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Cher reminded the world why she’s an icon at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night. With not one but two performances of her greatest hits and a Billboard Icon Award acceptance speech, she wowed the audience.
“I think luck has so much to do with my success. I think it was mostly luck with a little bit of something thrown in,” Cher said as her son Chaz Bono watched from the audience.
Cher joins an esteemed list of past award recipients, including Celine Dion, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Stevie Wonder and Neil Diamond. With more than 100 million albums sold worldwide and a No. 1 single in every decade from the 1960s to the 2010s (she was the first artist to have a No. 1 single on a Billboard chart in each decade), Cher has certainly earned the honor of icon.
Gwen Stefani presented Cher with the award, saying:
“It is an honor for me to be here tonight to present the Billboard Icon Award to a woman who is truly the definition of the word icon: Cher. From the first note you know it’s her. Her artistry, her commitment to her craft and her willingness to take on new creative challenges have served as an inspiration to me and my career and she continues to inspire. She has proven that there is nothing she can not do. Cher is trailblazer, a fashion trendsetter, truly iconic looks at every single point in her career, a role model for preservering and showing us how to be strong and how to be true to ourselves. She is a cultural influencer, a tireless activist and an incredible humanitarian who cares about our world and speaks out against injustices.”
Next, Cher performed her hits “Believe” and “If I Could Turn Back Time” that were electrifying and got the audience on their feet. For “Believe,” she donned a bleach blonde wig, barely-there dress made of glittery silver strands accented by heart-shaped pasties and silver boots.
Cher also busted out a huge black curly wig, black leather jacket, thigh-high boots and sparkling black bodysuit for a performance of her 1989 smash “If I Could Turn Back Time.”
After performing her hits, she accepted the Billboard Icon Award with a humble speech that notably left out any mention of Donald Trump.
“So, I’ve wanted to do what I do since I was four 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. I want to thank my mom. Because when I was really young she said, ‘You’re not going to be the smartest, you’re not going to be the prettiest, you’re not going to be the most talented, but you’re going to be special.’ And when I met Sonny he said the same thing. There was really nothing about me that led anyone to believe that I was going to be special.”
You’re more special than you know! And happy birthday, Cher!