Cher Mourns Ex-Husband Gregg Allman: 'Words Are Impossible'

Remembering the unlikely Seventies romance between pop legend, Southern rock pioneer who came together while navigating career transitions

1977, Brussels, Belgium: Gregg and Cher Allman sing "Love the One You're With" during their Brussels concert. Credit: Bettmann/Getty

When news broke that Southern rock pioneer, the great Gregg Allman died, his famous ex-wife Cher tweeted a brief yet sentimental tribute using their old pet names for one another. "Words are impossible, Gui Gui" she wrote in her requisite all-caps lettering. "Forever, Chooch." 

Between 1975 and 1977, Cher and Gregg Allman met, married, divorced, remarried, had a son and made an album together, aptly titled Two the Hard Way. The unlikely pairing of sleek, newly single pop diva and untamed southern rocker perplexed the public. But their partnership coincided during a mutually transitional period as both musicians strove to reinvent themselves in the next decade. 

In 1975, Cher was famously navigating a messy divorce and custody battle from her longtime partner and variety show co-host, Sonny Bono. (She wed Allman days after her divorce from Bono). Meanwhile, the Allman Brothers Band was reckoning with an ongoing DEA investigation and Gregg's escalating drug abuse. In 1976, the band officially broke up. The same year, Gregg and Cher's son, Elijah Blue, was born, and the couple tried to rekindle their relationship.  

While the marriage was fleeting, the initial spark between Allman and Cher was incendiary. "She smelled like I would imagine a mermaid would smell," Allman wrote in his memoir, recalling the first time he met her backstage in Los Angeles. 

The always-glamorous California native also took him out to his first disco. "I don’t know how to dance, but I got drunk enough to where I did. I danced my ass off. This is when disco was just taking off, so we did some dirty dancing. She had one drink, while I had my 21, of course. When we got back to her place, she took me out to her rose garden, and all the roses were just starting to bloom." 



By 1978, Cher and Allman had broken up for the last time as romantic partners and musical collaborators. Despite the emotional turbulence fans saw splashed across tabloid magazine covers, Cher told People, nearly 40 years ago: "Nobody ever made me feel as happy as Gregory did ... he's wonderful. I don’t understand why he can't see it. He's the kindest, most gentle, loving husband and father. But then, he forgets and everything goes to shit."