Chastity: Profile of Courage

Trying to establish your own career as a musician, and being the daughter of Sonny and Cher, did you ever feel you were at a disadvantage because you had to prove your own talent out of their shadow?

It was hopeless. We could not get away from them. It's still that way but it took me doing something that they haven't done in order to get what little bit of separate recognition I have. Every single article that was written about us compared our music to theirs. Whether it was positive or negative didn't matter. It was just opposed to my parents and I always felt really uncomfortable with that, especially when we were doing live shows because we went on tour before our record came out and the only reason there was for people to show up was pure curiosity because they hadn't heard anything. I always felt like I was being dissected when I was on stage and I never felt comfortable and never felt the kind of high that I thought you were supposed to feel on stage. Ironically, when I started pubic speaking and lecturing like I do now, I do get that feeling and the feedback from the audience I was hoping to get back then, but I was always too uncomfortable.

How involved were your parents in your music career? Did they ever give you an input, advice?

Not creatively. We would go to my mom for advice on the business side of the record industry. She knew our producer. He was a friend of my parents for years and years so I knew him when I was growing up. We used to talk to my mom about that a lot and also how to deal with the record company and management. She was very helpful with that but we never talked about the creative side of things. She loved our music and was always very supportive of it, but it would have been inappropriate of her to try to put her two cents in and she has a good sense to know that.

As someone born to two individuals successful in the entertainment industry among other things, what things do you feel you've inherited from them?

Their drive to put out the best. I can't think of a more eloquent word than guts. Neither one of them graduated high school, and even if they didn't know how to do something they would take the opportunities presented to them. They never allowed fear to get in the way and this is the way I've always been.

People seem to be very curious about your childhood. You have stated that there are many misconceptions about what your life was like growing up. What do you feel is one of the more major misconceptions?

I am sure a lot of people get what I do but just on a different level. Like if you run into a co-worker of your mother's and they tell you how great your mom is. Or maybe, you are being compared constantly to an older sibling or you feel you need to compete with them in school. For me, it's just that, magnified 100 times. When I was younger I felt I was in competition with my parents. But I went to Las Vegas last week to see my mom's show which spans her whole career: nearly four decades. Seeing her, I thought: Well there is just no way I can compete with this. There are only a handful of individuals of our time that have had a career like hers, and have survived and reinvented themselves like she has.

You mentioned that when you attended NYC School of Performing Arts, other students started rumors that the only reason you were accepted to the school was because your mother bought the school new equipment. How did you deal with this? How did it make you feel?

It felt terrible. I think what happened was I was sheltered in L.A. New York was a different thing. I was in a NYC public school. I was kind of a novelty. Once the novelty wore off, I was just another freshman.