Cher has long been known for her shocking comebacks. Take, for example, her surprise appearance as Meryl Streep’s mother in the 2018 film Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again and her epic performance of ABBA’s “Waterloo” on America’s Got Talent in September 2019 — proving that the now 73-year-old singer is completely fearless.
However, there was one time in her life that nerves got the best of her — to the extent that she opted out of something she wanted: a date with Elvis Presley.
Cher 'wasn't quite with' the dating scene
Cher had met her future husband Sonny Bono when she was a teenager, so dating wasn’t something that she had much experience with. She was only 16, 11 years younger than 27-year-old Sonny, at the time, and their relationship started off platonic, with Cher even admitting in a 2018 SiriusXM documentary The Cher Show: Making the Musical, that Sonny specifically said to her, “I don’t find you particularly attractive,” during the early days of their friendship.
“I was with my girlfriend, who was really beautiful,” she said of their first meeting. “He liked her so he didn’t really say anything to me. He was like, ‘Oh yeah, kid.’”
Eventually, as their music careers skyrocketed, so did their love for one another — and things turned romantic. They got married, first in a faux ceremony in 1964 and then officially in 1969.
That tight connection from the time she was young meant didn’t quite know what to do when the marriage ended in 1974.
“I had been married to Sonny for so long, 11 years” she recalls to David Letterman in a 2010 interview. “So when I got out, I was really excited, but I wasn’t quite with it.”
PHOTOS: Cher's Iconic Fashion
Cher was 'too frightened' to spend a weekend with Presley
That lack of confidence likely got in the way of what could have been yet another epic marriage of musical greats. She admits that of all the suitors that did come her way, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was definitely the one that got away.
She also revealed in the same Letterman interview that she “almost” went on a date with Presley, but it never happened.
“I got nervous,” she said. “I didn’t get there. I was that nervous.”
She revealed on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in 2013 that Presley had invited her to spend a weekend with him, but she didn’t. “I was just too frightened.”
Though the exact timing of when the date-that-never-happened occurred is unclear, presumably it happened in Presley’s later years since he divorced his wife Priscilla Presley in 1973, leaving both megastars single around the same time. Presley died in 1977.
Presley is Still One of Cher’s Biggest Regrets
Even though decades have passed, Cher visibly appeared to have regretted the decision when she told Letterman. “I wish I had,” she said. But she also added on that Presley wasn’t her only regret. “Marlon Brando too. I wish I had.”
As Letterman continued naming famous men, she interjected: “What is this? This is My Life in men? It’s come to that?! This is beneath you.” While the audience broke into laughter, the talk show host simply stated, “These are famous people you’ve known in your life. You’ve led a very interesting life.”
The legendary singer, also known for her breakthrough movie roles like in 1987’s Moonstruck, was then back to her surprising ways, teasing, “There’s a lot more than that.”
But she soon brought it back down with a reality check. “We’re not talking Cleopatra numbers… the truth is, everyone was more promiscuous than me.”
That statement could be up for interpretation as she went through her top five greatest lovers to Cohen. Reluctant to rank them, she said, “Well, a lot of them kind of came in first — I just had the greatest lovers ever.”