The woman who was born Cherilyn Sarkisian, but who only needed one of those syllables to become a star, was born May 20, 1946. She turns 69 on Wednesday.
Since releasing "I Got You Babe" with Sonny Bono in 1965, Cher has continually reinvented herself and given us reason upon reason to keep on loving her.
In honor of the icon’s 69 years, take a look back at her life and work through the magic of GIFs – but first, a video time machine:
Cher’s Changing Looks!Enjoy it – and Cher, have a happy birthday.
1. Watching her toss that luxurious mane of hair is an instant lesson in how to communicate sass non-verbally.
2. She’s got the moves.
3. She can give major attitude.
4. She turned lip-licking into a signature move.
5. She embodied ’60s glam.
6. She can do drama.
7. In Mermaids, she taught us how kitchen dancing can be a crucial mother-daughter bonding activity.
8. She dealt out some pretty solid life lessons in Mermaids too – and check out baby Christina Ricci.
9. She also offers some advice that she herself has clearly followed.
10. She gave good slap in Moonstruck – and probably could in real life, too. “Snap out of it!”
11. She gives a good cry, too – and in this instance, an Oscar-winning cry.
12. See: She can even cry in that restrained, award-winner fashion. Brava!
13. She looked humbled when she won that Oscar, however.
14. She knows how to make an entrance.
15. She had amazing on-screen chemistry with Sonny.
16. But she also knew how to steal a scene.
17. She let us watch the evolving relationship she has with Chaz Bono.
18. She went fiercely maternal in 1985’s Mask.
19. She once teamed up with Scooby-Doo.
20. But that wasn’t the only time she got animated.
21. She has a sense of humor about herself.
22. She’s inspired more than a few imitators.
23. But she’s not afraid to show up imitators, as she once did on Will & Grace.
24. She made a repeat appearance on Will & Grace where she appeared downright godly.
25. She can straddle that line between sexy and campy.
26. She also once straddled a cannon in the video for “If I Could Turn Back Time.”
27. She made fishnet stockings work like few others have.
28. She has out-and-out goofy moments, too.
29. She’s never been afraid to speak her mind.
30. And she will speak her mind at length.
31. Or for that matter, she will also pantomime her mind.
32. She asks provocative questions.
33. She has so pushed the boundaries of edgy fashion that she can rock a Jareth the Goblin King ‘do and it doesn’t seem at all out-of-place on her.
34. For that matter, she can also rock a thigh watch/naval hat combo.
35. She paired Cleopatra bangs with a “Leeloo from The Fifth Element” dress while adjusting herself – and still look composed.
36. She can go platinum blond and not lose that Cher essence.
37. She can dress her backup dancers like this and still be the star of the show.
38. She can look downright beatific.
39. She’s a one-of-a-kind, one-name-only kind of woman.
40. She did Beavis & Butt-head.
41. She can go from zero to 60, mood-wise, in about three seconds.
42. She isn’t afraid to let us see what’s beneath all the glitz – or the wigs.
43. Other times, she has another surprise waiting beneath.
44. She was 52 when "Believe" hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts, making her the oldest female artist to do so.
45. In The Witches of Eastwick, she made us covet covens before American Horror Story made them cool.
46. She’s not afraid to get confrontational.
47. She may be a diva, but she’s not afraid to share the spotlight.
48. She can do pigtails.
49. She can land the hunky guy.
50. She is good with visual aids.
51. She encountered Gene Simmons and this happened.
52. She held her own onstage with Tina Turner at Divas Live!
53. And she can hold her own with David Bowie, too.
54. And even on-screen with Meryl Streep in Silkwood.
55. She can, quite innocently, start a Twitter feud. (Here’s a video explanation, but be forewarned: She drops some NSFW language.)
56. She’s not afraid to be creative – and creatively weird – well into the 2010s. Check out the video for 2013’s "Woman’s World" for proof.
57. And entering her sixties did nothing to suppress her flair for out-there fashion.
58. She supports your right to be happy.
59. She’s friends with Pee-wee Herman.
60. She tackled issues in her music that most artists wouldn’t touch today.
61. Her earrings in “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” deserve a shout-out of their own.
62. She’s refreshingly unfiltered and has been for the entire time she’s been in the public eye.
63. She can project seriousness while dressed like this.
64. She can go biblical.
65. She just can’t be bothered sometimes.
66. She wore this outfit to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards – and looked damn good.
67. For a woman who likes to go big, she’s marvelous at subtlety.
68. She’s not afraid to admit she’s a big deal.
69. And she is a big deal – and she’ll continue to be a big deal.