As we enter Women’s History Month, it’s time to reflect on some of the biggest legends in music. While several careers are worth celebrating, only one diva can brag that she is the only artist to date to have a No. 1 single on a Billboard chart in six consecutive decades, from the 1960s to the 2010s: Cher.
Micaela Diamond is a fan — and she plays a version of her (Babe, the youngest Cher) in The Cher Show on Broadway.
“Cher was a lot of ‘firsts.’ One of the first working mothers, one of the first women to experience paparazzi becoming legitimately dangerous, one of the first women to publicly divorce even when the world decided they loved Sonny and Cher as a unit,” Diamond tells Billboard. “She continues to crash through ceilings, admit mistakes and tumble forward in her journey of life which is drastically different than anyone else on this planet. Any human who has influenced five different generations of human beings is, without question, inspiring.”
Billboard asked Diamond, who is making her Broadway debut with this role, to compile a playlist that celebrates women. Along with Cher, the rising star chose everyone from fellow theater queen Sara Bareilles (whom she was the understudy for in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert) to one of last week’s Oscar winners, Lady Gaga. Check out her selections below.
“Bey is always reminding us just how valid our feelings are and just how little we need to apologize for them. 10/10 recommend watching Lemonade at least once a year.”
Janelle Monáe, “America”
“The masterpiece that is Dirty Computer is filled with all kinds of “ism” anthems and this song, to me, focuses on the hope for LGBTQ and women of color to have the same opportunities in this country as those who are more privileged. (While you listen, donate to the TransWomen of Color Collective and be a better ally — you’ll be done by the time the songs over!)”
Lady Gaga feat. Florence Welch, “Hey Girl”
“These two sing this little lady anthem that makes me fall mad for them. Loving and lifting your female friends literally never feels not good.”
Brandi Carlile, “Raise Hell”
“Brandi is a stupid combination of talent and authenticity and watching her sing this (and everything else ever) and bare her soul can be a true definition female empowerment.”
Sara Bareilles, “Beautiful Girl”
“A Sara ballad has to be on every list I write, so here we are with this little gem. Don’t buy the heels for the man, buy them for yourself, my love. She’s right, Sara is always right — and so is her vibrato.”
Ariana Grande, “God Is a Woman”
“Ariana talks about the sexual empowerment women should feel during sex (for sure) and also during life. Knowing our bodies and continuously reminding the world that they are ours. It’s hot.”
Demi Lovato, “ Sorry Not Sorry”
“There’s a lot of hate thrown at women with a huge amount of fame. Through all of her personal BS, Demi continuously rises above it and never apologizes for who she is. (We are not on a first name basis.)”
Cher, “Woman’s World”
“I had to throw a Cher number in here. I am lucky to sing this one in the show every night and hopefully remind every female in the house just how thrilling it is to have boobs — big or small. Cher has had both.”
Whitney Houston, “I’m Every Woman”
“A glorious throwback. She wants to acknowledge that she has the capacity and power to be any kind of woman she wants. She also is literally 10 different races making her approximately every woman and stupidly stunning. Math.”
Drake, “Nice for What”
“I wish there were more songs by men on this list. I think part of how we can move forward faster as a human race is for the half that doesn’t have to deal with all the bullshit to boldly step up. Highly recommend falling in love with Misty Copeland and Tracee Ellis Ross and Issa Rae in the music video that celebrates the absolute hustle of some fine women.”