Sonny & Cher emerged in the ‘60s as one of America’s most popular rock duos of all time. Their iconic song “I Got You Babe” became a national hit and in just under three years, the couple had already sold over 40 million records, making them the Rock and Roll “It” couple of the decade. Their music and their love story captivated millions. But despite their incredible popularity and seemingly perfect marriage, the couple divorced just eleven years after getting married.
For years, fans around the world have felt baffled as to why their supposed everlasting love ultimately came to an end. After about 40 years since their divorce and almost 20 years since Sonny’s Death, Cher has finally decided to open up and share with the world what really happened between them Let’s take a look into Sonny & Cher’s relationship, and find out exactly what happened that made this amazing couple split up. But be warned, the truth might just surprise you…
The Quest for Stardom
Cherilyn Sarkisian, later known as Cher, moved to Los Angeles at the young age of 16 with one specific goal — she wanted to become a famous and successful star. Like many other girls her age who are allured by Hollywood’s enamoring effect, she was there for the most basic of reasons. It didn’t even matter to much for her if she became a singer, an actress, or just a celeb. Her main priority was to become someone who others would admire and millions listen to and follow.
The first time Cher met Sonny Bono, who would go on to become one of the most important moments in her life. It was in 1962 at a local coffee shop in Los Angeles. When Cher found out that Sonny was the assistant of legendary record producer Phil Spector, she persistently asked him to connect her with the producer. It was clear from the start that the two had a certain charm and magic which occurred when they were together.
A Romantic & Professional Couple
Sonny was 11 years older than Cher, but that didn’t stop them from hitting it off right away. Their quickly formed connection led them to immediately to the beginning of their love story. The two attempted to release a number of songs and albums that at first didn’t manage to make it off the ground. But by 1965 they scored big with their breakthrough single “I Got You Babe”.
Two years of work had finally paid off for the beautiful couple, as they finally started getting the recognition that they were looking for all along. The single was an instant hit, making them instantly loved. This was the start of the incredible music duo called Sonny & Cher.
Signs of Trouble and Infidelity
As fame and success began to pour in, the couple began to become more and more confident. They released hit song after hit song with singles such as “The Beat Goes On,” “Bang Bang,” and “You Better Sit Down Kids”. Unfortunately, not everyone is built for a quick rise to fame, as the two began drifting apart due to ego and personal issues.
Sonny began to fall to the temptations of fame and cheated on Cher many times throughout their initial rise to fame. This was a huge problem for the couple, who instead of focusing on producing art and improving fan experience, spent most of their time dealing with drama and other non-productive activities.
Cher told Sonny that she was not going to put up with his infidelity anymore. After leaving him, Sonny soon realized just how much better his life was with Cher and attempted to turn around his life completely, just so he could get her back. He promised her that he was going to stop cheating on her from then onward and that he would become the kind of man that she could start a family with.
Cher was deeply moved by his gesture of love and agreed to marry him when he proposed to her shortly after. The two young singers were delighted at their fortune and decided to have their first child. Cher got pregnant in mid to late 1968, and happily gave birth to their first child, Chaz Bono. As new parents, the two were finally managing to communicate properly, trust each other, and lovingly raise their first child as a team.
A Succession of Winning Albums
The rate at which Sonny & Bonno were climbing the charts and selling records was unprecedented in the music business. They were growing faster than many established artists, and it seemed that their succession of best selling albums wasn’t going to end anytime soon. Their first album, ‘Look at Us’ was already a highly successful release, but their second album, ‘The Wondrous World of Sonny and Cher’ was an even greater success.
The two were finally ready to take a musical world tour, knowing that they were in demand across various countries and states. In 1967, as Sonny & Cher began to fill up concert ticket sales, they found the time to squeeze out a hit album, ‘In Case You’re in Love’. By this point the couple had sold tens of millions of records, effectively turning them into millionaires.
