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Cher Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

(CNN) — Here’s a look at the life of Grammy-winning singer and Oscar-winning actress Cher.


Birth date: May 20, 1946

Birth place: El Centro, California

Birth name: Cherilyn Sarkisian

Father: John Sarkisian, truck driver

Mother: Georgia Holt, model

Marriages: Gregg Allman (1975-1979, divorced); Sonny Bono (1969-1975, divorced)

Children: with Gregg Allman: Elijah Blue; with Sonny Bono: Chaz

Other Facts

Dropped out of school and moved to Los Angeles at age 16. Soon afterward, she met Sonny Bono, 11 years her senior.

Bono worked for record producer Phil Spector and got Cher work as a backup singer.

After Cher’s first single, “Ringo, I Love You” flopped, Bono and Cher formed a duo called Caesar and Cleo.

Has dated celebrities including Gene Simmons, Val Kilmer, Tom Cruise and Richie Sambora.

During the mid-1970s, Cher dated entertainment mogul David Geffen, who helped her end her business relationship with Bono.

Between 1965 and 1999 Cher had five number one hits; four as a solo artist and one with Bono.

Winner of one and nominated for seven Grammy Awards.

Winner of one and nominated for two Academy Awards.

Winner of one and nominated for seven Emmy Awards.

Has struggled with dyslexia since she was a child.


1965 – Sonny and Cher’s song, “I Got You, Babe,” hits number one in the United States.

1971-1974 – “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour” runs on CBS.

1976 – Although divorced, Bono and Cher reunite professionally for a new show entitled “The Sonny & Cher Show.” It runs for a year and a half.

November 12, 1982 – Broadway debut in “Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.”

1983 – Stars alongside Meryl Streep, in the film “Silkwood.”

1985 – Stars in the film “Mask.”

1987 – Releases the album, “Cher.”

April 11, 1988 – Wins the Academy Award for Best Actress for “Moonstruck.”

1989 – Releases the album “Heart of Stone,” containing the hit single “If I Could Turn Back Time.”

1990 – Stars in the film “Mermaids,” alongside Winona Ryder.

1996 – Makes directing debut with a segment of HBO’s “If These Walls Could Talk.”

January 9, 1998 – Delivers the eulogy at Bono’s funeral. He died in a skiing accident on January 6.

1998 – The album “Believe” is released, containing the number one hit, “Believe.”

1998 – Publishes her memoir, “The First Time.”

February 23, 2000 – Wins a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording for “Believe.”

2003 – Wins an Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Special for “Cher – The Farewell Tour.”

2008-2011 – Las Vegas residency at Caesar’s Palace.

2010 – Stars in the film “Burlesque.”

2013 – Releases her 25th studio album, “Closer to the Truth.”

July 20, 2018 – Stars in the film “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.”

September 28, 2018 – Releases her album, “Dancing Queen,” a cover album of songs recorded by ABBA.

December 2, 2018 – Is honored at the 41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors.

December 3, 2018 – “The Cher Show,” a musical about Cher’s life and career, opens on Broadway.

May 8, 2020 – Releases her first Spanish-language single, a cover of ABBA’s “Chiquita.” Proceeds from the single will be donated to UNICEF.

November 27, 2020In a statement, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan thanks Cher for traveling to Pakistan and helping retire Kaavan, a 36-year-old overweight Asian elephant who has spent much of his life in captivity, to a sanctuary in Cambodia.

January 28, 2022 – Cher sings a new rendition of “The Golden Girls” theme song, “Thank You for Being a Friend,” to honor the late Betty White. The performance is part of an NBC special titled, “Celebrating Betty White: America’s Golden Girl.”

November 23, 2023 – Cher performs her new single, “DJ Play a Christmas Song,” at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

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