Georgia Holt, mother of singer Cher, has died at 96, according to a tweet Cher posted shortly after midnight Eastern time on Sunday.

“Mom is gone,” the superstar wrote, and responses started coming right away from Cher’s many fans and famous friends, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Cher did not provide further information about the time or cause of death; her spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg confirmed the news to The Washington Post. Her death comes three months after Cher tweeted that her mother was hospitalized with pneumonia and had been “sick on and off.”

Chad Michaels, a “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner and Cher impersonator, tweeted “Words are inadequate.” Cher frequently uses multiple emoji in her tweets to say how she’s feeling, and many celebrities did the same in expressing their sympathy, including CNN’s Don Lemon, actor Seth Green and Bravo host Andy Cohen. “[T]he loss of your mom is just devastating,” tweeted “Community” actress Yvette Nicole Brown. “May your hero #RIP.”

Cher, who is 76, has long talked about her admiration and respect for her mother and the closeness they shared. Cher fans have come to expect to regular updates from the singer on her mother’s health, activities and shared humor and wisdom. Cher has memories of her mother and her mother’s friends being “so beautiful” during her childhood. “When they walked into the room, everything stopped. She was also an amazing dresser. We based the costumes in ‘Mermaids’ on pictures of her from the ’50s,” Cher said of her mom in an interview with People in 2013.

The mother-daughter pair gave fans an intimate view of their relationship in the 2013 Lifetime documentary “Dear Mom, Love Cher.” The film featured interviews with Holt, her daughters Cher and Georganne LaPiere and Cher’s sons, Chaz Bono and Elijah Blue Allman — providing audiences with a broader view of Holt’s life story, beyond being Cher’s mother. Cher initiated the project after Holt found tapes of her own never-released album, from sessions recorded in 1980. For her mom’s 86th birthday, Cher had the tapes remastered and then filmed her mom singing and talking about her life and early career ambitions.

Holt was born Jackie Jean Crouch in rural Arkansas and first discovered her love of music while singing in Oklahoma saloons. Determined to capitalize on her talents, she moved to Hollywood. Holt was briefly married to Cher’s father, John Sarkisian; as a single mother, she struggled financially and briefly placed Cher in a Catholic orphanage. She visited her crying daughter every day and faced mounting pressures to put her daughter up for adoption. Holt was married and divorced several more times.

“She never gave me and my sister advice because, truthfully, she knew we’d never take it,” Cher told People. “Instead, we learned about life by listening to her talk about the things she did wrong and the things she did right.”

Holt got back on her feet and managed to land roles in Hollywood. She made appearances in “Watch the Birdie,” “I Love Lucy,” “The Mike Douglas Show” and “The Merv Griffin Show.”

“Dear Mom, Love Cher,” coincided with the release of “Honky Tonk Woman,” which featured 10 restored and remixed tracks Holt originally recorded, including a duet with Cher called “I’m Just Your Yesterday,” which Holt originally wrote.

“It’s a good Mother’s Day special, but it’s not Hallmark,” Cher said at the time. “She got her dream after 80 years. … Women should never think they have a sell-by date.”


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