Failing to Change With the Times
As hard as it is to believe, Sonny & Cher were considered quite conservative at the time and failed to keep with the countercultural revolution that was being led in various colleges and universities. The whole nation was beginning to change, and people found themselves opening up to vastly new musical styles. Unfortunately for the duo, they couldn’t quite keep up with the times and soon started to lose their appeal
The rise of wilder, psychedelic rock began to dominate the ears of listeners For some reason, Sonny was particularly adamant about not changing with the times. He claimed everyone else was at fault except himself, which got them in a lot of trouble in this new culture of activism and psychedelic rock.
A Series of Box Office Failures
The two started to experience similar feelings in Hollywood when they landed in the 1967 musical comedy by the name “Good Times”. Unfortunately, the film was a complete dud. The film was directed by William Friedkin and received poor commercial and critical success. The only thing praised in the film was Cher’s acting, while everything else was considered as a serious failure.
Studios were aghast to find out that the ultra-popular couple could only use that fame to sell albums. Fans were just not buying movie tickets, and regular non-fans were especially uncaring about their forays into the silver screen. Sonny & Cher’s next film was the 1969 movie “Chastity”, which was written by Sonny and starred the beautiful Cher as a young hitchhiker. This one was also a box office failure, but the only redeeming quality it had, according to critics, was again Cher’s acting. A pattern began to emerge in these reviews that would later materialize in Cher’s acting career.
Going Into Comedy
In what appeared to be the last effort to save their fading popularity, former stars Sonny & Cher tried to go into comedy. The duo’s musical career had faded into obscurity as fast as it had grown in the ‘60s and their film career was a complete flop, which meant that studios wouldn’t cast them anymore, so their last lane was the stage. The couple rebranded themselves from Sonny & Cher to the Vegas Duo, and began giving singing and comedy performances. Most fans and critics were pessimistic at first, as this looked like a hail mary attempt at saving what’s left of their careers, but over time it started to work. The two kept refining the formula until they hit a sweet spot, and suddenly they began rising in popularity again.
Suddenly TV studios started asking them to appear as guests in various successful TV shows, and they gladly accepted each opportunity to appear in front of the cameras. The two were extremely happy about their newfound success, and managed to resurrect a career which everyone thought was dying. After enough publicity and interest built up around the couple, they were offered their own variety show on primetime TV. The show began in the early ‘70s, and was called ‘The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour’.
The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour
When Sonny and Cher began appearing on TV regularly in their new comedy variety show, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, things started looking great again for the couple. By the summer of 1971, the show was airing with the couple hosting each episode. It was initially released as a pilot of 6 episodes, with the purpose of testing the waters and seeing how well the two can fair. Luckily for them, between their loving and funny dynamic, as-well as the great guests and interesting events, the show pulled a large audience every time and received fantastic ratings from critics.
This success prompted their studio to renew a second season, which led to a total of four successful seasons that were each a ratings success. Most of the show’s charm was attributed to the funny skits that Cher and Sonny pulled off with their many celebrity guests. Another huge factor was the couples’ chemistry which worked extremely well. Most other variety shows had only one host, so having the couple host ‘The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour’ together made it stand out among the rest and show its unique face.
A Domineering Partner
With their renewed success, came the same negative behavior patterns that were often seen in Sonny during their album selling days. Cher felt unable to control anything in the relationship, as her husband returned more and more to his domineering and controlling ways and bulldozed her with his decision making. The fame seemed to get into his head and he believed that their success had more to do with his actions than hers.
Feeling suffocated, Cher pleaded with her controlling husband to give her some freedom to make decisions in both her personal life and their creative business ventures. At that point, Sonny had full control over ‘The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour’ and would not agree to let her do anything on her own. Things were starting to look very bleak for the young star, but what broke the camel’s back was his return to infidelity.
Once a Cheater…
When Sonny pleaded for Cher to stay with him so many years ago after letting his urges get the best of him, she took him back on the promise that he made to love and cherish only her. His infidelity during their album selling days almost broke the relationship and eroded much of the trust that was built between the two. Cher could get over the fact that her husband became domineering and controlling but to find out that he had gone back to cheating on her was something she could not get over.
Sonny had gone back to his nasty old behavior, and this time with two kids in the mix. The two might have appeared happy on ‘The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour’, but the only real joke was the fact that they were still together.
