Gossip columnist Liz Smith is 94; Vegas residency performer Cher is 70; and Hello Dolly! Broadway revival star Bette Midler is 71. If you’re looking to read something this morning that at no point has a need to reference the word “millennial,” Smith’s latest New York Social Diary column is it.
Cher will receive the Billboard Icon award May 21; Midler will collect the Drama League Award for Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater May 19. Smith loves them both, equally, and pays tribute today to these performers (with the help of the co-bylined Denis Ferrara) with a healthy dollop of time-capsule. Additionally, the following passage suggests Smith has no interest in bowing to the age of Wikipedia:
On May 21st at the Billboard Awards, Cher–Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and Golden Globe winner–adds another shiny object to her shelf. She will receive Billboard’s Icon Award. I was very startled by this news. I’m not sure how long Billboard has been handing out Icon Awards, but I felt certain that Cher should have taken one a long time ago. Like, maybe, the first year!
That first year was recent: 2011. Neil Diamond took the initial Billboard Icon trophy, followed by Stevie Wonder, Prince, Jennifer Lopez and Celine Dion (there was no Icon in 2015). As Smith writes, ‘I don’t know who else is appearing at the event, and I don’t care. For me, it’s gonna be all Cher.’