On June 23, Cher secretly slid into a Chicago theater to catch a preview of the Broadway-bound musical about her extraordinary life and career, but she didn't want to steal the spotlight from the actresses who were about to portray her onstage. Things didn't go exactly as planned.
"I came in and unfortunately the lights were not yet down. I seemed to stand out," Cher told the Chicago Tribune. Once things calmed down, Cher said she was happy to have a rare night off from performing. "Oh God. I still play this character in my concerts," quipped the legend, who at 72 is touring, recording a new album, starring in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and hoping to direct her first feature film.
Cher in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
"I've been working like a crazy person," she has said. "Cher's a workhorse," a friend confirmed to Closer Weekly in the magazine's latest issue, on newsstands now. "I don't think she'll ever truly retire!" That's music to her fans' ears, especially since Cher has insisted she's only improving with age. "My voice is about 100 times better" than ever," she said. "My voice is really stronger. It's not diminishing. That sounds pompous, possibly, but it's true."
The confidence that gives her at this point in her life is powerful — and reenergizing. "I'm always surprised I can get up onstage and run around for 90 minutes and have a good time and still sing," she told the Herald Sun.
While she had to cancel some performances due to a viral infection in 2014, tabloid reports of any grave illness have been greatly exaggerated. "I was never at death's door," she scoffed. "That just sounds better than 'She's not feeling well.'" Added her friend, "She's fine, Cher is in a good place and she's sharper than ever."
Cher and her son Elijah in 2002.
She put a lot of effort into keeping fit. "I work out all the time, and I'm a healthy eater. I take care of myself," the star, who's battled Epstein-Barr virus since 1986, has promised. "She credits various healing modalities for her good health now," her friend explained. "Massage, Reiki, acupuncture. She has a personal chef who makes her mostly vegetables and fish, and she has a personal trainer. Cher likes Pilates and yoga, and she even boxes!"
Cher's fighting spirit has served her well since childhood, when she struggled with a crippling case of dyslexia. "The only thing I know is not to give up," Cher said in an NBC interview of her sheer determination, which has earned her 22 solo Top 40 hits, a Grammy, an Emmy, and an Oscar in 1988 for Moonstruck.
"She's definitly looking for other film projects, and she's hoping for a serious, dramatic role next," her friend shared, adding, "She still feels a dream role is coming her way, and she’d love another Oscar!" First, though, she needs to wrap up her latest CD, which is reportedly due later this year, and she also takes her Vegas and Washington, DC residency show to Australia this fall.
"When I get out there, I still have a good time," she told Rita Wilson of the thrill she gets from entertaining her fans. "I realize there will eventually come a time when I can't do it," she added, "so I want to enjoy it as long as I can."
For more on Cher, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more exclusive news!