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She’s the pop icon with over six decades of ongoing success and over 100 million record sales. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the "Top 10 Best Cher Songs."
For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs. We will only be looking at Cher’s solo work, so any hits she had as one half of Sonny & Cher are off the table, as well as any other of Cher’s duets with other artists.
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Song for the Lonely—Living Proof
Winning Cher a number one spot on the Billboard US Dance Club songs chart and delivering a standout gem off her 24th studio album Living Proof, this song flawlessly captures a memorable sound and powerful message. Initially written as a love song, the timing of its release coincided with the September 11 attacks. Cher has since dedicated the track to the courageous people involved post-attack, such as the firefighters or policemen, as a tribute to their services and bravery. Its energetic dance-pop flavour lays down the foundations for Cher’s iconic voice in one of the most passionate performances of her career.
Woman’s World—Closer to the Truth
Energetic, empowering, and yet another reflection of Cher’s legendary pop status. Solidifying Cher’s continued popularity following a 12 year absence after 2001s Living Proof, this is truly a comeback song for the ages. Not only was it the first single off Closer to the Truth, but it also topped Billboards Hot Dance Club Songs chart. Fusing elements of Europop, dance, and house genres together, its modern sound is beyond catchy and easily succeeds as a strong feminist anthem with a dance floor-friendly vibe. Proving again that age is just a number, this track was released when Cher was 67 years old, and showed the world that her incredible vocals and performance appeal hadn’t gone anywhere.
Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)—The Sonny Side of Cher
Written and produced by her partner in crime Sonny Bono, this now iconic hit today serves as an everlasting staple among the music industry’s most recognised offerings. Released on Cher’s second studio album, when she was a now-hard-to-imagine 20 years old, it became one of her best-selling hits of the 1960s. Charting in several countries globally, it peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and at number three on the UK singles chart. The songs unique folk rock vibe and Cher’s flawless vocals made the song so popular that it paved the way for several famous covers of her original song, such as Nancy Sinatra’s rendition, also released in 1966.
Winning the number one spot in Canada, New Zealand, and the US (where it was also subsequently certified gold), the pop appeal of this track is simply unquestionable. Lyrically, it delivers the story of a woman of half-white and half-Cherokee origin who isn’t accepted by either group given her split heritage. The music video reveals one of the earliest examples of Cher’s elaborate costumes, with iconic American fashion designer Bob Mackie designing the now-famous flowing, feathered headdress and white native outfit Cher wears as she rides atop a horse. Its unique, tribal sound makes it a memorable tune even after 40 years since its release.
Dark Lady—Dark Lady
Telling the story of a gypsy fortune teller in New Orleans, “Dark Lady” was the first single released from Cher’s 1974 album of the same name. Experiencing impressive levels of success, it was certified gold in the US with sales of over a million, which was backed up with the deserved number one spot on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song notably, given the era it was released, has two music videos—a live action one shot during The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and a cartoon animated by John David Wilson who had previously worked on Peter Pan and Lady and the Tramp. With its ferocious vibe, it’s safe to say this track is yet another reflection of Cher’s impressive vocal range.
This empowering track nestles perfectly among Cher’s countless career highlights. “Strong Enough” fuses a 70s disco sound with her trademark singing voice for one of her most unforgettable tracks yet. Lyrically encouraging people everywhere to put their foot down and be strong enough to walk away from a cheating partner, the songs message is both powerful and motivating. Gold certified in Australia, France, and Germany, it also charted well worldwide and is always a fan favourite at her live concerts. A dance floor anthem for the ages!
Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves—Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves
Certified gold and earning Cher her first number one hit in the US, this song truly ushered in the 70s in style. The track even got so big that the album off which it was released was renamed from the self-titled Cher, to Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves, to further capitalise on the single’s success. As the song exclaims, it lyrically tells the story of a girl born in the wagon of a travelling show and the misconstrued name-calling she receives from people of her town. Introducing a folk sound for Cher and a reinvented image, the constant change of pace throughout and catchy chorus made it a real treat for listeners.
I Found Someone—Cher
Released as the first single off her 18th and self-titled studio album, this fan favourite has a head bang friendly vibe and is among Cher’s signature hits. Everything from the memorable instrumental opening to the pop rock vibe work together to perfectly compliment Cher’s passionate vocals. Peaking inside the top ten in the US, UK, Ireland, and Australia, Cher’s rendition of “I Found Someone” fared much better that the original Laura Branigan version, which barely managed to find its way on the Hot 100. Many identify it today as one of the standout songs of the 80s, and it sure isn’t hard to see why.
If I Could Turn Back Time—Heart of Stone
Bagging the number one spot in Australia and on both the American and Canadian Adult contemporary charts, this song charted globally and undeniably sits among the most popular songs of all time. It also delivered with one of the most famous music videos in history where we see Cher perform for the crew of the battleship USS Missouri. Despite being controversial, her full fishnet body stocking, very visible and very tattooed butt, and the one piece suit worn in the video is forever iconic and damn, did she rock it. “If I Could Turn Back Time” sure is a fan favourite, and is never short of an energetic performance at her live concerts.
Before we sing along to our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions:
- “Heart of Stone"—Heart of Stone
- “Just like Jesse James”—Heart of Stone
- “All or Nothing”—Believe
It’s the stand out track that further set Cher’s status as an unforgettable pop culture icon into music history. It dominated the charts by bagging the number one spot on a whole 25 charts worldwide, and has since sold over 11 million copies. It notably spent a staggering seven weeks atop the UK singles chart, and today holds the title as the best-selling song by a female in UK music history. Its unforgettable dance-inducing vibe compliments the empowering lyrics, which sing about belief in finding love following the end of a relationship. It’s also considered the birthplace of Auto-Tune in mainstream music, which is a feat in its own. Not only was it a musical breakthrough, but it truly added a unique spin on Cher’s already illustrious sound.
Do you agree with our list? Which Cher song is your favourite? For more entertaining top tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.