Pop culture’s prima diva, 72, sat down with Parade magazine for an exclusive wide-ranging conversation about her “Cher-a-palooza” career, which most recently includes a special appearance in the summer movie Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, a concert tour, a new album, a contract to write her memoir, a Broadway show based on her life, and a Dec. 26 Kennedy Center Honor.
What Comes Around. Cher remembers how she wasn’t always taken seriously by critics. “[They] didn’t like some of the ways I presented myself,” she says. “They thought if I was a ‘real singer’ I wouldn’t be doing all those costume changes. [But now] all those things people gave me s—t for are the things people are doing, changing costumes and wearing very little.”
Advice From Mom. “My mom gave me encouragement. I knew from 5 that I was going to be Cher, even though I didn’t know how that would manifest itself. First, I wanted to be Dumbo. But my mom said, ‘Babe, you can’t be Dumbo. He’s an elephant.’ I had dyslexia before anybody knew what that was. I said, ‘Mom, I can’t even see the numbers.’ She said, ‘That doesn’t make any difference. When you grow up, you’ll have somebody do math for you.’”
Remembering Her Romances. Southern rocker Gregg Allman was “the sweetest man in the world, who happened to do drugs.” Actor “Val [Kilmer] just spent time at my house and it was fun.” Kiss frontman “Gene Simmons is one of those guys, if I met him at a party, I would be happy to see him; he did change from the person he was, though—he took a hard right.” Superstar “Tom [Cruise], I’m happy to see him.”
Retirement? “Oh, yeah!” But not yet. “A friend of mine said, ‘Why are you doing all this?’ I said, ‘Because someday I won’t be able to.’ That’s going to come and I have more I want to do. I’m not finished yet.”
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