If you’re going to be privileged enough to have Cher grace your late-night show with her presence, you might as well devote the entire episode to the icon, which is exactly what Jimmy Fallon did with The Tonight Show on Monday. Essentially, it turned into The Cher Show, which just so happens to be the name of the Broadway play about her life that she’s currently promoting—and which just might soon make her an EGOT winner.
Eventually, a few of the cast members joined Cher onstage, but Fallon had something else in store for her first: a round of lip sync karaoke, which saw her lip sync not to her own vocals but to a version of “Believe” sung by a crew of drunken New Yorkers who Fallon’s crew had recorded at a karaoke bar.
Unsurprisingly, being made to mime along to an extremely cringe-worthy version of one her greatest hits left Cher feeling “embarrassed,” though not for the reason you might expect. Believe it or not, Cher has always been “so shy”; at the beginning of her career in particular, she said, “it was really terrible.”
Understandably, this left Fallon—who flashed a photo of the revealing dress that she wore to the 1988 Academy Awards, which saw her take home the Oscar for Best Actress—flummoxed. (Let’s not forget the fact that she’s about to embark on yet another tour, has an autobiography and biopic on the way, and is currently the star of a Broadway musical about her life.)
But the latter hasn’t been easy for Cher: “It was hard, because there were things that I put in it I hesitated about, but then I thought, you know, If you’re going to do something—if people think they know you, and you know they don’t—then you’ve got to put in those unattractive parts, or those parts that hit too close to home,” she said. “It was hard for me—there’s a couple of parts where I sob every time, and I know it’s coming.”
Much less surprisingly, the 72-year-old also shared that, try as her many fans might, she’s never seen anyone do an accurate impression of her. Lest you need any reminding: There’s only one Cher.
Cher’s Style: From Sonny to Marc
In the early ‘60s, Cher and her husband and musical partner Sonny Bono were instant hits, and their fashion sense reflected their success. Here in 1967, the singer shows off her long black hair and signature bangs in a loose-fitting lace dress, accessorized by chunky rings and bare feet.
Photo by Arnaud de Rosnay / Courtesy of CNP Montrose.
Cher sports a white halter-top, bell-bottoms, and feathered hat while promoting her CBS variety show “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Show” in 1972. Photo by CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images.
In this now-iconic 1974 photo, Cher steals the show at an L.A. event with a wide felt hat and purple eye shadow, nails, and lips.
Photo by Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images.
Having grown out her iconic bangs, Cher takes to a 1975 party at L.A.’s Greenhouse in a beaded halter-top, loose wide-leg pants, and long metallic nails.
Photo by Frye Vincent / Courtesy of CNP Montrose.
Marc Jacobs is not Cher’s first designer romance. Beginning in 1967, Bob Mackie created some of the performer’s most memorable looks (including a sheer dress at the 1974 Met Gala that Kim Kardashian cited as inspiration this year). Here, the singer and actress shows off one of his metallic designs in a 1978 photo shoot.
Photo by Harry Langdon / Getty Images.
Cher dons another Mackie creation at the 1986 Academy Awards.
Photo by Julian Wasser / Liason.
Even Cher’s off-duty styles—like this glitzy jean-and-t-shirt combo in 1987—deserve applause.
Photo by Anthony Barboza / Getty Images.
The singer ups the ante for her 1999-2000 “Do You Believe?” tour, which coincided with her 22nd album, “Believe.”
Photo by Peter Still / Redferns.
Though longtime collaborator Mackie was unable to design the costumes for the first leg of Cher’s 2014 “Dressed to Kill” tour, that didn’t stop the star from going over the top. Working with designer Hugh Durrant, the star created 14 looks, including this beaded jumpsuit, moto jacket, and oversized hair ensemble.
Photo by Kevin Mazur / WireImage.
Just as he did with Jessica Lange in 2014, Marc Jacobs courts his soon-to-be-campaign star at the 2015 Met Gala. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Photo by Sherly Rabbani and Josephine Solimene.