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Cher Dishes To Billboard About 50 Years On The Charts

Slaven Vlasic, Getty Images

It was 50 years ago when the then-19-year-old Cher made her debut on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her debut single, a cover of Bob Dylan’s “All I really Want To Do.” Since then, as Billboard lauds in a new interview with the iconic performer, “it’s been a blur of smash singles, blockbuster films, hit TV shows and, of course, those fabulous Bob Mackie-designed gowns.” Indeed.

To celebrate five decades on the charts, Billboard touched base with the icon in order to reflect on 50 years of Cher, and in true Cher fashion, the artist spoke as candidly as ever about the ups and downs of her career, from not really liking Sonny & Cher’s hit single “I Got You Babe,” to preferring a harder rock sound over the pop music she’s become arguably most known for. Below, check out a few of our favorite revelations from the wonderfully entertaining, entirely revealing interview:

On struggling to break through because of Sonny & Cher’s atypical image:

“We struggled and struggled and struggled because of the way we [Sonny & Cher] looked. And people didn’t get it until we went to England and then came back and they thought we were English. But I mean, we looked different than anyone else. We got thrown out of every place. We couldn’t get in. Like, our friend Jack Good was the producer of [the TV variety show] Shingdig! and he loved us. But we had a hard time getting on that show because we looked so strange to everyone. And then he said, ‘You’re wasting your time here, go to England, that’s where it will happen for you.’ But you know, we struggled. We had songs that didn’t do anything, and then all of a sudden we had all these songs on the [chart] at one time…”

On “I Got You Babe” becoming a massive hit:

“Sonny woke me up in the middle of the night to come in where the piano was, in the living room, and sing it. And I didn’t like it and just said, ‘OK, I’ll sing it and then I’m going back to bed.’ So I was never a very good barometer. I loved songs that weren’t as big of hits.”

On not really wanting to do pop music:

“I mean, back in that time, people had A&R men and they brought you songs, and they gave you songs, and you did the songs. And especially women, you know? I didn’t really get a chance to pick my songs back then. They were hits. You know, I don’t know a lot of times what a hit is because a lot of times commercial songs, I don’t really love them. You know, [at the time] I was into Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell and the Eagles, and those were the kinds of songs I wanted to do, but they just didn’t seem… Like, I was doing these kind of poppy songs. I was not content, necessarily, to do them, but… Like, I never liked “Dark Lady,” and it was a big hit… and so, you know, somebody says, ‘You can’t argue with huge hits, Cher.'”

You can read the entire (lengthy) interview here on Bilboard. And if all this nostalgic chit-chat has you jonesing for new Cher music, fear not—the diva also reveals towards the end of the Q&A that she’ll be heading to the U.K. in October to work on a song with producer Mark Taylor. Fingers crossed for a 2016 Cher takeover!

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