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Cher is undoubtedly one of the most beloved stars in the world. But it hasn't always been an easy road for the iconic singer-actress.
Childhood was tough for Cher, who says she didn't meet her father until she was 11 years old and always considered herself a "black sheep." She admits she always wanted to be famous, but she didn't realize how much of an impact being in the spotlight would have on her.
"Famous people pay a price," she says. "Their privacy is invaded--things that would never happen to regular people." And it was fame that ultimately helped destroy her first marriage to Sonny Bono.
"Stardom made Sonny a huge womanizer," she confesses. "One woman, or even five, was not enough for him. I found all this out afterward. I asked him, 'How did you manage the logistics?' I was trusting and faithful with him. The truth is, I'm not so sure we should've ever been husband and wife."
Those doubts began to take a toll on Cher -- so much so that it led her to consider suicide. "I thought about jumping off a hotel balcony," she tells Parade. "Then I thought, 'No, I can just leave him.' When I told Sonny, he said, 'If you leave me, America will hate you and you won't have a job.' I went, 'You know what, Sonny? I just don't care!'"
Her subsequent split from Bono in 1974 was hardly the end of Cher's personal woes: She goes on to talk about her difficult split from second husband Gregg Allman, who suffered from heroin addiction, as well as her struggles with accepting her eldest child Chastity's decision to undergo a sex change to become Chaz Bono. But she's continued to find strength through many things in her life.
"I... enjoy being an entertainer," she explains. "Even when you're feeling sick, hurting a lot, like you might die, once you get out there onstage and find everything is working -- the lights, the music -- you know you'll be fine. You feel so big and so tall, like you are in some sort of alternate universe. It's magnificent! As long as I can do it and people still come to see me, I don't want to quit working. It's magic."
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