This little girl overcame disability to become a world famous singer – see her amazing transformation

Most people would agree that this legendary Hollywood star has had an extraordinary career in the limelight, but not many know about her humble beginnings, and how she overcame a disability to become the icon that she is today.

At age 77, this singer has sold over 100 million records and is often referred to as the Goddess of Pop.

Not only this, but she’s raked in the awards – having taken home an Emmy, an Academy Award, three Golden Globes, a Cannes Film Festival Award, the Billboard Icon Award, a Grammy, and many, many more accolades.

Of course, we are talking about the legendary Cher!

Born in 1946 in California, Cher was raised with her half-sister Georgeanne by their mother, Georgia Holt – who, despite getting married six times to five different men, was predominantly a single mother.

Cher has consistently spoken about the love she had for her mother, who sadly passed aged 94 in December, 2022. During an interview with The Guardian in 2020, Cher explained that her mother was her “biggest fan”, and supported her throughout her struggles with dyslexia – a disability that severely affected her learning.

“My mom was my biggest fan. She said it doesn’t matter, school is not important. And I said: ‘Yeah Mom, but I can’t even see numbers – they look like little scratchy things to me.’ She said: ‘When you grow up, you’re going to have somebody else to do numbers for you.'”

As for Cher’s father, she didn’t meet her dad, John Sarkisian, until she was 11 years of age. As she mentioned to The Guardian, her father was an Armenian American truck driver who was “charming like you cannot believe,” but who also “had a criminal past.”

Cher eventually left high school at 16 and moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. It was there that she met her future husband Salvatore “Sonny” Bono, 27. While he wasn’t the best singer, he was a fantastic songwriter – and Cher’s voice was enough to carry the duo to stardom.

The pair married in 1964 and became one of the most famous couples on the planet, releasing hits like ‘I Got You Babe’, as well as having their own TV show. Despite their popularity, behind the scenes the dynamic between the two was very unequal.

We were sitting in the park on the grass, eating Lunch. I was 17, he was almost 28. There was a boy playing a Saxophone, we laughed… #sonnyandcher

Posted by Cher on Friday, February 21, 2014

While Sonny and Cher made it big in the entertainment industry, Sonny was taking home 95 percent of their earnings. The other 5 percent was going to their lawyers. After 11 years together, they eventually divorced in 1975 – and Cher sadly ended up with nothing, having been forced to hand over $2 million to her ex.

That didn’t stop the iconic songstress and actor, though, as she used her less-than-ideal situation to launch her solo career. From then, she never looked back. In fact, by the end of the 1970s, many of her songs had reached the pop top 10 – including tracks like ‘Half-Breed’, ‘The Way of Love’, and ‘Take Me Home’.

Cher’s talents didn’t end there, however, as she also showcased her acting prowess in 80s movies like 1983’s ‘Silkwood’. This earned her an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress, as well as a Golden Globe.

Cher at the ‘Silkwood’ premiere in Los Angeles. Credit / Barry King / WireImage / Getty.

A few years later, in 1987, Cher won her first Oscar for appearing in ‘Moonstruck‘ – a romantic comedy about a widow who falls for the brother of a man she intends to marry.

She also continued to focus a lot on music throughout the 80s, releasing many hits that we all still sing today, like ‘Believe‘, ‘Strong Enough’, ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’, and ‘All I Really Want To Do’. Cher even won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording for ‘Believe’.

Cher pictured in London in 2018. Credit / Mike Marsland / Mike Marsland / WireImage / Getty.

What an accomplished life Cher has led! It just goes to show that you can make the most of your life, even if you came from humble beginnings or have experienced hardships.

If you enjoyed this story, you may like to read about Cher’s loving relationship with Val Kimer.