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Today, we are used to singers becoming actors, and actors becoming activists, and activists becoming artists, and every variation in between. But when Cher (née, Cherilyn Sarkisian) came on the scene in the '60s, with her long glossy hair and her deep resonant voice, everyone thought singers — and especially female singers — could only do one thing well: look pretty and croon.
But even at her start, Cher couldn’t be contained. She splashed onto the scene as half of the folk duo Sonny & Cher before quickly moving on to launch a solo career (where she'd sell over 200 million records worldwide and win a Grammy).
She went on to star in a TV show (and win an Emmy) and act in numerous films (and win an Oscar). And Cher hasn't lost her music-career roots: She is, to date, the only female artist to have a Billboard number one single for six decades straight.
All the while, Cher possessed an innately sexy, boundary-pushing style that, in 1999, earned her recognition from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Cher views her body as a form of art that should be adorned, celebrated, shown off, covered in sparkles and paraded proudly for the world to see. For this iconic lady, there is no shame in beauty, sexuality or playful, genre-bending fun. It's more of an outward celebration of her own internal empowerment.
And still, Cher uses that internal power for a much broader good, fundraising for AIDS, Africa, veterans, Habitat for Humanity and countless causes that support the impoverished and disadvantaged. (This year, in the wake of the lead contamination crisis, she donated 180,000 bottles of water to Flint, Michigan.)
Here, on her 70th birthday, we celebrate a woman who always looks amazing — and never lets a single role or style define her.