At the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre on Monday (April 1) night, bona fide pop legend Cher received the Icon Award.

When the Oscar-winning actor and Grammy-winning singer took the stage, she had some words for the haters. “There are people who say, ‘Doesn’t that b-tch have more than one pair of pants?’” she said, laughing. “I’ve had these pants for 40 years. I thought we should come here and accept this award together.”

Speaking to her longevity, Cher said she felt “lucky to have people that have stayed with me all these years,” while acknowledging that “most of you weren’t born” when her career began as part of Sonny & Cher in the ‘60s.

“I don’t usually talk about it, but I have been down and out so many times you could not believe it,” Cher admitted. “Dropped by record companies, couldn’t get a job… they said, ‘Oh, she’s so over.’ But I never gave up my dream.”

She had some advice for everyone in attendance and watching at home, too. “Have a dream and don’t give it up no matter what happens. If you have a dream and stick with it, you will have a wonderful life and it will probably come true.”

Prior to accepting the Icon Award, Cher hit the stage to perform her Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 “Believe.” But she wasn’t alone. Vocal powerhouse (and fellow Oscar winner) Jennifer Hudson joined her, trading full-throated vocals with Cher on the dance-pop classic. Prior to “Believe,” Hudson took the stage to sing Cher’s Adult Contemporary No. 1 smash “If I Could Turn Back Time,” which Hudson (no surprise) blew out of the water.

Cher’s Icon Award was introduced by another living legend: Meryl Streep, who has been friends with Cher since they starred in the 1983 drama Silkwood together. Streep noted that Cher is the only woman who has notched a No. 1 Billboard song in every one of the last seven decades. She also shared a story about listening to “I Got You Babe” back when she was just a tween in the mid ‘60s. “[Cher was] 17. I thought she was old – she could have been a senior! Now we’re both seniors,” she added drily.

Joe Lynch
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