Sonny’s Bitter Threats
While Cher and Sonny had had these issues since 1972, it was only in 1974 that the public found out about them.. Sonny wrote about the situation in his diary: "The public still thinks we are married," he wrote, "[and] that's the way it has to be." The actress made the decision to leave Sonny. When he heard of her plans to separate, his reaction was extremely angry and negative. Sonny threatened her by saying that the divorce will ruin her career, and that everyone would hate her.
Sonny knew that fame and success had always been a driving force in her life, so he used those to make her fear leaving him. This had put even more strain on the marriage and the wedge between them grew wider.
Cher’s Important Decision
Even though she was scared, Cher knew that the right thing to do would be to leave her husband. She knew that a woman shouldn’t have to deal with someone who cheats on her regularly, doesn’t allow her any sense of freedom, controls their assets with an iron fist, and treats her success as collateral against her for leaving. Cher had made up her mind — the marriage was over. But there was another important reason why she felt that leaving Sonny would be the right decision…
The actress took stock of her creative personality and many talents. Her charisma, musical talents, creative humor, acting skills and fashion sense are what made the show work. These are also the same factors that turned their movies from complete disasters to passable, as critics often praised her acting skills. Cher realized that she doesn’t need Sonny. In fact, she might even do better without his conservative and dull personality.
Blocked From Breaking Up
Even though Cher had made the decision to divorce Sonny, she was legally incapable of doing so. Her work contract with the TV show, that was that Sonny had solely signed, bound her to keep working on the show. She knew that there was no way around it, the show had to go on. Cher kept appearing on ‘The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour’ despite hating her husband. There was no other choice because if she divorced him now, a multi-million dollar lawsuit was likely imminent.
The two faked their relationship for the remaining episodes of the show. When it was over the two could finally break up. Cher then embarked on a long and bitter court battle, desperately trying to release herself of his iron grip.
A Bitter Divorce and Custody Fight
In February 1974, Sonny decided to take the first move and initiate the divorce on his terms. In the legal world, there's a common strategy to be the first to sue, because it gives you the attacking position instead of the reactive one. Cher quickly retorted a week later with a divorce suit of her own with a much more dire tone. She charged Sonny in the lawsuit with "Involuntary servitude", which is a legal term for "slave". In addition, the actress claimed that Sonny held money from her and held on to her share of the earnings.
The two waged a fierce court battle over the custody of their child, Chastity, but she was eventually given to Cher. After more than a year of fighting and hundreds of thousands of dollars down the drain, the divorce was finally over, as the process was finalized on June 26, 1975. During that time, the actress was finally free to pursue her own interests instead of being bound to her domineering husband, she tried using this opportunity to re-establish herself as a solo artist, and he was also trying to do the same.
An Uncertain Future
Both Cher and Sonny were going through a very tough time during the divorce. The two knew very clearly that everything they built so far, from the tens of millions of album sales to their successful comedy performances and TV show, was done together. They never had a solo career and were both deeply tied to one another, not just in their public image, but also with everything that had worked on so far. Both of them knew that if they wanted any chance that their careers would continue, it was necessary to reinvent themselves anew.
Sonny’s main concerns were related to his wife’s likeability. It was clear to both of them that she was the funnier, more creative and more charismatic partner. He wasn’t sure that he would be able to hold the audience’s attention and interest all by himself. Cher had her fair share of fears to, mostly because she had relied on Sonny for so many years in everything. Even though he ended up taking her for granted, he wasn’t always like that. To make matters even worse, she had a child to take care of now too.
Two Competing Solo Shows
The now-divorced couple each went their separate ways, but both went through the same process to find their path. They both were used to doing the variety show and chose to try doing a solo show and see if it would work. Sonny took the original staff from ‘The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour’ and launched his own solo show called ‘The Sonny Comedy Revue’, which actually began airing before the divorce was even finalized. The show was a huge flop, failing to attract an audience and receiving negative reviews. It was canceled after just thirteen episodes.
