was born May 20, 1946 in El Centro, California.
most people have one career - Cher has had three; two have been in association
with her ex-husband, "Sonny" Bono. She's charted major hit records in
the 1960s and 1970s and embarked on an acting career, which initially
began in the late 1960s in association with her work as part of Sonny
and Cher; later on her own, which led to a series of increasingly polished
and compelling performances in Silkwood, Mask and Moonstruck.
She was 17 when she first met Salvatore "Sonny" Bono, a songwriter they
formed as a duo, initially called Caesar and Cleo, and recorded "The Letter",
"Do You Wanna Dance" and "Love Is Strange." Sonny and Cher, as they became
known, released the single, "Baby Don't Go." The song became a major local
hit in Los Angeles. In April 1965 their single, "Just You" was released
and rose to number 20 on the charts. A Dylan number, "All I Really Want
to Do", was followed a month later by "I Got You Babe", which was one
of the biggest-selling and most beloved pop-rock hits of the mid-1960s,
and the couple's signature tune across two eras of success.
Cher's solo career started with her first LP reaching the Billboard Top
20; remaining on the albums charts for six months. "Bang Bang (My Baby
Shot Me Down)" followed, a million-seller that made number three in America
and England. Cher made the Top Ten once more with her 1967 single "You
Better Sit Down Kids." a song dealing with divorce, unusual for a 1960s
pop record. She followed it with a series of releases broaching difficult
areas "I Feel Something's in the Air" and "Mama (When My Dollies Have
Babies)" which dealt with unwanted pregnancy.
By the end of the 1960s, Sonny and Cher were no longer selling records.
A pair of movies (Good Times, Chastity) lost millions and the presentation
of a bill from the IRS for $200,000 in back taxes left the couple in dire
financial straights. They were forced to play club dates, opening for
artists like Pat Boone, and it was this which was to lead to the second
career with CBS television network. The couple proved to be as funny as
they were musically diverse. The couple began a regular network variety
series on CBS in January 1972
With Decca Cher released 1971's "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" an attempt
to emulate Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man" it became a number
one hit and a million-seller. A follow-up album, sold well also, and her
next single, "The Way of Love", a revival of Kathy Kirby's hit, confirmed
the image of a new, more confident and powerful Cher.
In 1974, Cher's marriage to Sonny broke up but she went from strength to strength, despite his having guided her career for a decade and having done all of the real training in the
entertainment business. Cher embarked on an acting career and became as good an actress as she was a singer.
Her acting peers caught on to the worth of her work in time to award her
an Oscar(tm) for Best Actress for her performance in Norman Jewison's
1987 romantic comedy Moonstruck. Since the mid-1970s, Cher has been known
more for her acting than for her music though she continued to record.
In 1998 scored an international chart-topping smash with the single "Believe",
and 1999 saw the re-release of her album I Paralyze.