Here's What Cher's Real Name Actually Is

On May 20, 1946, a star was born in El Centro, California (via Britannica). Before growing up to become the icon and pop legend known as Cher, that future star was raised mainly by her mother, Georgia Holt, after she was abandoned by her father. She lived a life much less glamorous than the one she would eventually create for herself. While Holt was in the entertainment industry herself, working as a model and actress, she never achieved the kind of success that would afford her family a comfortable life. At one point, Cher's mother was unable to financially support her children, so she left Cher and her sister, Georgianne, at an orphanage, according to The Talko.

Throwing herself into entertainment at a young age, the budding star knew that she was destined for greatness and longed to be in the spotlight (via Biography). Thanks to her mother's entertainment connections, she made her earliest appearances on the small screen as an extra and in a small role on "The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet." Following several moves around the country with her family, Cher set out to achieve her show business dreams at the age of 16 in Hollywood. From that point on, her life would never be the same — nor would her name! But what was her name before she became known as Cher and what was her journey to get there? Read on to find out.

Cher's name wasn't legally changed until the late 70s

Once Cher arrived in Hollywood, she began laying the groundwork for what has become a truly iconic existence. In 1963, the same year she moved to Hollywood on her own, the soon-to-be star met her first husband, Sonny Bono. The pair began their relationship as friends brought together by circumstance and convenience, as Bono had invited Cher to live with him in exchange for cleaning services after she had been kicked out of her own place by her roommates. Within a year's time, the pair had blossomed into something more. "It wasn't a fiery, sexy thing with us, but rather paternal, like we were bound together, two people who needed each other, almost for protection," the "Believe" singer said of their relationship in 1975, the same year the couple divorced and called it quits for good on the relationship (via Biography).

Following the uncoupling of the Bonos, both parties experienced regrets regarding the breakup. Cher remarried another celebrity, Gregg Allman, just days after the divorce was finalized, and following the failure of that marriage, shared a 2-year live-in a relationship with Gene Simmons of KISS starting in 1978 (via People). That was the same year the superstar legally changed her name to Cher, closing the chapter on who she once was. Before the change, Cher's name was Cherilyn Sarkisian.