Pop icon Cher has spent nearly five decades in the limelight with chart-topping hits, award-winning roles in films, and her famously outlandish outfits. Now at 64, she's back again, starring in her first movie musical, "Burlesque," in which she plays a tough-loving den mother to a gang of tantalizing young dancers.
With co-stars half her age, Cher kept up with 16-hour workdays in her five-inch heels.
"This was the hardest work I ever did," she told ABC News' Cynthia McFadden, in their fourth interview in 10 years. "I kept up really well, but those girls...they danced like I've never seen before."
While making the movie, Cher says she played mentor to her 29-year-old co-star, singer Christina Aguilera, who was making her film debut.
"The more that she and I worked together, I think the better she got. She's got the goods, she's got that voice. And she killed herself," said Cher.
In McFadden's wide-ranging interview with Cher, the star spoke candidly about several subjects, including her own love life.
"I have a boyfriend, that we have decided that we are some place between boyfriend and best friend. ...He makes me laugh more than anybody I've ever known. And he's very crazy, but very smart, and very talented."
From Two Children to Two Sons
The man is Ron Zimmerman, a 52 year-old screenwriter and director. Zimmerman is one of three leading men in her life today. The other two are her sons, Elijah Blue Allman and Chaz Bono.
"I have two sons. Never thought that would be, but, you know? You go through life, and you get what you get. You get what belongs to you," she said.
Chaz was Cher's first born child -- her sweet little girl named Chastity, from her first marriage to the late Sonny Bono. This past spring, Chaz became a man after undergoing gender re-assignment surgery. It has been a sensitive subject for Cher and she has been reluctant to discuss it -- until now.
Cher told McFadden it was difficult for her when Chastity first came out as a lesbian a decade ago, even though she had suspected for years her daughter was gay.
"She had told everybody but me," said Cher, "because she was frightened to tell me...what are people going to think?"
Cher: 'I Put Myself in Chaz's Place'
When Chaz came to her and said she wanted to have surgery to become a man, Cher said she was frightened at first, but as supportive as she could be.
"We'd talked about it before, over the years. So I said...'If you need to do this, you'd better do it.' This is the way I felt about it, and this is how I tried to explain it to my son, Elijah. I like being a girl...if I woke up tomorrow and I was in a guy's body, I would just be flipped out, and it would just be horrendous for me. And that's all I can think of. That's the way I put myself in Chaz's place."
Cher has expressed concerns about the medical care that her son would receive during the gender re-assignment procedure beause of her celebrity status.
"I think that famous people get the best and the worst care. And I think they were so excited to do this that I think maybe they didn't make the benchmarks that I thought would be necessary."
Despite her concerns, Cher said Chaz is happy now, and that is all that matters.
"She's still the same person who really is no different," Cher said.