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by Barry Walters

September 26, 2013

Nine Lives of Cher

by Barry Walters  |  September 26, 2013

The mother of reinvention, Cher has had more comebacks than lesser stars have hits. Beginning as a backup singer for Phil Spector, this Southern Cali icon stormed the mid-'60s charts, both as a solo star and with her lover/songwriter/producer Sonny Bono. Eventually eclipsed by heavier and more rebellious bands, the duo dropped off the hit parade for several years but in 1971 became more popular than ever thanks to their TV show, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, and some similarly brilliant campy singles.

Her subsequent dry spell was temporarily interrupted by disco, and although her records soon flopped once again, she morphed into a credible actress during the '80s, and closed out the decade as an MTV-boosted arena-rock balladeer. Her popularity then faltered once again in the '90s, until she flipped the switch to become an Auto-Tune-enabled, gay-sensibility-empowered dance diva. The length and success of her farewell tour rival that of KISS, and although she nearly retired, her 2010 appearance in Burlesque affirmed her charisma. That quality suffuses her new and impressive album Closer to the Truth, where she once again brings the beats and drama.

This playlist chronologically captures the highlights from all of those eras. Cherilyn Sarkisian may change styles like wigs, but she's always Cher.

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