A long career and eventful life
Cherilyn Sarkisian
A broken home
Cher's mother was an actress
Cher has a half-sister
Humble beginnings
Cher adored Audrey Hepburn
She always wanted to be famous
Cher dropped out of high school
LA is where it all started
Meeting Sonny
Sonny helped Cher release her first single
Ringo I Love You
When people thought Cher was a man
Sonny & Cher: friends, then lovers
Caesar & Cleo??
Success with a Bob Dylan cover
Cher had stage fright
I got you babe
The
Cher continued to have success as a solo artist
Sonny & Cher were too
The birth of Chaz
In debt
Sonny & Cher try out television
Cher made a comeback as a solo artisit
The divorce
Making amends for business
Cher's Broadway debut
An Oscar for Best Actress
More solo albums in the 80s and her debut as a director
Believe sold 11 million copies
Cher's second residency in Las Vegas
Cher just loves to create music
Here we go again!
Cher's genderless perfume
Her first song in Spanish
Cher's first voiceover
Among the world's best selling music artists
It's hard to believe she is 76!
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A long career and eventful life

Cher, no last name needed, is one of the most iconic and most fabulous divas of all time! This stunning actress, singer, model, and fashion icon recently turned 76 years old! Join us as we take a look at some of the most surprising and exciting facts about Cher's life and career.

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Cherilyn Sarkisian

Cher came into the world on May 20th, 1946, as Cherilyn Sarkisian and grew up in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County. Cher is of Armenian descent on her father's side and has Irish, English, German, and Cherokee roots on her mother's side of the family.

(Photo: Twitter@cher)

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A broken home

Cher's mother and father had a complicated relationship due to Cher's father, John Sarkisian's gambling and substance abuse problems. When Cher was just a few months old, her father, who worked as a truck driver, abandoned Cher and her mother.

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Cher's mother was an actress

Cher's mother, Georgia Holt (nee Jackie Jean Crouch), supported Cher by working as a bit actress on TV shows and modeling. Holt appears on shows such as 'I Love Lucy' and 'Studio 57.'

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Cher has a half-sister

Georgia Holt soon remarried fellow actor John Southall and had another child, Cher's half-sister, Georganne. The couple stayed together until Cher was nine years old, and Southall was like a father to Cher.
Pictured: Cher's mother in May of 2021 at 95 years old.

(Photo: Twitter@cher)

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Humble beginnings

Following her mother's divorce from John Southall, Cher and her sister Georganne grew up in very humble circumstances. Their mother would remarry and divorce several times and was constantly moving the family around the country. The family was so poor at times that Cher has said she had to hold her shoes together with rubber bands, and her mother even had to put her daughter into the care of an orphanage temporarily.

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Cher adored Audrey Hepburn

Cher was fascinated by movie stars when she was growing up and idolized Audrey Hepburn, and her favorite film was 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. Cher says that she was inspired by Audrey's character in the movie and even tried to recreate her outfits.

Photo: screenshot from the film

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She always wanted to be famous

Cher loved acting and performing from a young age and often scored the male roles in school plays because of her low voice. Although she wanted to be an actress or a singer, she thought she wasn't talented enough to do either. So Cher decided she would simply be famous when she grew, even if she didn't know what she would be famous for.

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Cher dropped out of high school

When Cher was 16, she decided to drop out of school. The performer has said that she was never truly present in school anyways; she was always thinking about growing up and becoming famous.

Pictured: a picture of Cher from her high school year book.

(Photo: Owl, yearbook of Fresno High School, Fresno, California)

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LA is where it all started

Cher also left home at this time and moved to Los Angeles with a friend, where she worked and took acting classes.

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Meeting Sonny

Cher worked as a dancer in small clubs on Sunset Strip and used her outgoing nature to try to meet contacts among the clients such as performers, agents, and managers. Cher was desperate to meet someone to help her get her big break when she met Sonny Bono in 1962.

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Sonny helped Cher release her first single

Sonny Bono worked for a record producer and offered Cher a job as his housekeeper, which Cher eagerly accepted. Soon enough, Cher was able to release her first single.

(Photo: Joop van Bilsen / Anefo - GaHetNa, Nationaal Archief NL)

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Ringo I Love You

At the age of 18, her first single, "Ringo I Love You," was released under the stage name Bonnie Jo Mason. The single was not successful at all, sadly due to a misinterpretation of the song.

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When people thought Cher was a man

The public listening to the music on the radio mistook Cher's deep voice for a man and thought the song was a love ode from a gay man to the Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr.

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Sonny & Cher: friends, then lovers

Cher and Sonny had become very close friends, and soon they were lovers. It wasn't love at first sight though, Cher has said the first thing she noticed about Sonny was his hair, describing it as "something in between Caesar and Napoleon." By October of 1964, the pair married in an unofficial wedding in Tijuana, Mexico.

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Caesar & Cleo??

Since Cher's single was a total flop, at the end of 1964, Cher and Sonny decided to join forces and become a singing duo. They used the stage names Caesar & Cleo; however, the songs they released didn't end up being very popular.

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Success with a Bob Dylan cover

Liberty Records' Imperial then picked up Cher in 1964, signing her as a solo artist with Sonny acting as her producer. "Dream Baby" was released under Cher's stage name of 'Cherilyn' and was mildly successful. Her next single, a cover of Bob Dylan's "All I Really Want to Do," made it to number 15 on the 'Billboard Hot 100' in 1965 and was the real breakthrough in Cher's musical career.

