Cher opened up about the hardships she faced throughout her career while being awarded with the iHeartRadio icon award on Monday night.

The 77-year-old took the stage to perform “Believe” before actress Meryl Streep presented Cher with the award. She was joined by Jennifer Hudson for the performance.

“I want to tell you this because I don’t usually talk about it, but I have been down-and-out so many times that you can not believe it – dropped from record companies and couldn’t get a job,” Cher said while accepting the award. “And at that time I went to Las Vegas, which they called the Elephant’s Graveyard, and I had a huge show.”

“And they just said, ‘oh God, she’s so over,'” she continued. “But, I never gave up my dream. And standing on this stage … I love standing on the stage. And this is kind of my dream. And I stand there, and the music plays, and all of a sudden, out of my body comes this voice. And people seem to like it.”

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Cher encouraged the audience to never give up on their dreams.

“To me, in my experience, is have a dream and then don’t give it up no matter what happens,” Cher said. “Because I know from my own experience that if you have a dream, and you stick with it, you will have a wonderful life, and it probably will come true.”

The musician moved to Los Angeles at the age of 16 and promptly met Salvatore “Sonny” Bono, her eventual musical and romantic partner. The two married in 1964 and released their first hit song “I Got You Babe” in 1985. The song has sold over three million copies.

Cher and Jennifer Hudson sing on stage

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After her divorce from Sonny in 1975, Cher released her solo album “Take Me Home.” She moved into a more rock sound with the release of her next popular songs, including “I Found Someone,” “If I Could Turn Back Time” and “Save Up All Your Tears.”

Cher has also dabbled in acting, landing roles in “Silkwood” and “Mask.” She won the Academy Award for best actress for her role in “Moonstruck.”

More recently, she starred in “Burlesque” and “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.”

Meryl Streep and Cher on stage

The “Strong Enough” singer joked about her ever-lasting career and thanked fans for sticking with her while on the iHeartRadio Awards stage.

Cher accepts an award

“I feel very blessed and lucky with this award,” Cher said. “And I feel lucky to have people that have stayed with me for all these years. Most of you weren’t born, but a lot of people have.”

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