Cher also started her own solo variety show just a year later titled “Cher”. Unlike her former husband’s canceled failure of a show, hers was actually going great. It started out great reviews due to her incredible personality, great singing abilities, alluring sense of humor, and the many famous guests who came to the show. Among the most popular guests were superstars such as Elton John, Bette Midler, David Bowie, and The Jackson 5.
Sonny Went ON to a Different Path
After the utter failure of ‘The Sonny Comedy Revue’, Sonny decided to try and get back into acting, appearing in various films such as ‘Charlie’s Angels’, ‘Hairspray’, and ‘Golden Girls’. These acting roles were often met with negative reviews, as he was never known as a good actor.This string of flops made Sonny start to seriously doubt his prospects of ever making it again as a Hollywood celebrity. He even tried appearing in TV shows such as ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ and ‘The Love Boat’, but all attempts ended up bearing no fruit.
Before departing from Hollywood, Sonny and Cher got back together for a few final episodes of their successful show, ‘The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour’. The star then retired from acting and opened a restaurant while pursuing a more quiet and normal life outside the spotlight. He eventually decided to move into politics and became the mayor of Palm Springs, California. From there, Bono went on to become a member of congress and represented California’s 44th congressional district.
Finding Her Own Path
Cher was also working hard on pursuing her own path as a solo performer. She had experienced a lot of success with her CBS solo variety show ‘Cher’, which debuted on February 16, 1975. It was a massive hit, with the Los Angeles Times saying that: "Sonny without Cher was a disaster. Cher without Sonny, on the other hand, could be the best thing that's happened to weekly television this season." Unfortunately, Cher felt that she had to end the show just a year after its debut due to the stress of having to run her own show. When asked why she decided to cancel the show, she said, "doing a show alone was more than I could handle."
The actress and singer had an additional two year marriage and even had a two year relationship with Kiss member Gene Simmons. At that point, Cher had built up so many surnames that she had to change her name from Cherilyn Sarkisian La Piere Bono Allman to just Cher. She then shifted her musical style to disco, which turned out to be a very successful move on her part.
Daring Fashion Statements
One thing that made Cher stand out in the world of entertainment, was her use of various outrageous and creative costumes throughout her singing and acting career. These were often designed by Bob Mackie, who would help her stand out visually and not just vocally. The style could be described as Star Wars meets The Lord of the Rings.
These days Cher is considered the pioneer of bold fashion statements in Hollywood, and is now revered by many who support the practice. There are a lot of celebrities such as Lady Gaga who walk the path that Cher had paved in-terms of fashion statements that blur the line between creativity and ridiculousness. Thanks to her, actors and actresses now feel comfortable and even compelled to wear ridiculous outfits in various Hollywood events. In-fact, they are often praised.
Back In Movies
Cher was at first apprehensive about going back to appear in films as her last attempt proved to be a failure. She eventually decided to take the plunge into movies and trust her acting abilities. Initially both Cher, her critics and fans were all skeptical of the actresses’ ability to command presence in front of a camera, butCher pushed forward and got her first role in many years. This risk ended up paying off considerably, as Cher not only did a great job in the film, but actually established herself as one of Hollywood’s most versatile entertainers.
The returning actress found herself appearing in various successful films such as ‘Silkwood’, ‘The Witches of Eastwick’, and ‘Mask’. Her performance was often praised due to her on-camera presence and great emotional range. She was clearly a natural born actress, a fact which got her confidence back. In 1987, Cher starred in one of the most important acting roles of her life, when she appeared in the iconic film, ‘Moonstruck’. Her captivating performance got raving reviews from critics, and would later land her the Academy Award for best actress. She would never doubt her acting abilities again.
A Genius at Reinventing Herself
While Sonny found himself joining politics and staying in that lane for the rest of his life, Cher, who had a much rougher start, managed to innovate her way into stardom. The singer, actress and TV host who is nowadays referred to by the media as the Goddess of Pop, managed to reinvent herself at every step of the way. She began as a musician, transitioned into acting, from there she went into comedy, then TV hosting, then back to music. Once she returned to releasing songs, the singer managed to put her skills to use in every environment and change with the times.