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Cher had stage fright

Despite Cher's success as a solo artist, the couple really wanted to perform together again. Part of Cher's motivation to perform with Sonny was that Cher suffered from stage fright. When she performed with Sonny, she conquered her fear of the stage by looking at Sonny when she was singing.

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I got you babe

In 1965 the duo put out their first album as 'Sonny & Cher' titled "Look at Us." The album featured the iconic song "I Got You Babe," which would launch the pair to international pop star status. It quickly reached the number one spot on the Billboard chart and became one of the most famous songs of the 1960s.

(Photo: By Tower Comics, photographer unknown)

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The "it" couple of the 1960s

The pair were unstoppable between 1965-1972, releasing ten chart-topping singles during that time, iconic hits such as: "I Got You Babe," "Baby Don't Go," "The Beat Goes On," "All I Ever Need Is You," and "A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done." By December of 1967, they had sold more than 40 million records across the globe, making them pop rock's favorite duo.

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Cher continued to have success as a solo artist

While Sonny & Cher were on fire, in 1966, Cher launched a concurrent solo career with the release of her million-selling solo debut, "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)."

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Sonny & Cher were too "square" for the 70s music scene

However, as the world changed, Sonny & Cher soon fell out of favor; the younger generation found them "too square" for the times. Their stance on monogamy, mind-altering substances, and their musical style quickly felt too old-fashioned for the younger generation.

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The birth of Chaz

1969 brought great joy to the couple with the birth of their child Chaz Bono and brought grief when the duo lost their contract with their record label.

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In debt

In an attempt to reclaim their fame Sonny & Cher mortgaged their house to release an unsuccessful art film that put them in debt and even tried an "adult" lounge act which many simply called "depressing."

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Sonny & Cher try out television

Starting in 1971, Cher and Sonny hosted their own variety show, "The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour." The show was on air until 1979, the TV show was a showcase for Cher's unique and spectacular personal style.

Pictured: Sonny and Telly Savalas on "The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour."

(Photo: CBS Television)

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Cher made a comeback as a solo artisit

Through the early '70s, Cher continued to release songs as a solo artist. Cher found Billboard chart success with her solo hits like "Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves," and "Dark Lady."

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The divorce

In 1975 Sonny and Cher divorced; their relationship had been unhappy for quite some time. As a result of their relationship struggles, their show was put on hiatus in May 1974.

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Making amends for business

However, the divorced couple reunited professionally to reboot their program in 1976 as "The Sonny & Cher Show." The show was on air until 1979, when Cher released her hit disco album, 'Take Me Home.'

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Cher's Broadway debut

In 1976 Cher made her Broadway debut in Ed Graczyk's play 'Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.' Later, in 1982, Cher starred in the indie film adaptation of the play, which was quite popular.

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An Oscar for Best Actress

Cher continued to be highly successful into the 1980s, both with her singing and her acting. In 1980 she began a two-year concert residency in Las Vegas. Later she landed roles in the movies 'Silkwood' (1983), 'Mask' (1985), and 'Moonstruck' (1987), for which she won the Best Actress Oscar.

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More solo albums in the 80s and her debut as a director

Cher spent the rest of the late 80s focusing on her music career, releasing three rock albums: 'Cher' (1987), 'Heart of Stone' (1989), and 'Love Hurts' (1991). She also contributed musically to the film 'Mermaids' (1990), in which she also starred, and made her debut as a director in 1996 with HBO's 'If These Walls Could Talk.'

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Believe sold 11 million copies

Even though Cher had already had an impressive 30-year long career, her biggest hit was yet to come. Her dance-pop album 'Believe,' released in 1998, was her most successful album yet. Her single also titled 'Believe' became one of the best-selling songs of all time, selling over 11 million copies.

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Cher's second residency in Las Vegas

In 2005 she finished her three-year-long farewell tour, and then in 2008, Cher began a three-year residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

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Cher just loves to create music

Even though Cher had already done a farewell tour, she just couldn't stay away from music. Cher released her first album in 12 years in 2013, and it was even more successful on the charts than 1998's 'Believe.' The album titled 'Closer to the Truth' debuted in the #3 slot.

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Here we go again!

When you live to perform as Cher does, you just can't stay away! In 2018, Cher returned to the big screen starring in the rom-com musical "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again", the sequel to 'Mamma Mia!' from 2008.

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Cher's genderless perfume

In 2019 Cher released a new, genderless perfume named 'Cher Eau de Couture,' and in 2020, it was announced she would be the new face of the fashion label 'Dsquared.'

(Photo: Instagram @cher)

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Her first song in Spanish

2020 also saw the release of Cher's first song in Spanish, 'Chiquitita' a cover an ABBA song. The proceeds earned from the single were all donated to UNICEF to aid with the COVID pandemic.

(Photo: Instagram @cher)

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Cher's first voiceover

Despite the pandemic, Cher was very busy in 2020. She had a voice role in the animated film 'Bobbleheads: The Movie', where she played a bobblehead version of herself. She also made it onto 'The New York Times Magazine's Best Actors of 2020' list, but for her role in the 1987 film 'Moonstruck.'

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Among the world's best selling music artists

Cher has sold over 100 million records, making her one of the world's best-selling music artists. Apart from her musical and acting skills, she has shown herself to be a kind and genuinely caring person through her philanthropic and social activist ventures.

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It's hard to believe she is 76!

It is hard to believe this legend is 76 years old. We look forward to seeing which projects Cher embarks on next because whatever they are, we know she will rock them!

(Photo: Instagram @cher)

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