CherTuesday, February 4, 2020
Cher born Cherilyn Sarkisian on May 20, 1946 is a world-famous actress and singer.
Cher became famous as one of the pop music duo Sonny and Cher with her first husband, Sonny Bono. Together, they had a number one single called "I Got You Babe" (1965) in both the U.K. and The U.S.A. After their career stalled (their bubble-gum pop was not popular in an era of edgier tunes), CBS head of programming Fred Silverman gave the duo their own show, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, in 1971. It was a surprise hit and ran for four seasons before the duo decided to end its run; Cher announced her intent to separate from Sonny. She later hosted and performed in her own variety TV series, which ran for two seasons and concluded in 1977.
During the early Seventies, Cher began to establish herself as a solo recording artist with producer Snuff Garrett, and she scored three U.S. #1 hits with the songs Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves (1971), Half-Breed (1973), and Dark Lady (1974). Cher and Bono divorced in 1974, and she later married rock musician Gregg Allman, a member of the Allman Brothers Band. She has two children, Chastity Bono and Elijah Blue Allman. Cher and Allman divorced in 1979 and she later had a relationship with guitarist Les Dudek.
Cher had demonstrated her considerable comedic talents in the various skits she performed on The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, and while she was highly regarded in this arena, her ambition to develop a movie career was at first not taken seriously. For several years she worked at trying to secure a role to prove herself, until she was cast in a stage production of Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. The reviews she received were glowing and she was cast in the film version, directed by Robert Altman. Once again the critics praised her work and she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
This finally allowed her to make the transition into a successful acting career, starring in films including Silkwood (nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, Mask (for which she won the Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award in 1985), Suspect, Moonstruck (for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1988), Mermaids and Tea With Mussolini. In 1989 she scored another million-selling #1 hit with the song If I Could Turn Back Time.
Following the devastating earthquake that hit Armenia in December of 1988, Cher travelled to the country to participate in the relief activities. Cher is of Armenian descent.
Her ability to reinvent herself has allowed her to continue performing and creating successful recordings for more than 35 years. One exception was her alternative-rock album entitled Not.Commercial (pronounced "not-dot-com-mercial"). The album was written after a retreat to a poetry class in France; it was rejected by record labels and Cher chose to sell it on her Web site, with limited success.
In 1998 she had one of the biggest successes of her recording career with the number one hit Believe and the million selling album of the same name which won her a Grammy Award. With the success of Believe, Cher became the oldest woman in the rock era to have a Number One hit. In the United Kingdom, "Believe" stayed at No. 1 in the charts for seven weeks and is the all-time biggest-selling single by a solo female artist.
In 2004 she was nominated for a Grammy for "Best Dance Recording" for her song "Love One Another" but she lost to Australian Kylie Minogue. In the same year, she was told that for health reasons she would no longer be able to perform live. She therefore embarked on her last-ever world-wide tour (the Farewell Tour), her most spectacular and best-received tour ever. However, while this tour may be her last, it shows no signs of terminating in the near future; it has included over 200 shows and continues to add new venues.
Among her many achievements, Cher is the only recording artist in history to score #1 hits in four successive decades and she also holds the Billboard record for the longest time span --34 years-- between her first #1 hit in 1965 and her most recent #1 in 1999.
Cher is managed by expatriate Australian impresario Roger Davies. The former manager of successful '70s Australian pop band Sherbet, Davies' company also manages Tina Turner, Sade, Pink, Joe Cocker and Tony Joe White.
Cher is proud to be Armenian
Exclusive interview to air on US-Armenia TV this week Published: Friday April 10, 2009 reporter.am
Burbank, Calif. - The year was 1993. Cher boarded "one of those big airplanes that has no seating," a DC-8 cargo ship, to Armenia. "It was such a rickety old plane and they had bolted these little seats in the back for us and given us a canister of oxygen." Because of the wartime power shortage, they had to get to Yerevan before dark, "and we hit the runway as the sun went down."
Cher recalls her trip to Armenia and discusses her Armenian heritage with Lusine Shahbazyan in an intimate and exclusive interview that will air for the first time this week on US-Armenia TV.
She's a superstar with more than four decades of staying power. She has sold more than 100 million albums and is an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Golden Globe-winning performer. She has starred in movies and on television and has directed; she has been known for her tastes in fashion and men. Her life and her loves have been chronicled by media around the world, as Paul Chaderjian - who helped arrange the interview and participated in it - wrote in these pages in a Feb. 16, 2008, cover story.
The modern-day legend remembers entering a random coffee shop in Yerevan. "All the men were in there," she says. "Some of the men were playing chess, but they didn't have any coffee and they didn't have any tea. But they were just in there. They were playing their chess. They were talking. They were all dressed properly, maybe a little bit of tatters, but so dignified. And it was the first time I thought, I'm an Armenian, I'm proud."
Prompted by Lusine, Cher also speaks of her father, Garabed Sarkisian. He was an immigrant whose parents had survived the Armenian Genocide. He was a farmer, sometimes a truck driver, and a man Cher calls "charismatic, a little shady like a bad boy."
"I don't really look like anyone in my family, except my great grandmother and my father," says Cher, whose parents divorced when she was two. She didn't see her father again until she was 11. "When I was young, every once in a while, my mother would look at me with the strangest look on her face; and then when I saw my father, I realized why. Because we made the same faces, and I'd never seen him. And when I saw him, I realized why."
"I liked him a lot," she says, "but he'd been in prison." Sarma and kufta
After her parent's reunion, the family would often visit her father's relatives in Fresno. "All of my relatives were living there, in Fresno. A huge family, and my great grandmother never learned to speak English. My grandmother spoke English, but she called women ‘he.' She got [English] a little bit, but she didn't get it great. But they were great. They were really happy to see me, and my grandmother taught me how to make sarma, kufta, and all kinds of things. I really enjoy and love the food. Armenian food is brilliant."
The vibrant and ever-youthful Cher, 62, will appear at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on April 25-26 and 28-29 and in the month of May. Bob Mackie has created more than a dozen new costumes and the 4,300-seat Colosseum has been fitted to provide state-of-the-art lighting and special effects to complement Cher's chart-topping hits.