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Cher (1946–)

Cher (1946–)

American pop singer and actress. Name variations: Cher Bono; Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPiere. Born Cherilyn Sarkisian, May 20, 1946, in El Centro, California; dau. of John Sarkisian (Armenian truck driver) and Georgia Holt (b. 1927, actress); adopted by stepfather, Gilbert LaPiere; sister of Georganne LaPiere (b. 1951); m. Sonny Bono (singer, composer and US congressional representative), 1964 (div. June 1975); m. Gregg Allman (musician), 1975 (div. Jan 1979); children: (1st m.) Chastity Bono (b. 1969, activist and singer); (2nd m.) Elijah Blue Allman (b. 1976).

Multifaceted performer known for frequent comebacks, dropped out of high school and left home at 16; sang in sessions for producer David Geffen with future husband Sonny Bono (1963); performed with Sonny as duo Caesar and Cleo; scored many hits during years with Sonny, including "I Got You Babe" (1965), "The Beat Goes On" (1967), and "All I Ever Need is You" (1971); shared spotlight with Bono on tv variety series "The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour" (1971–74) and appeared solo on tv series "Cher" (1975); released "Take Me Home" (1979), 1st hit single without Sonny; debuted on Broadway in Robert Altman's production of Come Back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982); acclaimed for film roles in Silkwood (1983), Mask (1985), and The Witches of Eastwick (1987); won Academy Award for playing Italian-American widow in Moonstruck (1987); continued producing hit singles with "I Found Someone" (1987), "If I Could Turn Back Time" (1989), and "The Shoop Shoop Song" (1990); scored biggest hit of career with "Believe" (1998); returned to screen in Tea With Mussolini (1999).

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