Born on this day in 1946 in El Centro,
California, singer, television personality, actress, director and gay
Cherilyn Sarkasian, better known as Cher, (and sometimes referred to
as the Goddess of Pop).
Cher began her career as a backup singer
working with legendary producer Phil Spector (including The Righteous
Brothers' "You've Lost That Loving Feeling", The Crystals
"Da Doo Ron Ron" and The Ronettes "Be My Baby").
The singers solo career was launched
with a spectacular flop. To cash in on Beatle mania and Americans love
for the Fab Four, Cher released the single "Ringo, I Love You"
in 1964, under the pseudonym of Bonnie Jo Mason. The single disappeared
without trace after radio-stations thought Cher's extremely low vocals
were indeed a man's, therefore believing it was a male homosexual singing
a love song as a dedication to The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr!
Cher's fortunes of course soon changed
and she rose to prominence as one half of the pop rock duo Sonny &
Cher with the success of "I Got You Babe" in 1965.
After a string of hits, the golden
couple, (who had married in the early '60s), enjoyed high ratings
with the long running CBS TV variety show The Sonny and Cher Comedy
Hour. After the couple divorced in the mid-'70s, Cher presented
her own TV show and then surprisingly (or was it the money?), the couple
put the troubles of their divorce behind them and once again teamed
up and gave us The Sonny & Cher Show, (Cher was now married
to musician Gregg Allman).
The '80s saw the singer making her
mark on the big screen, with a well-received performance in the film
Silkwood, and then a string of hit films including Mask, The Witches
of Eastwick, and Moonstruck, for which she won the Academy
Award for Best Actress in 1988.
A new decade and more hits! Her remake of the Betty Everett 1964 hit, "The Shoop Shoop Song" (featured in her latest film Mermaids) was a #1 hit in the UK, but failed to break into the Top 30 in the US. Just when we thought it was all over, she came back with her biggest-selling recording to date.
dance single "Believe" was the best-selling single of 1999
having sold over 10 million copies worldwide, making Cher the only artist
to reach the #1 position on the Billboard
charts in each of the previous six decades.
On this day in 2007, Rihanna featuring
Jay-Z started a 10 week run at #1 on the UK singles chart with "Umbrella"
making it the longest running #1 single since Wet Wet Wet's version
of The Troggs hit "Love Is All Around".
The tune's humble beginnings came
from one of its writers "messing around with a walloping hi-hat
sound", which he found in the free music software GarageBand on
his Mac computer. His writing partner heard the beats and quickly wrote
the lyrics, completing the first verse in 60 seconds, (not a bad days
The song was written with American
pop superstar Britney Spears in mind, but her record label passed on
the tune, (maybe this is why when Britney witnessed the success of the
song she famously attacked a paparazzis car with an umbrella?).
Rihanna and Jay-Z went on to win a
Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for the track.
The song's reign at #1 in the UK occurred when the country was hit by extreme rainfall and flooding, which led to the media referring to it as the "Rihanna Curse". It was also pointed out that the single's video had been shot on Friday the 13th.