With a new show debuting in Las Vegas this month and more than 3 million followers relishing her emoji-stuffed (and often politically charged) tweets, Cher knows how to hold an audience’s attention. It’s a skill she developed in the face of adversity.
"When I was growing up, no one knew what dyslexia was," Cher said at the Fast Company Innovation Festival in November. "My teachers would say things like, ‘She’s really smart, but she doesn’t apply herself.’ [With Twitter], at the beginning, my tweets were frightening. I would read them back and they didn’t make sense. But then I started using emojis, which was heaven. They’re like hieroglyphs. I learn so much about what’s really happening on Twitter. I mean, there’s a bunch of crap, but then there are some fabulous things. What I get from Twitter are ways that I can enrich someone’s life, enrich my life, or do some good.
"I love the creative process. I believe that my job onstage is to take people away from their lives and problems and whatever. I always design the shows to entertain me, and they seem to entertain my audience, too. When I first started [performing] after Sonny and I split up, I didn’t want to just go out and sing. I thought, I’ll be bored to sobs if I do that. So I made this amazing show [which ran at Caesars Palace from 1979 through 1982]. Everyone hated it. They went, ‘Oh, Cher and her stupid Las Vegas show.’ But [everyone] is doing that today!"
A version of this article appeared in the February 2017 issue of Fast Company magazine.