Cher wowed the crowd at the Billboard Music Awards with an energetic performance on Sunday night (21May17), before accepting her Icon gong with a self-deprecating speech.
The legendary singer attended the Las Vegas ceremony after turning 71 on Saturday, and showed off her age-defying figure in a revealing silver dress and nipple pasties as she belted out her smash hit Believe, in what marked her first awards show performance in 15 years.
Stars, including awards co-host Vanessa Hudgens, who was dressed in a Cher-inspired silver stomach-baring ensemble, were seen singing along to the tune in the audience, while Celine Dion led the Winners’ Room in a rendition of the track.
Following the performance, Gwen Stefani took to the stage to present Cher with the prestigious award, calling the singer “truly the definition of an icon”.
Then it was Cher’s turn to speak to the crowd, who she impressed with her witty but humble acceptance speech.
“So, I’ve wanted to do what I do since I was four years-old,” Cher said, while the audience cheered. “And I’ve been doing it for 53 years. That is not an applause thing, I’m 71 (as of) yesterday. And I can do a five-minute plank, okay? Just saying!”
When it comes to who inspired her in her life, Cher, born Cherilyn Sarkisian, thanked her mother, who told her: “You’re not going to be the smartest, you’re not going to be the prettiest, you’re not going to be the most talented, but you’re going to be special.”
Cher’s late husband Sonny Bono also told her the same thing, but the singer defied the odds and has enjoyed a hugely successful and lengthy career.
She also said that some of her career wasn’t down to her talent, adding: “I think luck has so much to do with with my success. I think it was mostly luck and a little bit of something thrown in.”