I grew up listening to older music. Hits from the 60s, 70s, and 80s were my bread and butter growing up. I knew every word to “Runaround Sue” before I was 7. I could sing you pretty much any Meat Loaf song by the time I entered high school (I still maintain that Meat Loaf is painfully underrated as an artist, and I don’t care what anyone thinks!).
However, when high school came around, I found myself listening to more modern music. I moved from “Jessie’s Girl” and “Funkytown” to “Teenage Dream” and “Blank Space”. When I was running around in Nike shoes and baggy shorts at basketball practice, Beyoncé lyrics ran through my adolescent brain on repeat.
Deep down, I was a Diva (and, in case you didn’t listen to Beyoncé at all, a Diva is the female version of a hustler).
Like every other painful, embarrassing event in my life, high school eventually ended and I was ready to move on to a new era of music. Music that was fit for a strong college gal (like the one that I was attempting to be).
But then, when I was looking for new music to listen to on repeat, my mom told me to listen to “If I Could Turn Back Time”, a catchy song by the one and only Cher.
I thought I had left that age of music behind. I was trying to look ahead to modern stuff. New material.
Cher, especially in her “Heart of Stone” era, circa 1989, was like a dream come true. Here I am, freshly graduated from high school, aimlessly looking for a new music crush, and my mom turns me onto 80s Cher.
She’s bold. She’s got the curls. She’s a badass. She’s beautiful and unique and different and ICONIC and so many people have tried to imitate her most well-known looks, and they all fall embarrassingly short.
There can be only one Cher. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about the Sonny and Cher era, the big hair, glittery jumpsuit, “Heart of Stone” era, or the more recent Burlesque appearance with Christina Aguilera era.
She showed that women shouldn’t be afraid to stand out. That women shouldn’t be afraid to embrace their sexuality. That women shouldn’t be afraid to be unique and comfortable in their own skin.
That women shouldn’t be afraid.
While I do have a place in my heart where teenybopper pop hits by Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and Rihanna reside, my newfound respect for Cher is my current musical priority, and it’ll probably remain that way for a while.
There can be only one Cher.