After an eight-year hiatus since her 2002 album, “Living Proof”, pop culture icon Cher is making a long awaited return to the recording studio, much to the pleasure of her many fans. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the 64 year old singer, actress and stage performer discussed her upcoming film, “Burlesque”, and offered a glimpse into the newest project.
“‘It really won’t be Believe-ish,'” the singer told EW. “‘It will be more…I don’t know how to say it. I can’t put a genre to it. It’s a little bit more real instruments, like guitars and stuff like that.'” “Believe”, of course, was the diva’s smash album and single from 1998 that once again resurrected the perennial favorite back into the mainstream once again. “Believe” was comprised of dance-friendly tunes that struck a chord with many, selling about 20 million copies worldwide and garnering three Grammy nominations. Her follow up, “Living Proof”, didn’t fare as well, selling only a fraction of her previous effort.
Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPiere was born in El Centro, California, fatherless and poor. At the age of sixteen, she quit high school and left home to study acting in Los Angeles. About a year later, she met an older musician named Sonny Bono, and eventually fell in love. The couple lived and worked together, recording music and scoring it big with their classic, “I Got You Babe.”
The couple won the opportunity to star in what would become a hugely successful variety show after a guest appearance on the “Merv Griffin Show.” “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour” premiered on August 1, 1971 as a summer replacement and it was an immediate ratings smash. The program featured a combination of musical performances, comedic sketches, and lots of humorous banter between the two, and it resonated big time with audiences across the country. Within three years, however, marital problems surfaced, and the animosity between the two very eventually caused the show to be canceled. It last aired in February of 1974.
In the years since the split of Sonny and Cher, the singer has lived her life in the public glare of the spotlights. Personal issues such as her failed marriage to southern rock star Gregg Allman, a much publicized affair with younger “bagel boy” Rob Camilletti, daughter Chastity’s lesbianism and eventual sex change have all been great fodder for the tabloids, much to the dismay of the often reclusive star.
Professionally, the diva has seen on again, off again success in both the movie and music industries. With notable performances in films such as “Silkwood”, “The Witches of Eastwick”, “Mask”, Cher the actress reached the pinnacle of the trade with an Academy Award-winning performance in “Moonstruck.” In the world of music, Cher the singer has also found great success in each of the last four decades, including classics such as “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” in 1971, “I Found Someone” in 1987, “Believe” in 1998, and “Song for the Lonely” in 2002.
After the release of her last studio album in 2002, Cher embarked on a three-year “Farewell Tour”, a highly successful look back at her more than forty years of entertaining. Once the tour had ended, it appeared that the singer would fade into the sunset, but in May of 2008 she began a three-year, 200 show performance at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, proving that the word “farewell” doesn’t usually hold true for such superstars of the stage.
With the upcoming November release of “Burlesque”, Cher marks her first film appearance since the 2003 feature film “Stuck on You.” In the movie, the actress plays Tess, a retired burlesque dancer and owner of a flailing theater. The film costars singer Christina Aguilera in her first acting gig (read more here) and Stanley Tucci. As for the new album, the singer says she’s just in the beginning stages of its creation, but she’s already set to work with world class songwriter Diane Warren. “I just got some of the songs and I’m just learning [them] so I’m kind of at that beginning stage where you’re taking baby steps.” Take your time honey…we’re looking forward to it!
*Special thanks to my bud Rich for giving me the heads up on this one.