Unable to even make out the numbers written on the blackboard, Cherilyn Sarkisian was devastated by her uncertain academic future after being diagnosed with dyslexia. “Don’t worry, school isn’t important,” her mother, Georgia, a southern beauty and eternal aspiring actress, consoled her, “when you grow up you’ll have someone who will do the numbers for you.” When this May 20 celebrates her 75th birthday, that girl known later only as Cher can boast of having more than fulfilled the maternal prophecy. Surrounded by dizzying numbers, such as the more than 100 million records sold and an estimated 300 fortune, the known as the goddess of pop has established a totemic status during the last six decades thanks to an astonishing capacity for reinvention.
Like so many others, her path to stardom began by moving to Los Angeles when she was just 16 years old. After working as a dancer and showgirl, she met the singer Sonny Bono, with whom she married and formed the duo Sonny and Cher in 1965. Although the young woman cultivated her solo career, for a decade they were the most famous couple on the planet. They had a child, hosted a show, released five albums and hits like I got you babe, whose chorus continues to hammer minds as if from the loop in which the Bill Murray of Caught in time it will be. Cher divorced Bono in 1975, tired of being the “goose that lays the golden eggs” to her partner, who took the bulk of their joint earnings. The musician, later converted into a Republican deputy, died in a skiing accident in 1998.
Only four days after making the separation from her first husband official, the Californian gave the “yes, I want” to Gregg Allman, father of her second child and with whom she had an intermittent relationship marked by the rocker’s drug addiction. Illustrious names like David Geffen, Gene Simmons, Warren Beatty, Val Kilmer or a very young Tom Cruise, fifteen years her junior, also appear on her list of lovers. Its brief affair It started at an event held at the White House to make dyslexia visible, which the famous interpreter also suffers from. Single since 1978, a few years ago she called men an expendable luxury: “They are like desserts, which I love, but you don’t need them to live.”
By the early eighties, Cher was already a legend thanks to her versatility in channeling the sound of her time, hopping between folk, pop, disco and glam rock. Determined to reinvent herself again, she climbed onto the Broadway tables and began her first concert residency in Las Vegas, which she has repeated on different occasions, removing the golden retirement patina to turn it into a lucrative opportunity that is now replicated by stars like Lady Gaga or Katy Perry. The conquest of Hollywood was his last pending account, liquidating it in just five years with the premiere of films such as Silkwood, Mask, The Witches of Eastwick or Moon spell, which earned her the Oscar for best actress in 1988. In her showcase there are also an Emmy, a Grammy and three Golden Globes.
LGTB + icon and epitome of an empowered woman, in 1992 she confessed to this newspaper that she was always clear that her job, in addition to singing and acting, was also “to be famous.” To achieve this, he relied on his style and appearance, starring a long black hair disruptive in the monopoly of blonde hair that reigned in the hills of Los Angeles. Self-proclaimed as the first woman to dare to show her belly button in the prime time and forerunner of trends such as naked dress, Cher was one of those responsible for making the red carpet a media showcase. With a philosophy based on “let’s give them something to look at”, together with designer Bob Mackie, he created one of the most excessive and influential wardrobes of our time, betting on feathers, transparencies, sequins and wigs. A legacy today referenced by Kim Kardashian or Zendaya, who paid tribute to him with a Valentino design at the past Oscars.
Another example of her indelible cultural impact is having become the only artist to top the charts in each of the last six decades, resurrecting in each generation with hymns such as Believe, which anticipated the dictatorship of autotune in the music industry. His most recent release is an album of Abba covers (Dancing Queen, 2018), published after the premiere of Mamma Mia! And again, sequel to the musical that is to date her last work as an actress. Waiting for a new song to extend her hit streak to seven decades, Cher focuses her efforts on the Free the wild foundation, dedicated to stopping the suffering of animals in captivity. Last April, a documentary was released on television about the rescue of an elephant, known as “the loneliest in the world” after living in isolation in a zoo in Pakistan for 35 years, and whose cause has been led on the ground by the star himself.