Cher is as about as humble as a mononymic pop-cultural icon can be. Which is to say: sort of! She is self-deprecating, but also convinced that everyone is paying attention to how self-deprecating she is. “I’m not a huge Cher fan and everyone knows that,” she told Stephen Colbert on Tuesday’s episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Colbert, apparently, did not know that.
She said that in response to a question about her favorite Cher songs. Cher doesn’t like Cher songs, so does that mean her onstage exuberance and generally excellent showmanship have been ruses all along? That’s showbiz, I guess. “I’ve done some good things,” Cher finally allowed.
There is, it seems, a fairly wide chasm between what Cher defines as “good” and what everyone else does. She mentioned 2001's “Song for the Lonely,” a post-“Believe” dance dirge that was recorded before 9/11 but then, after the terrorist attacks, rebranded as a 9/11 theme. (In the liner notes for the album on which “Song” appears, Living Proof, Cher dedicates the track to then-New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, among others.) The song flopped—it did best in the Czech Republic, where it peaked at No. 13.
Cher also mentioned “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” a pile of schmaltz and every “I will survive” cliché except for the “I will survive” that Diane Warren wrote for Cher’s 2010 camp romp Burlesque, which also starred Christina Aguilera. It was also not a hit (though, like “Song for the Lonely,” it did well in U.S. clubs).
Cher cited her 2018 album of ABBA covers, Dancing Queen, as an album that she’s “pretty proud” of despite people’s scoffing. (It had strong first-week sales, but the set has yet to be certified gold by the RIAA, per the association’s website.)
No “Believe.” No “If I Could Turn Back Time.” No “We All Sleep Alone.” No “I Found Someone.” No “Take Me Home.” No “Just Like Jesse James” (for my money, the Cher-iest Cher song that ever Cherred). She allowed that “I Got You Babe” has a “place of honor all its own,” which: fine. Cher, it would seem, is largely partial to Cher’s flops, which is actually not fan behavior but way beyond. The flops are the dominion of stans.
It would seem that Cher is not a huge Cher fan—she’s a huge Cher stan. And now everyone knows that for sure.