Sonny Bono: Wiki, Biography, Birthday, Height, Net Worth, Family, Relationship, and More!

Salvatore Phillip “Sonny” Bono was an American singer, songwriter, actor, and politician who gained fame in the 1960s and 1970s as part of the popular singing duo Sonny & Cher, alongside his second wife, Cher. Born on February 16, 1935, in Detroit, Michigan, Bono began his music career as a songwriter and singer for Johnny Otis’s Dig Records label in the early 1960s. He later became a successful producer, songwriter, and performer, with hits like “I Got You Babe” and “The Beat Goes On.”

Aside from his successful music career, Sonny Bono also ventured into politics. He served as the mayor of Palm Springs, California, from 1988 to 1992, and was then elected to the United States Congress as a Republican, representing California’s 44th Congressional District from 1995 until his death in 1998. Despite his successful political career, Bono will always be remembered as one half of the iconic duo Sonny & Cher, who captivated audiences with their music, television shows, and unique fashion sense.

Sonny Bono’s life was cut short on January 5, 1998, when he died in a skiing accident in South Lake Tahoe, California. Despite his untimely death, his legacy lives on through his music, television appearances, and his contributions to politics. In this article, we will delve deeper into the life of Sonny Bono, exploring his early years, rise to fame, personal life, and more.

Early Life

Sonny Bono was born on February 16, 1935, in Detroit, Michigan. He was the son of Santo Bono and Zena Jean Bono. Sonny grew up in a working-class family and was the youngest of three children. His father was a barber, and his mother worked in a factory.

As a child, Sonny was interested in music and began playing the trumpet at a young age. He attended Inglewood High School in California, where he formed a doo-wop group called The Penguins. They recorded a single called “Earth Angel,” which became a hit in 1954.

After high school, Sonny worked odd jobs to support himself. He eventually landed a job as a songwriter and producer for the record label Specialty Records. He wrote songs for artists such as Sam Cooke and The Coasters.

In the early 1960s, Sonny signed with the record label Atco Records and released several unsuccessful singles. However, he found success as a songwriter and producer for other artists. He wrote the hit song “Needles and Pins” for The Searchers and “I Got You Babe” for his future wife, Cher.

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Career

Music Career

Sonny Bono started his music career as a songwriter and singer for Johnny Otis’s Dig Records label in the early 1960s. In 1964, he teamed up with his second wife, Cher, to form the duo Sonny & Cher. They gained fame with their hit song “I Got You Babe” and went on to have several other successful songs, including “The Beat Goes On” and “All I Ever Need Is You.”

Apart from his work with Cher, Sonny also had a successful solo career, releasing several albums and singles throughout the 1960s and 1970s. He also wrote songs for other artists, including Nancy Sinatra and The Righteous Brothers.

Political Career

In addition to his music career, Sonny Bono also had a successful career in politics. He served as the mayor of Palm Springs, California, from 1988 to 1992, and was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1994.

As a congressman, Sonny focused on issues such as copyright law and intellectual property rights. He also worked to improve conditions in the Salton Sea, a large, shallow lake in Southern California.

Sonny’s political career was cut short when he died in a skiing accident in 1998. However, his legacy lives on, both in his music and in his contributions to the political world.

Personal Life

Marriages

Sonny Bono was married twice in his lifetime. His first marriage was to Donna Rankin in 1954, but the couple divorced in 1962. In 1964, he married Cherilyn Sarkisian, who later became known as Cher. The couple rose to fame as the popular singing duo Sonny & Cher and had a daughter named Chastity Bono (now known as Chaz Bono). However, their marriage ended in divorce in 1975.

Children

Sonny Bono had two children. His daughter Chastity (now known as Chaz) was born to him and Cher in 1969. In 1986, he had a son named Chesare Elan Bono with his girlfriend Mary Whitaker.

Throughout his life, Sonny Bono was also known for his involvement in politics, serving as the mayor of Palm Springs, California from 1988 to 1992 and later as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 until his death in 1998. Despite his success in politics, Sonny Bono will always be remembered as a talented musician and performer who left a lasting impact on the music industry.

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Height and Physical Appearance

Sonny Bono was known for his short stature, standing at 5 feet 5 inches (165 cm) tall. Despite his height, he had a charismatic personality and a strong presence on stage.

In addition to his height, Sonny was also recognizable for his distinctive hairstyle, which included a prominent pompadour. He often wore flamboyant outfits that were popular in the 1960s and 1970s, which helped him stand out in the entertainment industry.

While Sonny may not have been the tallest person in the room, his talent and personality made him a beloved figure in the music and television industries. His legacy continues to inspire fans around the world.

Net Worth

Sonny Bono had a net worth of $4 million at the time of his death in 1998. He earned his wealth through his successful career as a singer, songwriter, and actor. He was also a record producer and restaurateur.

Bono’s partnership with his second wife, Cher, as the popular singing duo Sonny & Cher, contributed significantly to his net worth. The couple released several hit songs, including “I Got You Babe,” which topped the charts in 1965.

In addition to his music career, Bono was also involved in politics. He served as the mayor of Palm Springs, California, and was later elected to the United States House of Representatives. His political career also added to his net worth.

Despite his success, Bono’s net worth was not without controversy. After his death, it was discovered that he had died without writing a will, leaving his extended family in a legal maze. His fourth wife, Mary Whitaker Bono, and their two children inherited his estate, which was estimated to be around $2 million.

Sonny Bono’s net worth was a result of his talent, hard work, and success in various fields.

Legacy

Sonny Bono’s legacy is primarily centered around his contributions to the music industry and his successful career as a songwriter, producer, and entertainer. He was part of the iconic duo, Sonny and Cher, who produced numerous hit records and singles during the 1960s and 1970s.

Bono’s music career began as a songwriter and singer for Johnny Otis’s Dig Records label in the early 1960s. He went on to produce and write songs for various artists, including The Righteous Brothers, Nancy Sinatra, and The Grass Roots.

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In addition to his music career, Bono’s legacy also includes his brief stint as a Republican politician. He served as the mayor of Palm Springs, California, from 1988 to 1992, and later served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 until his death in 1998.

Bono’s contributions to the entertainment industry have been recognized through various awards and honors, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and induction into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame. His music continues to be celebrated and enjoyed by fans around the world.

Interesting Facts

  • Sonny Bono was born Salvatore Phillip Bono on February 16, 1935, in Detroit, Michigan, USA.
  • He was a songwriter at Specialty Records and worked with record producer Phil Spector in the early 1960s as a promotion man, percussionist, and “gofer.”
  • Bono started his career as a singer in the mid-1960s with then-girlfriend Cher, and their biggest hit was “I Got You Babe.”
  • He found fame in the 1960s and ’70s as part of the TV and music duo Sonny and Cher.
  • Bono later became a Republican politician and served as the Mayor of Palm Springs, California, from 1988 to 1992.
  • He was elected to the United States Congress in 1994 and served two terms as the representative for California’s 44th congressional district.
  • Bono died on January 5, 1998, in a skiing accident at Heavenly Ski Resort near South Lake Tahoe, California.
  • He was posthumously inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2006.
  • Bono was married four times and had two children, including musician and actress Chaz Bono.
  • He had a net worth of $15 million at the time of his death.

Sonny Bono was a multi-talented individual who made a significant impact in the entertainment industry and politics. He was a successful musician, songwriter, and producer, and his work with Cher as part of the duo Sonny and Cher remains iconic to this day. Bono’s foray into politics was also noteworthy, as he served as the Mayor of Palm Springs and a United States Congressman. Despite his untimely death, Bono’s contributions to the music and political worlds continue to be remembered and celebrated.

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