Although Cher claims her touring days are over, don't believe it for a second, says a Ball State University pop culture expert.

During the last year fans of all ages flocked to the "Living Proof - The Farewell Tour," which included a nationally broadcast concert, to listen to material that made Cher a sensation during her nearly 40-year career.

But like most entertainers, Cher will most likely be back, said Richard Aquila, a history professor and former host of the weekly National Public Radio show "Rock and Roll America."

"I don't think this is going to be the last time we see Cher because consistency has not been her strong suit," he said. "Given her track record, she'll be out in another couple of years. She will continue to entertain."

Cher first rose to fame in the mid-1960s with partner and then-spouse Sonny Bono. During her subsequent solo career, she has enjoyed several cycles of prominent commercial success, the most recent of which occurred in 1998. It was during that year that her single "Believe," featured on the album of the same name, hit No. 1.

"The baby boom generation has a warm spot for Cher because of her time as a hippie singer with Sonny," Aquila said. "Over time, we began to expect to see a different Cher each time with provocative outfits including the feather boas and amazing hair styles.

"She has been able to reinvent herself over and over, becoming all things for all people," he said. "She has been a singer, television personality and movie star. Each step deepened the fan base and made her the ultimate chameleon."

Aquila, who received his doctorate from Ohio State University in 1977, is director of Ball State's American Studies program.

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