In 1946, Cherilyn Sarkisian was born in El Centro, California. As a teenager, she suffered from dyslexia and left high school at age 16. Soon she met Salvatore Bono, or "Sonny," the future love of her life. Eleven years older than Cherilyn, Sonny introduced her to Phil Spector, a record producer. The two friends began recording together, and they released Look at Us in 1965. Their debut album, Look at Us contained the single "I Got You Babe," and fans loved the lyrics. The pop music stars continued to produce hit after hit through the sixties, including the songs "But You're Mine" and "The Beat Goes On." Madly in love, Sonny and Cher got married in 1969, and they had a daughter named Chastity Bono.
In the early seventies, the couple began playing the Las Vegas club circuit and attracted the attention of television talent scouts. In 1971, a TV show called The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour debuted. The show was a hit, featuring stars such as Carol Burnett, George Burns, and Jerry Lee Lewis. In the same year, the singer released Gypsys, Tramps, and Thieves, with the single "The Way of Love." Despite professional acclaim, Sonny Bono and Cher divorced in 1975, and the diva began to focus on her solo career. She returned to TV with The Cher Show, a variety special that included guests like David Bowie, Ray Charles, and Bette Midler. Fashion designer Robert Mackie created elaborate costumes for the tall, slender star, and she caused controversy by exposing her stomach on television.
The Cher Show went off the air after two seasons, but Cher had just begun her acting career. In 1982, she landed the role of Sissy in Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, a Broadway production. Although the play flopped, critics praised Cher's performance, and people began to take her seriously as an actress. During the 80's, she appeared in Silkwood, Moonstruck, and other movies. Cher headed back to the recording studio in 1987 and produced the albums Heart of Stone and Love Hurts. Artists like Bon Jovi and Michael Bolton contributed vocals and songwriting, and she released the singles "If I Could Turn Back Time" and "After All."
In 1998, Chastity told her mother that Sonny had died in a skiing accident, and a grieving Cher delivered his eulogy. That same year, she released a dance album called Believe, which sold over 20 million copies and went quadruple platinum. Clearly, fans around the world still Believe in their favorite diva. Cher completed her Farewell Tour in 2005, but she's not leaving show business any time soon.