Born on May 20, 1946, in El Centro, California, Cher rose to stardom as part of a singing act with husband Sonny Bono in the 1960s. The couple later starred on The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. Cher pursued acting in the 1980s, earning an Academy Award for her performance in Moonstruck. From 2008 to 2011, Cher performed a concert series entitled Cher at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Early Life and Music Career
Born Cherilyn Sarkisian on May 20, 1946, in El Centro, California, Cher rose to stardom as part of a singing act with her husband, Salvatore "Sonny" Bono. Known as Sonny and Cher, the duo scored a hit in 1965 with "I Got You Babe." They also had their own television series, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, from 1971 to 1974.
After the couple divorced in 1975, Cher went out on her own. She continued to sing, recording several solo albums and reaching the top of the charts with songs like "Half Breed" and "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves." Over the years, she would become as famous for her daring costumes and unusual outfits as for her musical talent.
In the 1980s, Cher pursued an acting career. She appeared on Broadway in Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean in 1982, and reprised the role of Sissy in the film adaptation of the play. She continued to earn the respect of movie critics and fans alike thereafter by turning in a number of strong film performances, including in Silkwood (1983), Mask (1985) and Moonstruck (1987). Cher received her first Academy Award nomination for her performance in Silkwood and won her first Oscar (best actress) for her performance in Moonstuck.
Cher released her last studio album, entitled Living Proof, in the United States in 2002 (it was released in Europe in 2001). The album features the single "(This Is) A Song for the Lonely," which did well on the dance charts and was written in honor to those affected by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Other tracks on the album include "Alive Again" and "A Different Kind of Love Song." Following Living Proof's release, Cher said "so long" to performing live with a 325-date farewell tour, entitled "The Living Proof: The Farewell Tour," which ran from 2002 to 2005.
In 2003, NBC aired one of Cher's live performances as Cher: The Farewell Tour. The program was nominated for six 2003 Emmy Awards and won three, for outstanding variety, music or comedy special; outstanding camerawork, video for a miniseries, movie or a special; and outstanding costumes for a variety or music program.
In Recent Years
In 2006, Cher auctioned off furniture, paintings and decorative objects from her home in Malibu, California, as well as a number of personal items, including memorabilia, jewelry and stage costumes. The auction brought in $3.5 million, with a portion of proceeds going to the Cher Charitable Foundation.
Two years later, Cher returned to the stage, despite previously announcing plans to retire from live performances. She debuted a show entitled Cher at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on May 6, 2008, and had performed 192 shows by the end of the series, in February 2011.
Married twice, Cher has two children: Her daughter, Chastity Bono, who underwent female-to-male gender transition in 2008 and now goes by the name Chaz, is from her first marriage to the late Sonny Bono (he died in a skiing accident on January 5, 1998), and son Elijah Blue Allman, born in 1976, is from her 10-day marriage to musician Gregg Allman in 1975.