LOS ANGELES, Sept 24 - Few musicians are able to keep their careers alive for more than five decades, but pop diva Cher says her latest album is her "best effort ever."
Cher, 67, a staple of American dance music, released her 26th studio album, "Closer to the Truth" on Tuesday, her first record in 12 years.
"It's my best effort ever, so I'm happy with that. I'm singing better than ever and the songs are really good. I'm unbelievably proud of it," the singer said in an interview with Reuters at her home in California's beachside community of Malibu.
The new album, which includes the Paul Oakenfold-produced single "Woman's World," a disco-pop ode to strong women, also features songs written by pop star Pink, such as "Lie to Me" and the rousing "I Walk Alone."
"A song either is good or is bad as far as your feelings go. So I know pretty much immediately, I just know. Also, if it doesn't touch me, I can't sing it," the singer said.
The California native first gained recognition as part of musical duo Sonny & Cher, known for their 1965 hit song "I Got You Babe." With a singing voice that rang deep into the lower registers, Cher embarked on a solo career that has spanned five decades and made the singer a household name across the world.
Despite amassing a legion of fans, including more than 1.7 million Twitter followers and 500,000 Facebook likes, the singer said she is still surprised by continued interest in her work.
"It just didn't occur to me that anybody would be waiting with bated breath for my next project," Cher said.
"I've been doing it for what, 50 years almost? It just didn't occur to me to do it anymore. Nobody gets that, but I just didn't think about it," she added.