Cherilyn Sarkisian, more commonly know as Cher, is the only person, male or female, to win an Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, and an Oscar. As a solo artist, she has reached the number one spot on the Billboard charts for the last six decades, and her single, “Believe,” has sold more than ten million copies.
However, there was a time when none of this seemed possible, and when Cher was not known for her solo singing career. No matter how hard she tried, she could not out run the shadow of “Sonny and Cher.” Solo albums like Stars, I’d Rather Believe In You, Cherished, and I Paralyze were not received well by the critics, or the fans. Lost, confused, and defeated, Cher took a break from the music industry and focused her energy on acting. Would she ever find her way as a solo artist…
This is THE untold and most unreliable story of one woman’s passion for her favorite film, and how it changed her life.
After years of poor advice from producers, agents, and even her husband, Cher was determined to make it as a singer on her own. On May 13th, 1989, she walked into a pitch meeting for her music video, “If I Could Turn Back Time.”
Numerous directors sat around a large table telling her their ideas and why she should do it their way. She patiently listened to all of the ideas, but knew deep down that some thing was not right. Doug Binchmen pitched an idea where Cher would surf on a camel, while playing beach vollyeball. That was, as the expression goes, “The straw that broke the camel’s back.” She stood to her feet and yelled, “I’ve heard enough! You may not know this, but I wrote this song while watching the movie, The Final Countdown. It’s a beautiful movie about making tough decisions, and if you could change the past, would you? The only way this video is going to work is if I sing it on a Navy ship in front of actual sailors…while wearing a leather jacket and fishnet stockings.” The room went silent. She walked out of the room a more confident singer, artist and woman then she had ever been before.
The song was released on June 1st, 1989, and skyrocketed through the charts, becoming a top ten single in over ten countries. Even though her video for the song created controversy for being “too provocative,” or some would say, “too patriotic,” it became the driving force behind the revival of her solo career she had been working for her whole life. While The Final Countdown didn’t change America’s past, it certainly changed Cher’s musical Pearl Harbor.
The Final Countdown stars Martin Sheen, Kirk Douglass and Kathraine Ross, and was directed by Don Taylor.