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Sonny Bono Never Recovered From His Break up With Cher

There are numerous figures from entertainment history that have made the transition from the screen to politics. One such figure is Sonny Bono, who started out his career as a musician before finding success in the realm of variety television with the help of second wife Cher. After divorcing from Cher in 1975, Sonny decided that he didn’t want to be another washed-up celebrity. This is what inspired the star to open up his very own restaurant in 1985. Running a successful business led to Sonny becoming interested in politics, and he went on to become a congressman before his death. The pain of losing Cher is what caused Sonny to do all this. Join Facts Verse as we explore how Sonny Bono never recovered from his breakup with Cher.

Sonny Bono Couldn’t Find Success On His Own

Sonny Bono was born in Detroit, Michigan, in February of 1935. During his 20s, Sonny found success as a songwriter working with a record label by the name of Specialty Records. Around this time, Sonny had an early success with the song “Things You Do to Me”, which he penned for recording artist Same Cooke. Sonny’s successful work as a songwriter with Specialty Records led to him forming a professional relationship with producer Phil Spector.

It was during the early 1960s that Sonny Bono first met Cher. Sonny was 27 years old at the time, while Cher was only 16. Sonny was married to first wife Donna Rankin from 1954 to 1962, and he would marry Cher in 1964. During their marriage, the husband and wife formed the aptly named pop duo of Sonny & Cher. It was Phil Spector that helped produce the duo’s biggest songs. The biggest song from the pop duo of Sonny & Cher inarguably remains 1965’s “I Got You Babe”. Sadly, the love between Sonny and Cher wasn’t as strong as that iconic song continues to suggest.

Sonny and Cher remained married for over a decade, with their marriage finally coming to an end in 1975. By that point, the duo hadn’t even gifted the world their iconic variety series. Following the dissolution of their marriage in 1975, Sonny and Cher had to hold it together for the audience’s sake during the production of The Sonny and Cher Show, which premiered on television in 1976. The show lasted for only a season, but remains notable largely for it’s absurdity.

Sonny and Cher Divorced in 1975

The Sonny and Cher Show was a success by some metrics. However, the argument can certainly be made that the duo had already fallen from critical acclaim by the time of their divorce in 1975. Since Sonny and his ex-wife were no longer on good terms during the filming of the series, the singer often found himself the butt of Cher’s jokes. Cher has always been the much more popular of the two performers, and many have made the case that Sonny was always just profiting off of his younger wife’s talents.

When Cher walked out on Sonny Bono in 1975, it proved the beginning of the end for the singer as an entertainer. Still, Sonny tried for several years to continue to find work in the entertainment industry. Sonny had a hard time finding success by himself on either the screen or the radio. His musical endeavors all flopped without Cher, and his film work saw him relegated to humorous cameo roles.

According to the late Sonny Bono himself, it was appearing on The Love Boat that proved the wake-up call he needed to leave the entertainment industry behind once and for all. Of course, The Love Boat was infamous for being the final resting place for stars whose time in the industry had gone on for far too long. Sonny didn’t want to become just another famous face that wasted away his final years performing on The Love Boat, so he decided that he was going to start a new chapter of his life. This is when the former singer made the decision to get into the restaurant business.

Sonny named his restaurant Bono’s Italian Restaurant, and it was located in the city of Palm Springs. The restaurant remained in operation until 1991. It was during Sonny Bono’s time operating this restaurant that the former musician first got the idea to venture into politics. Before his death, he would make a name for himself as both a mayor and a congressman. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!

Sonny Got Into Politics After Opening Up His Restaurant

According to the late Sonny Bono, he first got the idea to venture into politics as a result of a zoning conflict that arose while he was operating his Palm Springs restaurant. Sonny wanted a sign that was bigger than the zoning restrictions allowed, and he became so passionate about the issue that he eventually became the mayor of the whole city! Sonny became the mayor of Palm Springs in 1988, and fans were flabbergasted that the once-washed-up star had successfully made a name for himself in the arena of politics.

Sonny Bono was certainly proud of himself towards the end of his life for venturing out successfully into realms outside of the entertainment industry. However, there was always a bittersweet tinge during celebrations as the former singer remembered why it had happened. The reason that Sonny accomplished so much during the later years of his life was because he never got over his second divorce.

Sonny Bono was married four times over the course of his lifetime, which makes his decade-long marriage to Cher a relative blip on the radar. However, it’s undeniable that Sonny held a special place in his heart for the woman that made him famous in the years leading up to his 1998 death. After divorcing from Cher in 1975, Sonny went on to marry third wife Susie Coelho in 1981. For those that don’t know, Susie is a lifestyle expert. Similar to Martha Stewart, she is known for her incredible homemaking skills.

Sonny Didn’t Find Success in Love Until His Third Marriage

Sonny divorced from Susie Coelho in 1984, after only a few years of marriage.

In 1986, Sonny Bono married a fitness instructor by the name of Mary. Mary became Sonny’s fourth and final wife, and they would remain married until the former singer’s accidental death in 1998. Mary helped Sonny manage his restaurant, and also encouraged him to get into politics.

Sonny Bono acted as the mayor of Palm Springs from 1988 to 1992. However, he ended up being unsuccessful in his attempts to remain mayor for a second term. Still, Sonny would later find continued political success before his death by becoming a congressman in 1995. Sonny served as a congressman until his 1998 death. Following his death, Mary Bono was elected into congress to take her husband’s place.

Cher Has Bad Memories of Her Time with Sonny

Cher is still alive today at the age of 76. Shortly after divorcing from Sonny Bono, she entered into a marriage with Greg Allman. However, this marriage didn’t last past the 1970s. Nowadays, it seems that Cher prefers to be single. The icon holds some pretty negative views on her time with Sonny Bono. Cher has alleged that Sonny took advantage of her when she was too young to stand up for herself and subsequently used her to attain fame.

Not longer after Sonny and Cher’s marriage ended in divorce, Cher would claim that her former husband had kept her in a state of essential indentured servitude. The fact that Sonny had a hard time finding continued success in the entertainment industry without Cher furthers this theory.

Cher also had a lasting effect on the late Sonny Bono in other ways. Sonny Bono was encouraged to join the Church of Scientology during the 1970s, and the person who got him into it was none other than Cher herself! It was only Sonny who had continued involvement with the organization after that. The Church of Scientology would continue to pester the former musician until his death, and it even tried to preside over the fallen politician’s funeral after his tragic 1998 ski accident.

Mary Bono made sure that the Church of Scientology had nothing to do with her late husband’s funeral. Though Cher had her negative feelings about her former husband, she attended the 1998 funeral service and gave a memorable eulogy. It wouldn’t be until many years later that Cher would become more vocal about the negative feelings that she maintained about the time she shared with the singer.

Sonny Bono failed to find success in the entertainment industry without his much younger second wife, so he had to become a politician instead. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Cher claims that Sonny Bono kept her in a state of essential indentured servitude during their marriage, and that she was only 16 years old when they first met? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!

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