Cher (born Cherilyn Sarkisian, 20.5.1946)
Cher is an American pop singer and actress. She rose to fame in the 1960s' husband and wife duo, Sonny and Cher.
Cher was born and raised in California, to John Sarkisian (an Armenian truck driver) and Georgia Holt (an actress and model of German, British and Cherokee heritage).
Cher was raised mainly by her mother, as her parents divorced when she was a young child. Her mother remarried, to banker Gilbert La Piere, Cher's adoptive father.
Cher left Fresno High School aged 16. During her high school years, she is known to have had a relationship with Warren Beatty.
Cher: Fledgling Career
Through meeting her future husband Sonny, who worked for Phil Spector, Cher began work as a session singer, working for artists such as The Righteous Brothers, The Crystals and The Ronettes.
Cher's debut solo record was released under the name Bonni Jo Mason. 'Ringo I Love You' failed to make an impression, as did 'Dream Baby', released under the name 'Cherilyn'.
Sonny and Cher's first single as a duo was released as Caesar and Cleo(patra). However, success eluded the pair until they released Look at Us in 1965, which contained the hit single 'I Got You Babe'. Cher was 19 at the time and Sonny was 30.
Cher: Solo Work & Career Highlights
Cher's first solo album, All I Really Want To Do, was also released in 1965. The title track; a cover of a Bob Dylan track, reached 15 on the Billboard Hot 100. This was followed by a string of successful solo albums, including The Sonny Side of Cher and Backstage, with varying success. Her biggest hit of the era was 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)', written by Sony Bono. The song was covered by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Cliff Richard.
Though the publicity waned, the pair soon found success on TV variety shows such as Sonny and Cher Nitty Gritty Hour. Capitalising on the success, Cher had her first number one solo hit with 'Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves' in 1971.
Cher's career took a critical downturn in the 1970s but returned to her prime for the TV show Cher.Special. The disco album, Take Me Home was certified gold and her album Prisoner, sparked arguments among women's rights groups for the cover image of the singer nearly naked and wrapped in chains.
The 1987 comeback album, Cher, featured contributions from the likes of Jon Bon Jovi, Michael Bolton and Richie Sambora. They returned to appear on its 1989 follow-up, Heart of Stone, which featured the international hit, 'If I Could Turn Back Time.' She completed her contractual obligations to Geffen in 1991 with Love Hurts, which spawned the hits ''The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)' and 'Love And Understanding'.
In 1998, Cher released the Grammy Award-winning album, Believe. An album of contemporary, upbeat dance tracks, it hit number one in nearly every country in which it was released and has sold over 20 million copies across the globe. The title track became Cher's biggest single hit to date.
The follow-up album, Believe: Living Proof failed to make the same impact on the charts. In June 2002, she announced her final tour, Living Proof: The Farewell Tour. She did, however, maintain that she would continue to record and release tracks.
She went on to secure 200 shows over three years at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, at which she debuted in May 2008. Her guest performers will include Bette Midler and Elton John.
Cher: Film Career
Cher has starred in a number of successful movies, including Silkwood, alongside Kurt Russell and Meryl Streep, which won her an Oscar Nomination and a Golden Globe Award. She also appeared in Mask, The Witches of Eastwick and Mermaids, with Christina Ricci, Winona Ryder and Bob Hoskins.
Cher: Personal Life
Following Cher's rocky relationship with Sonny Bono, Cher admitted having a brief fling with Elvis Presley, before marrying Gregg Allman. She has also been romantically linked with David Geffen and Gene Simmons, as well as Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer and Richie Sambora.