Cher managed to transition gracefully from the ‘70s to the ‘80s, and kept changing herself every decade, continuing to change continually even to this day. She has done so many musical genres that it's hard to even define her as one particular thing, going from easy listening in the 60s, to pop-rock in the 70s, to rock ‘n’ roll in the 80s, and to pop in the 90s. Her skills as an actress also helped take her through tough times, and it seems as-if there’s nothing you can do to break this woman down from succeeding.
By 1998, the troubles and conflicts between Sonny and Cher were water under the bridge, and as the negative emotions faded — only warm memories remained. It was their combined work after all that got them to the point of becoming stars in the first place. Those first 40 million record sales were done together, as-well-as the journey into acting and even comedy and TV hosting.
That year, Cher was shocked and sad when she first learned about the death of Sonny in a skiing accident. She was a guest at his funeral and gave him an emotional and tear-filled eulogy, calling him "the most unforgettable character" she had ever met. Her last tribute to Sonny in memory of his passing was a CBS special which she hosted called 'Sonny & Me: Cher Remembers'. The tribute aired on May 20, 1998, and the two also received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame as a tribute.
One of the World’s Most Unique Couples
Despite their many troubles and conflicts, the time that Sonny and Cher shared together was undeniably special. It was clear that the effect each had on the other was substantial and everlasting. Cher was sad to see Sonny go so soon, especially when considering that his work was not yet done, as he had a promising political career in front of him.
This special and unique couple managed to leave their mark on the entertainment industry in just a bit more than a decade of knowing each other. It’s crazy to think that by the time they were married, the two had managed to sell tens of millions of records, star in films, sing in front of live audiences, and even host their own TV show. Many people still ask themselves just what would have happened if the two had managed to sort their differences out. At the rate in which they were evolving, nobody knows how things may have turned out.
Cher’s Gripe With Rock & Roll
The Goddess of Pop, Cher, is usually known as a fairly calm, positive and creative person. She’s a very intuitive soul and doesn’t tend to hold grudges or negative intentions towards those who harmed her. If there's one part of her life that’s out of character, even for her, it’s her attitude towards the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame awards. During a recent in-depth profile by Vanity Fair, the singer told the magazine that she believes it’s “kind of rude” that she and Sonny are still not part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame list. The two are eligible to win based on age and contribution, but they have yet to have been picked.
Cher claims that their contributions to Rock and Roll are enough to put them into the Hall of Fame, due to the fact that they “lasted for a very long time” and were “a huge part of a certain kind of music.” During the early '90s, the singer reinvented herself once again, this time taking a more Rock oriented approach to her songs. She released three albums at the time before returning to her dance-pop genre. The three successful albums were Cher (1987), Heart of Stone (1989), and Love Hurts (1991). These albums also included various singles which turned into hit songs such as "I Found Someone", "If I Could Turn Back Time", and "Love and Understanding".
Ahead of the Beatles
One of the ways that Sonny and Cher believe they have affected popular culture was by dressing as what they refer to as “weird hippies” before it was a cool thing to do. The weird colored jackets, long necklaces, mustaches, and incredibly artistic belts, all contributed to the look that would later characterize a large portion of the Beatles career, as well as many other rock bands at the time such as The Grateful Dead, Santana, Jefferson Airplane and many others.
The couple considered themselves the pioneers of the "hippie fashion with bell-bottoms, bandanas, and Cherokee-inspired tunics”. Cher only wishes that she and Sonny had gotten more credit for this important cultural contribution. She believes that this is one of the reasons that they deserve to get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Their Only Media Supporters
Cher took issue with the negative press she and Sonny got during their rise to fame in the early ‘60s. They were often mocked and criticized by various media publications as weird and out of tune with reality. Nowadays many consider Cher to be a prominent feminist icon that helped revolutionize cultural outlook on women through her fashion and music statements. She was described by Joe Lynch from Billboard as "a woman who pioneered an androgynous musical identity in the mid-'60s", and who by doing so "teed things up for people like Bowie and Patti Smith".
