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But people don’t simply “like” Cher. More than 40 years of show business success make crystal clear that she is, and has always been, much more than merely “liked.” Cher is that rare entertainment industry icon that defies classification. Continually referenced, adored, and examined, she belongs in the exclusive pantheon of performers who have not only outdistanced all of their contemporaries, but have, decade in and decade out, stubbornly navigated the transient whims of public taste and carved a permanent place for themselves in the hearts and minds of cinema, television, music and pop culture enthusiasts everywhere.

Born on May 20,1946 in the sleepy town of El Centro, California, to mother Jackie Jean Crouch (later changed to Georgia Holt) and father John Sarkisian, any hint that Cher would have a remarkable life and career seemed like nothing more than sheer fantasy. Even so, the girl whose birth name was “Cherilyn,” believed that she was destined for something extraordinary. “I didn’t know how or what I would do but I just knew I wanted to be famous.”

She didn’t have to wait long. At 16 Cher met aspiring singer/songwriter Salvatore Phillip Bono (everyone called him Sonny) and the two entered into all-encompassing “all parts of a family” relationship whose center- piece was their love and devotion to one another and their shared dream of making it big.