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The 1960s welcomed one of the greatest American pop duos the music world has ever seen. Represented by Atco/Atlantic records, romantically involved, and later married, Sonny and Cher rose to fame. They started as back-up singers for record producer Phil Spector and later achieved game with their hit in 1965, “I Got You Babe.”
Sonny Bono was supposed to be a solo act until he met Cherilyn Sarkisian in a local coffee shop in 1962. Bono was 11 years her senior, yet they became romantically involved quickly. Through Spector, Cher was able to sing on classic tracks such as “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes. The couple started recording and “Baby Don’t Go” became their first hit.
In the summer of 1965, the duo released their first album, Look at Us , which came along with fame and fortune.
More records and hits continued to pour out of Sonny and Cher as they gained popularity and became extremely lucrative. They did run into a few issues, though. In attempt to make their fame skyrocket, Bono decided to make a movie, Good Times, for the couple to star in. Unfortunately, the movie was a flop and later on, their relationship would be too.
In an era where psychedelic rock and drug use progressed, Sonny and Cher’s drug-free, pop sound was no longer appealing to the masses. Their act became dry and their fame lessened.
In the midst of it all, they gave birth to a child, Chastity Bono, now known as Chaz.
Hanging onto hope by a thread, Bono decided to take their talent to television. In 1971, Las Vegas became the home of the new comedy show, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. The show involved humorous skits, Cher cracking wise jokes and poke fun at Sonny, and musical performances. The show was a hit, but Cher found herself unhappy—Sonny controlled all aspects of the show.
By the third season, Sonny and Cher’s marriage suffered under an abundance of stress, resulting in separation.
The couple divorced and went their separate ways yet they still found a way back to each other. Unmarried and having reconciled, Sonny and Cher gave the show another run. It lasted one year, and resulted in the duo going their separate ways once more.
On Jan. 5, 1998, Bono experienced a horrific skiing accident that ended his life at 62. Cher delivered a heartfelt and tearful eulogy, stating Bono was the “most unforgettable character I’ve ever met.”
Some feel that Sonny and Cher are the most unforgettable duo. Let’s countdown the top 10 Sonny and Cher songs and celebrate the sound of one of the best musical acts of their time.