When asked about her treatment by the media, she laments that the Rolling Stones was the only publication who didn’t try to throw stones at the couple. Cher also claims that they had more appeal in Europe, Eventually, their ideas were embraced, although they still didn’t receive the proper recognition that she was looking for. She pointed a finger at the universe and asked, “It’s like: What more do you want?” while waiting for the staff of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to wake up and induct her.
Feeling Like an Outsider
Cher claims that she always felt like an outsider. When she was a singer, she felt like an imposter. When she got into acting, the same feeling of not being appreciated or taken seriously followed her. But her Oscar, three Golden Globes, and Emmy proved everyone wrong.
The same feeling followed her into comedy, but once again, she proved everyone and even herself, wrong. Even when the singer dresses up in glorious and larger-than-life outfits, it never feels fake or glamorized, rather just a natural expression of who she is.
She Might Be Inducted Without Sonny
There has still been no official word on whether or not the duo will get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Despite the lack of updates, rumors have been circulating that Cher is being considered being inducted without Sonny. This makes sense, given that Sonny basically left the entertainment industry just a short time after him and Cher broke up. This might indicate that Cher’s hunch was right, and it was actually her that pulled most of their victories over the years.
Since parting ways in 1974, Cher has released numerous albums that have been very successful over the years. With over twenty independent studio albums in the many decades that she has been without Sonny, it's no wonder that she has been considered her own performer for a long time now. Sonny, however, went straight into politics just a few years after their divorce and stayed in the political arena for the remainder of his life.
Getting a Divorce Was Her Hardest Decision
Another difficult thing for Cher and Sonny was having to deal with raising their child Chaz. On a professional level, the idea of having to make it on her own was also quite terrifying, as she had always relied on Sonny to make things happen.
Sonny used that power to keep her from leaving but then Cher famously retorted with a lawsuit of her own, claiming "involuntary servitude", which completely changed the tone of the entire court proceeding.
Burying the Hatchet
After some of the dust had settled, the two decided to reprise their roles on ‘The Sonny and Cher Show’. By this time they were separated and most of the bad feelings were left behind them. The first episode of the new season started with an awkward handshake, that symbolized them putting the past behind and starting a new path together.
The move seemed to work quite well, as the show returned to its original success and was continued for a full year before the two decided to depart professionally for the last time.
Breaking Up For Good
Despite the two moving on, Cher had made some dubious romantic decisions that seem to have really messed up her life for a while. Just as she was coming out of a devastating relationship with her then-husband Sonny, the actress found herself dating Gregg Allman, rock musician and founder of The Allman Brothers Band.
So far everything was looking good, but what she did later might shock you.
Cher initially said that the main reason for her divorce was due to a complete lack of freedom. Once she was finally free from her “bondage”, she not only went straight back into another dysfunctional marriage but also returned to the show with the same with her ex-husband, Sonny
Despite the two maintaining much of their charisma and talent, it was clear that their dynamic was no longer the same.Their fun and sweet banter was gone and viewers began to tune out. But there was another factor that might have contributed to the show’s cancellation, and people suspect that it was her new husband, Gregg.
A canceled show
The years from 1975 to 1977 were generally a rather hard time for Cher. Her troubled marriage to Allman was the talk of the town, and her show with Sonny never really reached the same heights.
The on-screen banter from a divorced couple wasn’t exactly what people wanted to watch, and by 1977, the show was canceled. So why did the show’s reboot not work? Sonny and Cher’s talents were clearly still as good, so was there another reason?
Was Gregg Jealous?
Spending most of her time with the two men that hurt her the most, while raising two kids from two different marriages was a lot for Cher.
It’s also not too much of a stretch to assume that Gregg might have also been jealous of his wife interacting so much with her ex-husband.
Sonny & Cher Dolls
In 1976, a toy company called Mego Toys decided to release a pair of dolls in the likeness of Sonny and Cher. This was at the time that they were already divorced, but were still appearing together on ‘The Sonny and Cher Show’. The dolls were a huge hit and were being sold in their millions.
