Cher was born Cherilyn Sarkisian in El Centro, California, on May 20, 1946. Her father, John Sarkisian, was an Armenian-American truck driver with drug and gambling problems, and her mother, Jackie Jean Crouch, was an occasional model and bit-part actress with Irish, English, German, French, Dutch, and Cherokee ancestry.
By age nine, she had developed an unusually low voice. Fascinated by film stars, Cher’s role model was Audrey Hepburn, particularly due to her role in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Cher began to pattern her outfits and behavior after the eccentric, fast-living character portrayed by Hepburn. She was disappointed by the absence of dark-haired Hollywood actresses whom she could emulate then. She had wanted to be famous since childhood but felt unattractive and untalented, later commenting, “I couldn’t think of anything that I could do … I didn’t think I’d be a singer or dancer. I just thought, well, I’ll be famous. That was my goal.”
Cher had earned good grades, excelling in French and English classes. As an adult, she discovered that she had dyslexia. Cher achieved notoriety for her unconventional behavior: she performed songs for students during the lunch hours and surprised peers when she wore a midriff-baring top, being the first young woman in her social circle to do so. Nowadays every young teen is showing their mid drift.
At age 16, Cher dropped out of school, left her mother’s house, and moved with a friend into Los Angeles, where she took acting classes and worked to support herself. She danced in small clubs along Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, introducing herself to performers, managers, and agents.
According to biographer Connie Berman, “Cher did not hesitate to approach anyone she thought could help her get a break, make a new contact, or get an audition.”
Cher met performer Sonny Bono, 11 years her senior, in November 1962 when he was working for record producer Phil Spector.
Cher accepted Sonny’s offer to become his live in housekeeper.
Sonny introduced Cher to Spector, who used her as a backup singer on many recordings, although Sonny had wanted to launch Cher as a solo artist, she encouraged him to perform with her because she suffered from stage fright, and so he began joining her onstage, singing the harmonies. Cher disguised her nervousness by looking at Sonny, and Sonny knew to look at Cher to help her calm down on stage.
Today’s YouTube clip is rare footage on when Sonny and Cher first started out, the year is 1965, brought to you by Adriano R. Vargas, as you hear the song called, “I Got You Babe.”
As you watch the video notice how Cher looks unto Sonny for her stage fright, and how he looks back at her. It’s hard to believe with this video clip how Sonny Bono became Mayor of Palm Springs. He looks so different in 1965, wouldn’t you agree?
In June 2012, Cher revealed that a Broadway musical based on her life and music was currently in development. She said that she may play herself in the show.
In April 2014, Cher confirmed that the musical was still in development, stating “I’m reading the new script of it now.”
As of June, 2014, the plan is that Cher will star in the show with two other actresses in the title role: A young performer will portray the singer during the Sonny and Cher era, the next will follow her solo career from 1977 through 1999, and Cher herself will play an older but “wiser” character looking back through the years and giving advice.
In lieu of today’s story the best advice I can give you, is to wish Cher a Happy Birthday!
Check out Cher’s Official Website by (clicking here), and find a special way to wish Cher a Happy 69th Birthday today!
Written and Designed by JD Mitchell