musician working today. During that time, she has joined the likes of David Bowie, Prince, and Madonna, in her ability to reinvent herself with every decade consistently.
From her unique voice to her inimitable style, there’s nobody quite like Cher. In all her work, there’s a kind of frantic originality. Add to that her philanthropy and her willingness to be outspoken on topics she feels strongly about, and you start to see why the ‘Goddess of Pop’ is not just a great performer and artist but also one of America’s most fascinating celebrity personalities.
Born in 1946, Cher began performing in school productions at a young age, where she stood out from the crowd for her uncommonly deep voice and tremendous energy. By 1964, she was releasing her first singles, Love is Strange, Do You Wanna Dance, and, Let the Good Times Roll, with her then-husband Sonny Bono under the name ‘Caesar & Cleo’. Her first significant success came one year later with her cover of All I Really Want to Do by Bob Dylan.
Through the rest of the ’60s and most of the ’70s, she and her husband gained popularity as the double-act ‘Sonny & Cher’, perhaps most famous for the duet I Got You Babe, not to mention their TV appearances in The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, and later, The Sonny & Cher Show. Though the two had a successful career together for over a decade, their time as a double-act would ultimately end. In 1975, Sonny & Cher were divorced, and it wasn’t until 1979 that Cher saw another big hit with the album Take Me Home.
Take Me Home also represents a significant shift in her musical style. Though she had initially wanted to move into rock music, Cher found a new home in Disco, a genre she would, in time, become synonymous with.
Though her following few albums would receive mixed reviews, she continued to put out music, and by the ’80s, she had more than made a name for herself as a solo artist. In addition, during the ’80s, she made a serious move into acting. Her notable performances include Florence “Rusty” Dennis in Mask (1985) and Dolly Pelliker in Silkwood (1983)–for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Throughout her career, Cher has dedicated her time and money to several charitable causes. She’s donated water to the people of Flint, Michigan, helped raise funds for Keep A Child Alive in their efforts to combat the AIDS pandemic, and most recently has been highly vocal in the fight for animal welfare.
It’s hard to speculate what may come next for a musician like Cher. Every step of her career has been an evolution. Will there be more albums? More film appearances? More tours? Who can say?
The only thing we can say for sure about any future projects is that they will undoubtedly be distinctive, dramatic, and different from everything she’s done before.