But when she leaves the Colosseum at Caesars Palace at the end of her performance, the 62-year-old singer leads a lifestyle quite opposite from the kind that Las Vegas has come to represent: She stays out of the casinos, refrains from drinking, doesn't smoke and stays away from the all-night party scene.
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"I like to go out, do my work and then come home," says Cher, who likens her time away from the stage to living like "a nun."
Unlikely words from a woman who has represented quite the opposite over her nearly five-decade career (as the barely there outfits she dons in her show reflect). But while she puts on an eye-popping extravaganza in Vegas, Cher likes to keep her home life decidedly more low-key.
In a recent interview, Cher — who kicks off the second phase of her concerts at Caesars Palace this month — talked about her show, life in Vegas and why she finds herself in Target stores.
AP: What was the first season of shows like in Vegas?
Cher: The schedule is a dream schedule. The only thing that I kind of didn't anticipate for some reason, I don't know where my brain is, but I didn't anticipate the dryness getting to my throat the way it did. … So when I'm there, I have to kind of live like a nun and not talk during the day, but that's the only unusual thing.
AP: How do you not talk during the day? Is it hard?
Cher: Yeah. … It's so hard for me, I just really have to think about it and just not speak, but I have to remind myself about 100 times a days, because I'm not the kind of person that doesn't want to talk.
AP: Do you text people?
Cher: (Laughs) Oh yes, I do text people — I text, I e-mail, which is kind of the only saving grace.
AP: What's the best part of getting back to Vegas?
Cher: Look, performers love to perform — that's the thing that we do. I think one of the best things was being able to imagine anything that I wanted, anything that I came up with we could do, because this theater is unbelievable. I come home twice a week, so I'm kind of at home. … I'm not there that much, but it takes me 40 minutes to get home (in the Los Angeles area), it's like doing a show from my bedroom.
AP: What's your upcoming movie with Johnny Knoxville about?
Cher: I can't really talk about it yet. I just can't.
AP: What kind of sound will your new CD have?
Cher: It's hard to put a label sometimes on songs, but it's a little bit more guitar-oriented, a little bit more like "I Found Someone" feeling, and there's some stuff that's still sort of guitar-oriented, but it's got a Southern feeling to it. You know, I just find songs that I like and then I do them and hopefully they make something cohesive.
AP: Have you considered doing one of those exclusive marketing deals?
Cher: I think it's a good way to market things. … I happen to actually think Target's pretty fabulous. On the road, when you're in some teeny little town, I must tell you, I've been to a lot of Targets. I know there are a lot of Targets and a lot of stores called Michaels in the United States. We had a thing where we do painting and we would have these big Teamsters painting a little teapot for their mom. … I would be running to Michaels and getting paintbrushes and stuff like that.
AP: What do you do when you're not working on your music?
Cher: I have a school in Africa. I just got back from Kathmandu (Nepal) and I'm working with some Tibet children there, and I just got back from (the Los Angeles) city hall … to try and save the life of this elephant Billy in the L.A. zoo. I just don't want this elephant to die … he has so much anxiety. He's been alone there forever. … Elephants should not be in zoos. Elephants don't live in zoos, they die in zoos.