During a night filled with memorable music moments, Cher prevailed as one of the biggest standouts. The singer took the stage at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards before receiving the show’s most prestigious honor — the Icon Award — proving she’s still a game-changer.
Singing classic hits “Believe” and “If I Could Turn Back Time,” Cher channeled her 1999 and 1989 self with two costume changes during the epic performance. She donned the two Bob Mackie ensembles, which were complete with silver shoes, pasties and a blonde and pink wig for the “Believe” dance number, as well as that famous black curly hair, sheer bodysuit and over-the-knee boots for“If I Could Turn Back Time.”
Since February, the entertainer has been hitting the Las Vegas stage for the “Classic Cher” residency show exclusively at the Park Theater inside the Monte Carlo hotel, and on Sunday, she gave fans a taste of her Vegas act at the Billboard Awards.
Gwen Stefani was on hand to present Cher with the Icon Award following her performance.
“So I’ve wanted to do what I do since I was 4 years old. And I’ve been doing it for 53 years. That is not an applause thing; I’m 71 yesterday. And I can do a five-minute plank, okay? Just saying,” Cher said while accepting the honor.
She added that luck had to do with much of her success: “I think it was mostly luck and a little bit of something thrown in.” But many would beg to differ.
Before Madonna and Lady Gaga, there was Cher, who helped pave the way for adventurous singers in the male-dominated music industry. Cher has accomplished plenty throughout her career, starting with hit singles in the 1960s with then-husband Sonny Bono, followed by their TV variety series “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour” and her solo success with such songs as “Dark Lady,” “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves” and “If I Could Turn Back Time.” She was also the first artist to have a No. 1 single on a Billboard chart in each decade. As an actress, she won an Academy Award for her role in “Moonstruck.”
Not only did her talent set Cher apart, but it was her over-the-top fashion statements that skyrocketed her to notoriety in the ’60s and ’70s.
“The thing about Cher is, she can be [any ethnicity],” costume designer Bob Mackie told Footwear News ahead of Cher’s latest Vegas residency debut. “Everybody looked like they were Swedish with a turned-up nose, blonde hair and blue eyes. There where millions of women out there who saw Cher and thought, ‘She’s like me.’”
He continued, “The thing about Cher is, she showed skin, but we never let it be vulgar. Back 30 to 40 years ago, there wasn’t anything that was too much for Cher.”
Click through the gallery to see Cher’s onstage look at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, and check her out in Vegas as she continues to perform through November 2017.