For decades, Cher has been a household name. Her career in music, television, and film is filled with award winning performances. She’s well known for her talent as well as her somewhat bizarre clothing and hair style choices. No one can deny that Cher is one of the most famous entertainers alive today, but her life wasn’t always filled with glamor and success.
Born in El Centro, California, on May 20, 1946 and named Cherilyn Sarkisian, this future superstar’s father was a truck driver and her mother an aspiring actress and model. The two would divorce leaving Cher without a father figure until she was later adopted by Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere, a banker her mother married. At one time, due to poverty, Cher’s mother put her into foster care in order to provide for her. Still, she maintained family relationships and her mother eventually was able to pay for Cher’s acting school.
As if her childhood wasn’t difficult enough, school was torture. Unable to read even through high school, Cher was an undiagnosed dyslexic. She was consistently told by teachers that she wasn’t living up to her potential. She had managed to fool them into thinking that she was a girl who simply wasn’t trying when in fact, it took quite a bit of effort for her to maintain the low grades she did receive. It was because of her dyslexia that she learned to listen closely to what was being said and retain information that most people wouldn’t remember. When she was 16, she finally grew frustrated enough with school that she dropped out just two weeks into her junior year.
Inspired by watching her mother over the years, Cher enrolled in acting lessons in Los Angeles, California. Little did she know, she would achieve fame to such levels as we know her by today. While sitting in Aldo’s Coffee Shop, she met Sonny and it was this meeting that started her down the path to fame and fortune.
Sonny was already successful in the music industry when the two met. They became friends and eventually moved in together. It wasn’t until later that they professed their love for each other and the world got a taste of the duo’s talent. Together they had several chart topping hits and when they split, fans were devastated and unsure. Cher, however, continued to climb the ladder of success on her own.
It wasn’t until she was 30 years old that Cher was finally diagnosed with dyslexia. By this time, she was already famous, and her talent of listening closely to the details had served her well in both music and television. Through the struggle of dyslexia, she had developed a way of coping that would give her an edge on stage or in the studio as she heard things that others wouldn’t notice. This allowed her to perfect her performances and hone her talent to near perfection.
Today, Cher boasts having won some of the most prestigious awards in the industry including an Academy Award, Grammy Award, Emmy Award and three Golden Globe awards. She also won the people’s choice Award for her work in television, film and music and is the only female solo artist to reach the Top Ten of the Billboard Hot 100 in each of the previous six decades.