She was born Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPierre in El Centro, California. She is of Armenian and Native American (Cherokee) decent.
Cher began working as a session singer in an attempt to finance an acting career. Her future husband Sonny Bono introduced her to Phil Spector, who hired her as a backing vocalist.
After releasing two singles under the name Caesar And Cleo, Sonny and Cher gained stardom as Sonny And Cher. Throughout this period Cher also sustained a solo career, initially singing a paean to Ringo Starr ("Ringo I Love You") under the pseudonym Bonnie Jo Mason. Thereafter, she secured several hits, including a cover version of the Byrds "All I Really Want To Do."
Cher appeared in 2 minor '60s films: Good Times (1967) and Chastity (1969).
In 1971, the chart-topping "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" and its attendant album saw her back in the ascendant. Two further US number 1 hits ("Half Breed" and "Dark Lady") preceded her divorce from Sonny, though for a time the duo continued to appear together on stage and television.
Cher had an on-off relationship with Gregg Allman starting in 1975 and divorcing in 1979. Their union resulted in one album, the punningly titled, Allman and Woman: Two The Hard Way. By the late '70s, she became a regular fixture in gossip columns and fashion magazines which lauded over her sartorial outrageousness and much publicized musical and personal relationships with Allman, Gene Simmons (of KISS) and Les Dudek. She was also associated with Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Richie Sambora, and Warren Beatty. (thanks, Sharilyn - Sinclair , MN)
In 1981, Cher appeared on Meat Loaf's "Dead Ringer For Love" but recording interests increasingly took a back seat to her first love: acting. A leading role in Come Back To The Five And Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982) was followed by a lucrative part in Silkwood (1983), and an Oscar nomination. Appearances in Mask (1985), The Witches Of Eastwick (1987) and Suspect (1987) emphasized that her thespian aspirations were no mere sideline. For Moonstruck (1987), she won an Oscar for Best Actress. (thanks, Paul - Detroit, MI, for all above)
She has a son with Greg Allman named Elijah Blue Allman. She also has a daughter with Sonny Bono named Chastity Bono.
Cher is dyslexic, which went undiagnosed in school and led to lots of report cards stating that she was not living up to her potential. She had to learn by listening rather than reading. (thanks, Sharilyn - Sinclair , MN, for above 2)
Cher has been romantically linked to Warren Beaty, Val Kilmer, Tom Cruise, Eric Stoltz (her co-star in Mask), and Gene Simmons, the lead guitarist of the band KISS, who gave her son Elijah Blue Allman his first guitar.
Cher has won many awards in television, film and music. These include an Academy Award, a Grammy, an Emmy, three Golden Globes, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (thanks, Elizabeth - Beverly Hills, CA, for above 2)
Cher became the first artist to have a #1 Billboard chart single in each of the past six decades beginning in the 1960s when 2010's "You Haven't Seen The Last Of Me
" hit #1 on the Dance Club chart.