There's no one else like Cher.
Whether you first came across her as a super-long-haired better half of Sonny Bono, cried along with her performances in "Moonstruck" and "Mermaids," grooved to her on the dance floor with her 1990s hits (while being delightfully scandalized by her outfits), or just enjoy her tart, sometimes controversial repartee on Twitter today, she is nothing if not glamorously memorable.
And today, she turns 75, yet another accomplishment to put up on the shelf with her awards (she's three-fourths of the way through an EGOT, and only needs a Tony to complete the grand slam). So we're celebrating with seven reasons we think she deserves another 75 years on the planet, because life with Cher around is never boring!
Here are seven reasons why Cher is simply the best:
Her timeless music
She's been part of the entertainment industry since before some of our parents were even born, marrying performer Sonny Bono in 1964 when she was just 18, and he helped usher her into the business. She's sung backup on The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and began releasing singles starting the year she got married.
Over the years, Sonny and Cher (their more popular duo name) gave us hits like "I Got You Babe," which hit No. 1 in 1965; "Baby Don't Go" and "The Beat Goes On." The duo performed regularly on "The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour" even as their marriage crumbled, and Cher went from strength to strength with songs like "Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves" and "Half-Breed" (she claims Cherokee ancestry).
In 1987 she hit the Top 10 with "I Found Someone," then moved on to a string of hits over the next years with "If I Could Turn Back Time," "After All," "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)" and "Believe."
In 2005 she went on a 326-day farewell tour that drew over 3.5 million fans and earned $250 million, went into retirement ... then came back out in 2008 with a 200-performance residency in Las Vegas. And since her performance in "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" we understand she's working on more cover versions of ABBA songs, and a jukebox musical, "The Cher Show," based on her life is set to launch a US tour later this year.
She throws her heart into important issues
Half-Armenian (her born name is Cherilyn Sarkisian), Cher was inspired in April when President Biden broke with U.S. tradition and labeled the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks over a century ago as a "genocide." "After decades of struggle, the United States government has finally made sure that it is on the right side of history thanks to President Biden," she told TODAY in a statement. In addition, she stepped in to help "the world's loneliest elephant" journey from a zoo in Pakistan to Cambodia, appearing in a jaw-dropping documentary, "Cher and the Loneliest Elephant" with the pachyderm (also in April).
But those are just her most recent philanthropic efforts; she's been a National Chairperson and Honorary Spokesperson for the Craniofacial Association since 1990, and is associated with charities dealing with AIDS research, educating children in Africa, supporting fallen soldiers, Habitat for Humanity, clean water in Flint, Michigan, donating to COVID-19 research and LGBTQ rights (her older son Chaz is a transgender man).
Her outfits are still inspiring today
As a woman who got thrown out of the London Hilton in 1965 (along with Bono) because her outfits freaked everyone out, Cher has always known how to use fashion to raise a fuss. She's worn every trend and costume possible, from bell-bottoms to Cleopatra's belly-button-baring togs (a TV outfit that led network censors to band navel exposure!), Cherokee-inspired tunics and a notorious beaded-and-feathered nude gown in 1975, designed by the legendary Bob Mackie.
Cher and Mackie made quite a team, and he created dozens of form-fitting, out-there, just-this-side-of-Vegas (and some that stepped over the line) gowns, costumes and outfits for her over the years. If it had glitter or glam, it was Cher's. If it had a giant spiky headpiece, it was Cher's. There was seemingly nothing she wouldn't wear (or not wear, as demonstrated in her "Turn Back Time" video, which had her in some butt-bearing chaps).
And this year, she's proved to be inspiring the next generation: Zendaya's Academy Awards yellow dress was a callback to one of Cher's more iconic looks.
Her films comforted us during quarantine
When her music career dipped in the 1980s, Cher threw her soul into her acting. And we are grateful! That decade alone gave us "Silkwood" (which earned her an Academy Award nomination) "Mask," "The Witches of Eastwick" and "Moonstruck" — which earned her an Oscar!
Once her music picked up she dove into making videos (even directing a few) but her later work in "Mermaids," "Burlesque" and "Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again" spun out over the next couple of decades and gave us so much delicious Cher-ness to dig into. She was usually the most vibrant person on camera at any given time, and while we hate to call her a scene stealer ... if the feather boa fits, wear it!
Her tweets are unmatched
At an age where figuring out how to use smartphones can be a challenge, Cher dominates on Twitter.
Largely speaking in all capital letters (because Cher), she'll opine about everything and anything: Songs of hers she'd wanted to be bigger hits; a leaked duet with Lady Gaga; Britney Spears' conservatorship; responding to Amanda Bynes' tweet thread that insulted her with a "who's that?"; her ongoing love for "Law & Order: SVU."
She's not afraid to speak her mind
Whether on Twitter or off it, Cher doesn't appear to worry about what other people may think of her opinions. She'll happily criticize herself ("I'm just not a huge Cher fan," she told TODAY in 2013), but also knows when an apology is in order (which she gave after a tweet about George Floyd). She was ahead of the curve on getting tattoos (though she had many removed in the 1990s), going out with younger guys and getting plastic surgery when needed.
Her age has never stopped her work hustle
As her short-lived retirement from the stage proved, Cher is not going to let being three-quarters of a century stop her from moving forward. She contributed a song to "Loneliest Elephant," lent her voice to last year's "Bobbleheads: The Movie," is preparing to shoot a new film, "Artist in Residence," and just yesterday announced that a new biopic about her life is in development.
Clearly, it's always been Cher's world — and we just live in it. Happy birthday, Cher!