Cher admits she lost millions from hit single Believe after 'stupid' error


The music icon failed to secure a writing credit on the track, a move that left her devoid of royalties

Cher at the Sidney Premiere in Los Angeles in 2022.
Cher at the Sidney Premiere in Los Angeles in 2022.SHUTTERSTOCK

Cher missed out on "a lot of money" after failing to secure a writing credit on her 1998 chart-topping single Believe.

Speaking on BBC Radio 2's Tracks Of My Years with host Vernon Kay, the 77-year-old icon expressed regret over not asserting her contribution to the song — officially credited to Brian Higgins, Stuart McLennen, Paul Barry, Steven Torch, Matthew Gray, and Timothy Powell. Despite having penned the line, "I've had time to think it through, and maybe I'm too good for you," Cher didn't request a writer's credit, a decision she lamented as the track amassed sales of 11 million copies worldwide.

"You can't even imagine — about 30 people wrote on it. And I was so stupid. I didn't ask. I didn't even get a writer's credit. It sold 11 million copies. I could have got a lot of money."

Reflecting on the song's recording, Cher recalled the tension, revealing she walked out of the studio when her vocals were criticized. "The verse was so bad, I couldn't make it good. We — the songwriters and I — got into a big fight over it. I walked out after they said I had to sing it better," she chuckled, remembering the disagreement.

"Then in the morning I said '[Use] a vocoder?' and they said, 'No, you've got to do it at the time [live]'." But the track was eventually altered and Cher loves how unrecognisable her voice is in parts of the song. "My favourite thing was that you didn't know it was my voice at the beginning."

The veteran singer is currently promoting her first ever holiday album titled Christmas, but insisted she just wanted to make people "feel happy", rather than place particular emphasis on the festive season. "I don't want people to think of me and Christmas as one with this album. I wanted to make an album that would make people happy," she explained. "I just wanted to pick songs that even if it doesn't go together, it makes you feel better."

Dismissive of any competition with All I Want For Christmas is You hitmaker Mariah Carey, Cher praised the singer's vocal prowess and admitted that the festive track is on her playlist. "Mariah can do amazing things with her voice. It's unbelievable. It's such a thrill to hear someone who sings so well."