The Real Reason Cher Changed Her Name

Cher is one star that never stops. The singer and all around icon first started her career in her teens after meeting Sonny Bono (via Biography). They would go on to become the singing duo Sonny and Cher before Cher launched her own solo career. Since then, she's won hundreds of awards, influenced fashion trends, and solidified her reputation as a global icon. 


Since her career began five decades ago, it's hardly slowed down. As the singer recently told i-D, "I'm offered more work now than I can actually do and I don't understand it ... I'm just thinking, I'm just Cher." To most fans, "just Cher" is still significant. With just one, single-syllable name, most can picture Cher in her headpieces, performing on stage. Though Cher's name and its brand are instantly recognizable, she once went by a different name — and the "Believe" hitmaker changed it to Cher for one simple reason.

Cher let go of the baggage surrounding her past names

Cher was born Cherilyn Sarkisian, though, as she told CNBC, "To my family, I've always been Cher." She decided to embrace her nickname once she became famous, eventually joining other mononymous celebrities of the time like Elvis and Twiggy. But the reason for her short name was just as personal as it was professional.


In her CNBC interview, Cher explains, "I had two children by two different fathers, so I took both last names. And then I thought, 'I don't like either one of these.' So I ... went to court, and I just said, 'I want to change my name to Cher.'" Cher ditched her old last names, and the relationship history that went with them. Because she's so recognizable by her first name, she's even allowed to have just "Cher" listed on her passport. When you're an icon as powerful as her, one four-letter name is all you need.