Cher (born Cherilyn Sarkisian) is an American recording artist, actress, director, and record producer. Referred to as the Goddess of Pop, she has won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, three Golden Globes and a Cannes Film Festival Award among others for her work in film, music and television.
Cher began her career as a backup singer and later came to prominence as one half of the pop rock duo Sonny & Cher with the success of their song "I Got You Babe" in 1965.
She subsequently established herself as a solo recording artist releasing her debut solo album, All I Really Want to Do, which reached #16 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The album's cover of the Bob Dylan song "All I Really Want to Do" peaked at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1966, Cher released her second solo album on the Imperial Records label, “The Sonny Side of Chér.” It peaked at #26 in the U.S. charts, and #11 in the UK chart. The album contained the singles "Where Do You Go (#25 on the Billboard Hot 100), as well as "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" (#2 on the Billboard Hot 100).
Her first solo number-one hit was "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves". Released in September 1971, the album of the same name peaked at #16 on the Billboard 200, and remained on the chart for 45 weeks. Another single from the album, "The Way of Love" peaked at #7 in March 1972.
Cher scored her second number one with "Half-Breed" in 1973 which became a signature song from the gold-certified album of the same name. In 1974, Cher had her third #1 solo hit with "Dark Lady", also from the album of the same name.
In 1979, Cher would capitalize on the disco craze, signing with Casablanca Records, and racking up another Top-10 single with "Take Me Home". Sales of the album “Take Me Home” may have been boosted by the image of a scantily-clad Cher in a Viking outfit on the album’s cover. The album was RIAA-certified Gold.
In 1987, Cher revived her recording career after a five-year hiatus, under the coordination of rock producer and A&R man John Kalodner. Now with Geffen Records, Cher released the first of three highly successful rock albums, featuring songwriting contributions from the likes of Diane Warren, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Desmond Child, Mark Mangold and Michael Bolton. Darlene Love and Bonnie Tyler provided guest vocals. “Cher” was released in 1987, and featured the comeback single "I Found Someone" written by Michael Bolton and Mark Mangold (previously a minor hit for Laura Branigan), as well as "We All Sleep Alone" (#14, 1988). The album was a big hit, being certified Platinum in the U.S. and selling seven million copies worldwide.
In 1989, Cher released the album “Heart of Stone.” As on her previous album, Michael Bolton, Jon Bon Jovi, Diane Warren and Desmond Child handled songwriting and/or producing duties. “Heart of Stone” would prove to be very successful, having sold 11,000,000 copies worldwide, and certified 3x Platinum by the RIAA. The album's biggest hit came with the rock hymn "If I Could Turn Back Time", which topped the charts in Australia for seven non-consecutive weeks, peaked at #3 in the U.S., reached #6 in the UK and charted in various other countries around the globe. Further hits from the album were "Just Like Jesse James", "Heart of Stone", and it also contained the hit duet with Peter Cetera, "After All", #6 in U.S.
In 1991, Cher completed her Geffen recording contract by releasing the album “Love Hurts.” This album had a big impact in Europe and in the rest of the world, particularly in the UK where it debuted at #1 and stayed there for six consecutive weeks. The album “Love Hurts” has sold more than 14 million copies worldwide becoming her 2nd biggest-selling album of her career.
Cher's 23rd studio album, 1998's Grammy Award-winning “Believe” marked an extreme departure for Cher, as the record was a collection of up-tempo dance tracks. The album was a critical and commercial success, reaching the top spot in nearly every country where it was released, including the United States, Germany, Australia and France. “Believe” has been certified 4x Platinum in the United States and has sold 20 million copies worldwide. The Grammy Award-winning first single and title track was a worldwide smash, easily becoming the biggest hit of Cher's entire career. By March 1999, the song reached #1 in 23 countries around the world including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Australia. It was the best-selling recording of the year. "Believe" made Cher the oldest woman (at age 52) to have a number one hit in the Hot 100 rock era. It also gave her the distinction of having the longest span of #1 hits (more than 33 years) and the largest gap between number ones (10 days short of 25 years). Cher is also the only female artist to have solo Top 10 hits in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. On the UK Singles Chart, "Believe" claimed the number one slot for seven consecutive weeks, and also became the biggest-selling single ever by a female artist in United Kingdom. It sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
In February 2002, still in a dance mode, Cher released the highly anticipated follow-up to Believe: “Living Proof,” which entered the Billboard 200 at number nine, making it her highest-charting album debut and extending her album-chart span to an excess of 37 years.
She holds the Hot 100 record for the longest hit-making career span, with 33 years between the release of her first and most recent #1 singles, in 1965 and 1999.
With a career lasting over 45 years, Cher has sold over 100 million records worldwide. After a three-year hiatus and retirement from touring, Cher returned to the stage in 2008 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas where she is currently performing her show Cher at the Colosseum.