That year they were even more popular even Barbie. We can’t imagine Gregg was happy seeing dolls of his wife and her ex-husband holding hands together every time he turned on the TV.
Finding Her Rhythm
Just two years before getting divorced from Gregg, she teamed up were her husband the rock star to release a duet album titled ‘Two the Hard Way’. The album was a complete and utter bomb, both commercially and critically, which might have contributed to their eventual divorce.
It looked like Cher’s career was about to end right there. Following the blueprint of married couple musical acts, didn't pan out too well for her this time.
Back on to Single, This Time For Good
It seems that their failed duo album was the last straw on the camel’s back, as Cher filed for divorce again shortly after its failure. Cher was going to become her own woman for the first time in many years and continued searching for her own voice in the entertainment world.
One of the ways that the singer cleared herself from her past, was by legally changing her name from Cherilyn Sarkisian La Piere Bono Allman to Cher. This was a big symbolic change for her.
Looking at the ‘70s in Retrospect
The ‘70s were a mad time for the young singer, she was being pulled and manipulated by so many different forces that she had forgotten about herself completely. She was recently interviewed and asked about the ‘70s, where she was asked about what she thought her biggest mistakes were at the time. Cher said in the interview, “Sonny made every decision for me. I couldn’t have my say. I knew how to sing a song, and I knew how to be a good mother, but apparently, I didn’t know anything else. I wish I stood forward out of the shadows.”
Since then, Cher had clearly become her own woman and had taken full control of her life, and fans absolutely loved her for that. Although she was still in occasional contact with her former husband, Sonny, his reign of control over her was over. She managed to develop her own voice over the years, and eventually found herself returning to the spotlight as a mature and independent woman.
Her First Child
When Sonny and Cher first gave birth to their child on March 4, 1969, they named her Chastity Sun Bono. But later on, Chastity began to experience odd feelings about who she was and claimed that she lived with the constant feeling that she was stuck in the wrong body.
Eventually, she admitted that she felt like a boy. Her mother embraced her feelings and eventually even supported her transition from a woman to a man. Chastity changed her name to Chaz and now lives as a transgender man.
From Chastity to Chaz
Chaz was scared that Cher would not take the news of his situation well, and admits that it was a difficult transition, especially in the media under public scrutiny.
Chaz managed to make a full transition by May 6, 2010, and is now considered legally to be a man. Despite initially having trouble embracing her son’s identity, Cher is now a strong supporter of LGBTQ rights.
The Nickname That Stuck
Despite Sonny dying more than a decade before his son came out as a transgender man, there may have been signs early on that this was the right thing for him. Chaz likes to look back and tell the story of the time his father took him to a toy store, and how he ended up getting the nickname “Fred”, which stuck to him for many years after. The two were looking for a keychain with Chaz’s name, which was Chastity at the time. Unfortunately they couldn’t find one, so the young girl decided to go for “Fred” instead. She apparently liked the nickname so much that it ended up sticking to her for many years to come, which might be an indication of her transgender inclinations right from the start.
It’s unclear whether Sonny would have supported his son’s transition into the person he believed he was meant to be. Most of his behavior over the years with Cher had been mostly judgmental and manipulative. Despite his flaws in his early days, perhaps he did manage to change and become a better person. Luckily, Sonny was presiding and representing Los Angeles as a politician at the time, which meant that he was at least aware of the LGBTQ population enough to have a hunch regarding his son’s sexuality.
Her Child With Gregg
Many people have gotten to know Chaz through his mother’s fame and success. He was often accompanying her throughout her various tours and performances and has been a close friend of hers for a long time. Her second son, Elijah Blue Allman, isn’t nearly as known or popular, perhaps because she attempted to guard him against the press a lot more than her older son. Elijah was born on July 10, 1976, just two and a half years before the actress divorced her then-husband Gregg Allman.
Elijah’s story was a lot more problematic than that of Chaz, who ended up having two great parents that eventually managed to settle their differences. Despite having a rocky start, both Sonny and Cher were loving parents and their dramas quickly subsided once he was just a few years old. Elijah’s life, on the other hand, became rather successful in music, but also encountered a lot of issues with narcotics along the way.
