Cher Is Back ... Again

Diva discusses coming out of retirement to perform in Las Vegas.

Feb. 7, 2008 — -- The quintessential queen of comeback has once again risen like a Phoenix. Singer Cher will open at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas three years after she finished her international farewell tour.

She reportedly is receiving $60 million for her stint, although she initially played coy about her salary in her exclusive interview with Nightline anchor Cynthia McFadden at the superstar's Malibu home Sunday.

"I know it's a lot, but I don't care. If it's a lot, if someone says, 'ooh, it's a lot,' OK. fine. It must be a lot," Cher said.

Cher, who mostly has stayed out of the public eye the last few years, will replace Celine Dion in the city of sin. Among other challenges, she will face the difficulty of topping her profitable and successful last tour.

Forty Years and Counting

After four decades of success, Cher has managed to become the only artist to have a hit in each of the last four decades. Still, she worries about money.

"Oh, I always think I'm going to be a bag lady," she said. "When Sonny and I were really famous in the beginning, I remember going out and buying two electric frying pans. He said, 'What are you doing with that?' I went, 'Well I'm just saving one in the box in case.'"

With her commercial and financial success, Cher didn't need the backup pan. She has managed to bag almost every major accolade imaginable. She has Grammys, a Golden Globe and an Oscar.

Even with all her successes, Cher has had difficulties. The gay icon said she suffers from depression.

"When you have depression sometimes you feel like, you know, you're completely alone," Cher said.

For Cher, work eases her depression, which may explain why she keeps coming back for more.

"Work helps me a lot. I enjoy the work, but the work keeps you moving as well. It just keeps you moving, it keeps you around people. You don't get a chance to go, 'Oh, what's life about? You're just doing something. You're being productive."

Along with her depression, Cher has struggled with getting older. Even though the 61-year-old looks decades younger than her birth-certificate age, she still finds aging difficult.

"I hate getting old. What can I tell you? I'm sorry," Cher said.

She said it's a fallacy that getting older makes you smarter.

"Somebody keeps asking me that. Like, 'Don't you feel smarter?" as if that would offset all the other crap," she said. "I was about as smart as I was going to get at 40."

Another part of aging she doesn't like is the changes in the body. Cher, who has admitted to having some plastic surgery, claims it's not nearly as much as the tabloids say.

She also has said she never thought of herself as pretty, even when she was young.

"I can create the illusion of it, because a lot of it comes from what's inside of you," she said. "I can do that pretty well."

If She Could Turn Back Time

Though Cher may long for her youth, her past is not without regrets.

"I think you only regret the things you didn't do," she said.

One thing she regrets in not going out with Elvis Presley.

"When he called I was just too frightened," Cher said, "frightened to go to Las Vegas with him for the weekend."

"I regretted it forever. I regretted it with Marlon Brando, too," she added.

Cher may not have gotten with the King or one of the country's most prolific actors, but her dating history never has been dull. Today, her love exploits aren't making news, but in the past they dominated entertainment pages.

Cher even has dated a pre-scientology Tom Cruise.

"He just was the most adorable man that you can possibly imagine," she said. "I have to say, I don't understand the scientology thing because I don't understand it, you know. Sonny was a scientologist. I didn't understand that either."

Cher said she isn't dating anyone now, but would be open to a new love.

"They fall in your lap. You don't go looking. They just, you just stub your toe over guys," she said. "I'm always looking for the same thing, just younger or older. You know, I'm looking for someone who can make me laugh, who I think is cute that wants to go do stupid things still."

Cher on Politics

Cher has kept abreast of the political situation and has even picked a candidate.

"For me it's a no-brainer. It's Hillary [Clinton]," said Cher.

It's a departure from many of her Hollywood counterparts, who have backed Barack Obama.

"I am sure he's a wonderful person," she said. "But I had dinner once with someone in the White House. The first time he was in the White House, the first night of his presidency, and this man was a saint, and all he talked about was what he wanted to do for this country … and because of his inexperience they cut him off at the knees," Cher said of former President Jimmy Carter.

The Diva said she could never run for office herself.

"I'd be terrible," she said. "I'd be swearing and telling the truth."