Icon and goddess of pop Cher has touched down in Sydney ahead of her headlining performance at this year’s Mardi Gras party.

The 71-year-old star and LGBTI rights advocate arrived days in advance of the night to leave time for rehearsals before the 2am performance.

Her chart-topping hits include BelieveStrong Enough, and If I Could Turn Back Time.

Chief Executive of Mardi Gras, Terese Casu, said she was thrilled Cher would be rolling into town.

“Cher has established herself as an influential, hard-hitting voice in global politics, and throughout her career has been at the forefront of LGBTQI campaigns and numerous charities,” she said.

“Cher represents the same unapologetic and fearless freedom that makes the LGBTQI community so enduring and strong—positioning herself as a true gay icon.”

After photos were snapped of Cher arriving at Sydney airport, fans from around the country took to social media to express their excitement.

“Cher is in Sydney and my little gay heart can’t take it,” one person wrote.

“Seeing photos of Cher at Sydney airport has sent my excitement levels through the roof,” another wrote.

“Cher is in Sydney I’d like to report a missing wig,” one particularly elated fan wrote.

The lockout laws in Sydney will be lifted for the night of the Mardi Gras’ parade and party this Saturday 3 March.

Minister for Liquor and Racing, Paul Toole, said the lift would allow partygoers to continue to be admitted to venues around the Oxford Street area beyond the usual 1.30am or 2am cutoff.

Venues will still need to stop serving alcohol at the usual 3am time slot on Sunday morning, or 3.30am for venues with love entertainment extensions.

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