Music legends Cher and Tina Turner are sitting down with Oprah for their first interview together...ever! These rock goddesses are also treating the packed house to a duet—something they haven't done together in decades.
The last time fans saw Cher and Tina sing together, hot pants, minidresses and disco were all the rage. A lot has changed since the '70s, but one thing has stayed the same. These women still rock.
Calling themselves Caesar and Cleo, they began making music together. After years of recording and touring, they married and became the worldwide sensation known as Sonny & Cher. By 1971, millions were tuning in every week to watch their hit television show, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.
When they divorced in 1975, Cher's beat went on without Sonny. Throughout the '70s, she wowed fans with extravagant outfits, outrageous hairdos and hits like "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves."
In the '80s, Cher traded in her glittery disco duds for fishnets and leather. She reinvented herself as a rocker with the release of the anthem "If I Could Turn Back Time." During the next decade, she topped the charts with "Believe," the best-selling pop single of her career.
To this day, Cher is the only female artist to have a top 10 hit in every decade for the past 40 years. She's also a Grammy, Emmy, Golden Globe and Oscar® winner.
At age 61, Cher's showing no signs of slowing down.
Cher has teamed up with Caesars Palace to create a cutting-edge new show, Cher at the Colosseum. This time around, the fans will have to come to her. Cher has signed on to do 200 performances over the next three years.
On May 6, 2008, the show premiered to a sold-out crowd, and Oprah says it's already creating excitement around the world!
Singing at Caesars Palace is a full-circle moment in Cher's life. "After Sonny and I broke up, [Caesars] was my first gig, and it wasn't nearly as nice as this," she says. "I was over in the main room—seven nights a week, two shows a night."
Things are a little different this time around. For the first time on television, Cher performs from her new stage. She's singing "Take Me Home," a throwback to her dazzling disco days.
Unlike most dieters, Cher says she sometimes forgets to eat. "It's not that good for you because it slows down your metabolism," she says. "You can get fat just doing that."
Once she decided to lose the weight, Cher says she became conscious of everything she ate. She began eating seven small meals a day and exercising regularly. "I was running and walking, and I was doing the Power Plate," she says.
For four months, Cher says she was faithful to her diet, and her hard work paid off. Now, she's not afraid to show some skin.
From warrior goddess to Cleopatra, the costumes do not disappoint. Every outfit comes with its own wig, headdress or dazzling accessory. "She wears these kind of clothes like they're a T-shirt and jeans," Bob says. "It's just amazing. Who else can we do clothes like this for if it's not Cher?"
Bob says other performers would be terrified to wear the risqué outfits he designs for Cher, who happens to be the first woman to show her belly button on television. "A lot of fashion historians don't give her credit," he says. "I don't know who they think did it, but it was Cher."
Cher has performed hundreds of concerts over the years, but she says she still gets terrified moments before taking the stage. "Once I'm out, I'm okay," she says. "But backstage, I'm just going, 'Oh, I can't do this. I can't do this. I can't do this.'"
To snap her out of her stage fright, Cher says the show's director once told her, "If God hadn't wanted you to do this, he wouldn't have looked down on you when you were in your cradle and [said], 'Sequins!'"
Born Anna Mae Bullock, this rock 'n' roll goddess changed her name and made a name for herself in the '60s and '70s. Since then, she's been called the hardest working woman in the music business.
Over the years, she's released 63 albums and recorded countless hits, including "Proud Mary," "Private Dancer" and "What's Love Got to Do with It."
Packing stadiums around the world, Tina has sold more concert tickets than any other solo performer in history and electrified audiences with her signature dance moves. At 68 years old, this eight-time Grammy winner and grandmother is still simply the best.
"I will tell you...if there was award for Tina Turner's biggest fan, I would win it, hands down," Oprah says.
Three years later, Tina has thought about it, and she's come to Las Vegas to make a special announcement...she's going on one last tour!
The nationwide tour kicks off in Kansas City on October 1, 2008, and tickets are on sale now.
"What really pushed it was when all of the acts of my time went out. ... I thought to myself, 'I want to do it for the people and, I have to say, maybe for myself,'" Tina says.
After the Grammys, the New York Daily News wrote about the showstopping performance, saying, "With curves still in the right places, Turner showed that while she was out of sight in recent years, she's certainly not out of shape."
Tina performs "Nutbush City Limits," her 1973 ode to her Tennessee hometown.
"The first time Tina and I worked together, she came into the studio and I was expecting, you know, Tina Turner, but she comes in wearing a little silk shirt and trousers and high heels. ... Then we started talking, and I have a sailor's mouth, and Tina is so genteel—she talks like such a lady," Cher says. "She just kept looking at me, like, 'Whoa, where did you come from?'"
That isn't Cher's only memory of that day. "I remember I thought, 'I'm going to have to dance with Tina Turner,'" Cher says. "Do you know what that feels like? It's like dancing with a hurricane."
Tina says Cher also made an impression on her during their first meeting. "Cher was so free," she says. "She was in control of her career and her life and what was in the studio."
Tina and Cher each say that after relying on a partner for years, becoming an independent woman was a learning experience. "Neither one of us was ever on a plane by ourselves," Cher says. "I didn't know how to make out a check. I met Sonny when I was 16." Living in the spotlight didn't help, she says. "I made so many stupid mistakes. ... It's hard because you make all your mistakes in front of thousands of people."
Tina says she embraced her new life after leaving Ike, even though she was still learning how to be on her own. "I released myself," she says. "I wasn't intimidated by not knowing. I simply said, 'No, I don't know that.' I was okay with not hiding from it."
Due to their huge success, both women owed money after their divorces. Cher says she owed Sonny $2 million when their marriage ended. "Sonny and I had all of these contracts that amounted to something like $6 [million] or $7 million," she says. "The judge said, 'A contract is a contract, and if you pull out of it, then you have to pay him the amount that he would have made.'" Cher says she took on her first gig at Caesars Palace to pay off that debt.
"I had lawsuits from cancellations," Tina says. "With every venue that I played, I was served with papers for about a year or so. ... I just kept working because I was healthy and I was happy. I just paid my way out of the whole thing."
Cher says finding a man when you are a superstar isn't easy. "It's not every man that can have the wherewithal to not mind being Mr. Cher," she says. "It's a certain guy who is willing to hold his place and not be worried."
Tina says she has found that very trait in Erwin Bach, the man she has lived with for more than 20 years. "He never was intimidated," Tina says. "He came in my life as Tina and stayed himself ... and he's remained that way. He lives his life how he lives it."
"I welcome it with open arms," Tina says. "My senior life is so much better than when I was young. The wisdom, the way I think, my attitude toward things. There is a change when you are still healthy and you still look good. ... You don't mind being 68. You're looking forward to going forward with that same attitude and that same look. That number doesn't mean a thing."