In 1975, the Allman Brothers Band frontman Gregg Allman, who died Saturday at age 69, married Cher. The two separated just over a week later, then reconciled. They were on the verge of divorce when he learned she was pregnant with their son Elijah, but the marriage eventually did end. In 1992, EW took readers inside the Southern rocker’s rollercoaster relationship with the rising superstar.
Read that story below.
Even the most casual tabloid reader could see that she wasn’t ready for another marriage. She had left Sonny Bono just a year before, in 1974, charging involuntary servitude, and had walked away from CBS’ hit The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. The ink on the two singers’ acrimonious lawsuits (which included a custody battle over daughter Chastity) was still wet. And anyway, wasn’t she dating record whizkid David Geffen? But suddenly that summer — just three days after her divorce from Sonny became final — Cher, 29, jumped on a Learjet to Las Vegas and got hitched to Southern rocker Gregg Allman, 27. A little impetuous? Could be. On July 9, 1975, a mere nine days after the wedding, Cher filed to dissolve the marriage.
Coddled and sheltered since she was 16, first by Bono, then by Geffen, Cher had found that Allman’s heroin and liquor problems were too much for her to handle. When she called him to say it was over, she later said, ”He was so high he didn’t even understand me,” according to J. Randy Taraborrelli’s bio Cher. Allman dried out and won her back within a month. Unfortunately, the stress of living in wedlock with Allman so aggravated her acne that the 1976 taping of Cher, her solo CBS variety show, had to be suspended.
In 1976, she reteamed with her ex for a new Sonny and Cher Show, which proved too weird even for Allman. This time he filed for divorce but came back around after learning Cher was pregnant with his son, Elijah Blue. The TV audience, by then perhaps totally confused, tuned out; The Sonny and Cher Show was canceled after two disappointing seasons.
Then Cher and Allman parted for good following their embarrassing duet album, Two the Hard Way, recorded under the name ”Allman and Woman” in 1977. ”There was no future for us because she has that constant paranoia of (my) going back to alcohol,” he said. Cher soon found solace in the arms of Kiss’ Gene Simmons, but she lamented her tormented marriage to Allman in the 1979 single ”My Song.” As she performed it in concert, wailing that her man would never get to know his own son, Elijah Blue romped and smiled on giant screens looming behind her. The footage had been shot by none other than Sonny Bono.
Following Allman’s death on Saturday, Cher tweeted her condolences: