Before there was YouTube, before there was MTV, there were variety shows. In the 1970s, variety shows were quintessential viewing for music lovers and often featured performances from the top artists of the time. At the time, Cher and her then-husband Sonny Bono were the clear king and queen of variety programs. However, when the couple separated in 1975, Cher began starring in her own variety show, aptly titled Cher.
The program only ran for two seasons, but it wasn’t for lack of popularity. During its run, Cher was the most-watched variety show and ranked 22nd among all other programs on TV at the time. It featured countless performances from now-legendary musicians with Cher usually participating. Here are some of the most bizarre, dazzling, and quintessentially ’70s performances from the iconic syndication.
If you want to see two legends at work, look no further than David Bowie’s iconic performance with Cher. The two powerhouses performed Bowie’s song “Young Americans.” During the six-minute performance, Cher and Bowie danced around the stage in nearly matching ensembles. Cher wore a massive red wig, nearly the same color as Bowie’s own hair. It’s a joy to look back at two legendary artists so in their element. If you can handle the level of star power, you’ll want to revisit this iconic performance.
In possibly the most ’70s performance in existence, Cher performed a Stevie Wonder medley with family pop group The Osmonds. For the performance, The Osmonds donned matching purple, red, and white jumpsuits. Cher coordinated in her own ab-baring ensemble as well. This was truly peak ’70s fashion, right down to their matching hairstyles and eerily white-toothed smiles. For a performance that’s sure to take you back in time, you’ll want to give this one a re-watch!
The Jackson Five
Before Michael Jackson became the King of Pop, he performed with his family in the band The Jackson Five. In 1975, the group appeared on Cher for an energetic and pitch-perfect performance. Even back then, it was clear that Michael Jackson would go far. With his stellar voice and silk-smooth dance moves, it’s a delight to see Cher perform with the young star.
It truly never gets old watching Elton John absolutely shred a piano solo. On the variety show, Cher and John performed an iconic rendition of “Bennie and the Jets.” The effortless duet was one for the ages. John gave a flawless performance while Cher comfortably riffed off of the icon. Aside from flawless vocals, you’re sure to become entranced by Cher’s glittery eye makeup.
Elton John And Bette Midler
Of course, John and Cher were bound to perform together again. However, this time they were joined by actress and singer Bette Midler. The trio performed a medley of familiar tunes on a dream-like set covered in balloons. John wore an absolutely massive top hat covered in miniature disco balls while Midler wore a chest-baring dress to match Cher’s sleek, barely-there gown. While it would be impossible to truly capture the ethereal look of this 1975 set, we’re officially advocating for the trio to recreate this forgotten performance.