The singer, actress and all-around icon smiled through most of the Dec. 2 event, which was broadcast by CBS as a televised special on Wednesday. Country music group Little Big Town began the onstage tributes to Cher with a medley of some of her best-loved hits, including 1971’s “Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves” and 1987’s “I Found Someone.”
The Oscar winner appeared visibly emotional, however, after Adam Lambert took the stage to perform her 1998 smash, “Believe.” Never one to play it safe, Lambert turned the normally upbeat song into a heart-wrenching ballad.
As Lambert hit a dramatic high note, CBS’s cameras caught Cher wiping tears from her eyes. (Watch the performance above.)
She also gushed about Lambert on Twitter early Thursday.
Cher went on to praise longtime pal Cyndi Lauper, who sang 1989’s “If I Could Turn Back Time,” as well as presenters Whoopi Goldberg and Amanda Seyfried.
In addition to receiving the Kennedy Center Honors, Cher has other good reasons to be in a celebratory mood as 2018 draws to a close. She made a triumphant return to the big screen this summer opposite Seyfried in the all-ABBA movie musical “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.”
Lambert, meanwhile, will resume his successful collaboration with rock band Queen on the 2019 Rhapsody Tour next summer.