Supporting His Mother’s Career and Vice Versa
When Elijah was just 13 years old, she already included him in her tour as a supporting guitarist. He turned out to be a very good musician, almost a natural talent like his parents, so she also included him in the music video for her hit single, ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’.
Elijah got a chance to play with various successful bands, such as Thirty Seconds to Mars and Sugar Ray. He even ended up starting his own industrial rock/metal band in 1995 called ‘Deadsy’, which gained quite a bit of traction due to his association with Cher.
Getting Married Behind His Mother’s Back
Elijah and Cher never really had a good relationship. Between her bad marriage decisions and many professional challenges, it almost seems like the young singer just didn’t have time for her child. Despite helping support his career by including him in various tours, Elijah just couldn’t communicate with his mother properly. In addition to their poor communications, Elijah felt that there was no point in discussing his relationships or getting marriage advice from his mother, owing to her lousy record in both.
When he met Mariangela King, an English singer, the young rock singer felt that she was the right one for him.. In December 2013, Elijah decided to elope and get married behind his mother’s back. Apparently he didn’t even invite her to the wedding, which undoubtedly made her feel either angry and sad.
Siblings Growing Apart
When Elijah and Chaz the two had a gap of only a few years between them, which meant that they had a chance to grow up together. It didn’t matter to them that they were pretty close. Both Chaz and Elijah found support in each other’s company, especially during some of the more troubled times that the family had to go through.
Over time they slowly grew apart and eventually, all communication stopped entirely. Today both claim to only very rarely speak to each other. We sure do hope communication improves.
The Black Sheep of the Family
Elijah has since told reporters in various interviews that he feels like he was always the black sheep of the family. It’s no surprise either, considering the fact that his father had a serious drug problem and that his mother sent him to boarding school when he was just eight years old.
Elijah also feels that his brother Chaz isn’t really his friend anymore. He claims that his mother didn’t even take the time to invite him to her Christmas celebrations last year, which frankly is kind of heartbreaking.
No Signs of Life
The rock star son claims that his mother barely even reacted to his news when he got married. There is clearly a lot of bad waters between the two.
So far there is only one person that he can recall actually reaching out and being positive about his new marriage to Mariangela King. This person is his grandmother, Georgia Holt, Cher’s mother. Elijah claims that she sent him a warm congratulations letter, which he was happy to receive.
A Positive Outlook
Despite having what seems to be a terrible relationship with his mother, Elijah still chooses to look on the bright side. When asked about his mother and what he thought about her, the young rock star said “I mean, she’s Cher. What’s not to love?”.
He also seemed very forgiving over their lack of communication, chalking it up to the various ups and downs that parents and children eventually go through in life. He hopes that Cher will reach out and try to reconnect their relationship, although nothing is certain at this point, and we’re not holding our breath.
Still Rocking It
Despite being more than 70 years old, Cher is still as energetic and vibrant as she’d always been. The singer is healthy and claims to feel great. She spends most of her time touring and creating new music, as-well as trying out new outrageous outfits to wear in her various shows. Cher also seems to have great genes, as she barely shows any signs of aging. Her mother passed away at 93 years of age, which means that if genetics have any say in the matter, Cher has a good chance of being active for a few more decades.
Cher has since returned to acting when she appeared in the popular musical comedy film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, where she played as Ruby Sheridan, Sophie's grandmother. Her role in the film was highly beloved by both fans and critics. The New York magazine said about her that it's only at the climax of the movie when its true promise was fulfilled: Cher arrives ... It becomes clear that every single movie—no matter how flawless—would be infinitely better if it included Cher." We couldn’t agree more.
She Cares About Her Privacy a Lot More Today
Nowadays, the Goddess of Pop claims that she is living a much more private lifestyle, and is far more aware of what she wants to reveal to the media. She has been quoted as saying that “privacy is worth diamonds”.
Luckily, today she is far more in control of the narrative and the rumors around her and seems to have found her perfect combination of performing and releasing albums while maintaining a fairly balanced and peaceful life.