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Sonny & Cher Biography
        
Salvatore Bono & Cherilyn Sarkisian La Pierre were one of the 1960’s most memorable Pop duos thanks to a string a hit singles and a hokey, wisecracking persona that captivated audiences through the mid 1970s.
 
Before meeting his counterpart in 1964, Sonny had already found success in the music industry, penning hit songs like "Koko Joe" and "She Said Yeah."  Bono became the protégé of legendary producer Phil Spector, and while working a session for his mentor, Sonny met the young singer, who would not only help propel him to the heights of international stardom, but become the love of his life.
   
Bono attempted to record Cher singing on numerous occasions, but Spector saw little in Cher and the attempts proved frivolous. However, after a chance studio experiment, having Sonny sing alongside Cher produced spectacular results, the couple formed, Caesar & Cleo. Soon after, Bono wrote the classic "I Got You, Babe" and within the year, the two dropped their moniker and became known as Sonny & Cher.
 
A string of hits followed, but audiences fell in love with their playful relationship and stylish dress as much as their music. By the fall of 1965, Sonny & Cher had six top 40 hits and hordes of adoring fans. But success left as quickly as it had come. As the psychedelic 1960s set in, the witty and playful antics couldn’t keep up with the new culture, and despite 1967’s "The Beat Goes On," and Cher’s solo "You Better Sit Down Kids," the couple was left behind.
 
After a string of unsuccessful movie attempts, and now in debt to the IRS, the faded Pop stars hit the local lounge and club scenes. Although their music never truly caught the mainstream’s attention again, the couple’s folksy, banter-filled shtick resonated with audiences of the times, especially with Cher as a liberated, blunt, and wise-mouthed woman. Soon the two were performing their routine in Las Vegas, and shortly thereafter on the CBS television network in “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.”
 
Despite their newfound success, problems behind the scenes were affecting the couple. In 1974, they separated, prematurely ending the hit show. Now divorced, their battles and disagreements became fodder for tabloid journalists, ironically propelling Cher to a higher level of stardom. But the demands of a solo career proved to be too difficult for Cher, and in time, she reached out to Sonny to rejoin her on TV. Sonny did return, forming “The Sonny & Cher Show.” 
 
By 1979, the separation had become a finalized divorce, and a variety of relationships with rockers such as Gene Simmons and Gregg Allman kept Cher in the headlines. However, the 1980s were kind to both Sonny and Cher individually. After a break out performance on Broadway, Cher went on to appear in numerous films and won an Oscar for her role in Moonstruck.  She reinvented herself with the times again, first catching the end of Disco, then as a leather-bound rock singer, and finally again in the 1990’s as a mature Pop singer.
 
Sonny started the decade playing roles on film and in television series such as Fantasy Island and Airplane II. After a frustrating attempt at opening a restaurant in Palm Springs, he successfully ran for Mayor of the California town, spearheading a new pro-business government and founding the Palm Springs Film Festival. After an earlier unsuccessful run for Senate, in 1994, California elected Bono to the US House of Representatives; a position he maintained until a tragic skiing accident prematurely took his life in 1998.
 
Despite her continued success and their rocky relationship, a distraught Cher delivered the eulogy at her late, former husbands funeral, reunited the infamous couple one final time in the eyes of the adoring public.