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Salvatore Phillip "Sonny" Bono
Bono
(/ˈboʊnoʊ/; February 16, 1935 – January 5, 1998) was an American singer, musician, songwriter, producer, actor, and politician who came to fame in partnership with his second wife Cher, as the popular singing duo Sonny & Cher. He was mayor of Palm Springs, California
Palm Springs, California
from 1988 to 1992, and congressman for California's 44th district from 1995 until his death in 1998. The United States Sonny Bono
Bono
Copyright Term Extension Act
Copyright Term Extension Act
of 1998, which extended the term of copyright by 20 years, was named in honor of Bono
Bono
when it was passed by Congress nine months after his death. Bono
Bono
had been one of the original sponsors of the legislation, commonly known as the Bono
Bono
Act.[1]

Contents

1 Early life 2 Career

2.1 Entertainment career

2.1.1 Film and television

2.2 Political career

3 Personal life

3.1 Religion

4 Death 5 See also 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links

Early life[edit] Bono
Bono
was born in Detroit, to Santo Bono
Bono
(born in Montelepre, Palermo, Italy) and Zena "Jean" (née La Valle). His mother gave him the nickname "Sonny", which lasted his lifetime.[2] Sonny was the youngest of three siblings; he had two older sisters, Fran and Betty. The family moved to Inglewood, California
Inglewood, California
when he was seven. He attended Inglewood High School but did not graduate.[why?][3] Career[edit] Entertainment career[edit] See also: Sonny & Cher

Sonny and Cher, 1976

Bono
Bono
began his music career as a songwriter at Specialty Records, where his song "Things You Do to Me" was recorded by Sam Cooke, and went on to work for record producer Phil Spector
Phil Spector
in the early 1960s as a promotion man, percussionist and "gofer". One of his earliest songwriting efforts, "Needles and Pins" was co-written with Jack Nitzsche, another member of Spector's production team. Later in the same decade, he achieved commercial success with his then-wife Cher
Cher
in the singing duo Sonny and Cher. Bono
Bono
wrote, arranged, and produced a number of hit records including the singles "I Got You Babe" and "The Beat Goes On", although Cher
Cher
received more attention as a performer. He played a major part in Cher's solo recording career, writing and producing singles including "Bang Bang" and "You Better Sit Down Kids". Bono
Bono
co-wrote "She Said Yeah", covered by The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
on their 1965 LP December's Children. His lone hit single as a solo artist, "Laugh at Me," was released in 1965 and peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. In live concerts, Bono
Bono
would introduce the song by saying "I'd like to sing a medley of my hit." His only other single as a solo artist, "The Revolution Kind," reached No. 70 on the Billboard Hot 100 later that year. His solo album, Inner Views, was released in 1967.[4]

Sonny Bono
Bono
in 1966 during a performance

Sonny continued to work with Cher
Cher
through the early and mid-1970s, starring in a popular television variety show, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, which ran on CBS
CBS
from 1971 to 1974. From 1976 to 1977, the duo, since divorced, returned to perform together on The Sonny and Cher
Cher
Show. Their last appearance together was on Late Night with David Letterman on November 13, 1987, on which they sang "I Got You Babe".[5][6] Film and television[edit] Bono's acting career included bit parts as a guest performer in such television series as Fantasy Island, Charlie's Angels, The Love Boat, and CHiPs. In the 1975 TV movie Murder on Flight 502
Murder on Flight 502
he played Jack Marshall. He appeared in the 1980 miniseries Top of the Hill. He played the role of mad bomber Joe Selucci in Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) and appeared in the horror film Troll (1986). He also portrayed racist entrepreneur Franklin Von Tussle in the John Waters
John Waters
film Hairspray (1988). In Men in Black (1997), Bono
Bono
is one of several oddball celebrities seen on a wall of video screens that monitor extraterrestrials living among us. He also appeared as the Mayor of Palm Springs (which he actually was at the time) in several episodes of P.S. I Luv U during the 1991–92 TV season, and on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (in Season 1, Episode 9, which aired November 21, 1993), in which he played Mayor Frank Berkowitz. He also made a minor appearance as himself in the comedy film First Kid (1996). Bono
Bono
guest-starred as himself on The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls
episode "Mrs. George Devereaux" (originally broadcast November 17, 1990), in which he vied with Lyle Waggoner
Lyle Waggoner
for Dorothy's (Bea Arthur) affection in a dream sequence. In Blanche's (Rue McClanahan) dream, her husband is still alive, and Bono
Bono
uses his power as Mayor of Palm Springs
Mayor of Palm Springs
to have Waggoner falsely arrested so he can have Dorothy to himself. Political career[edit] See also: Sonny Bono
Bono
Copyright
Copyright
Term Extension Act Bono
Bono
entered politics after experiencing great frustration with local government bureaucracy in trying to open a restaurant in Palm Springs, California. Bono
Bono
placed a successful bid to become the new mayor of Palm Springs. He served four years, from 1988 to 1992.[7] He was instrumental in spearheading the creation of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, which is held each year in Bono's memory. Bono
Bono
ran for the Republican nomination for United States Senate
United States Senate
in 1992, but the nomination went to the more conservative Bruce Herschensohn, and the election to the Democrat Barbara Boxer. Bono
Bono
and Herschensohn became close friends after the campaign. Bono
Bono
was elected to the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
in 1994 to represent California's 44th congressional district. He was one of twelve co-sponsors of a House bill extending copyright.[8] Although that bill was never voted on in the Senate, a similar Senate bill was passed after his death and named the Sonny Bono
Bono
Copyright
Copyright
Term Extension Act in his memory. It is also known (derisively) as the Mickey Mouse Protection Act.[9] He championed the restoration of the Salton Sea,[10] bringing the giant lake's plight to national attention. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich made a public appearance and speech at the shore of the lake on Bono's behalf. In their book Tell Newt to Shut Up, David Maraniss
David Maraniss
and Michael Weisskopf credit Bono
Bono
with being the first person to recognize Gingrich's public relations problems in 1995. Drawing on his long experience as a celebrity and entertainment producer, Bono
Bono
(according to Maraniss and Weisskopf) recognized that Gingrich's status had changed from politician to celebrity and that Gingrich was not making allowances for that change:

You're a celebrity now, ... The rules are different for celebrities. I know it. I've been there. I've been a celebrity. I used to be a bigger celebrity. But let me tell you, you're not being handled right. This is not political news coverage. This is celebrity status. You need handlers. You need to understand what you're doing. You need to understand the attitude of the media toward celebrities.

Bono
Bono
remains the only member of Congress to have scored a number-one pop single on the US Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
chart.[11] Personal life[edit] Bono
Bono
married his first wife, Donna Rankin, on November 3, 1954. Their daughter Christine ("Christy") was born on June 24, 1958. They divorced in 1962. In 1964, Bono
Bono
married singer and actress Cher. They had one child, Chaz (born Chastity), born March 4, 1969. In 1975 the duo divorced.[12] Bono
Bono
then married Susie Coelho but divorced her in 1984. He wed Mary Whitaker in 1986 and they had two children, son Chesare Elan on April 25, 1988, and daughter Chianna Maria on February 2, 1991. Bono
Bono
was named a godparent of Anthony Kiedis, who would go on to become a musical artist with his band, Red Hot Chili Peppers. Sonny was a close friend of Anthony's father, Blackie Dammett, and would often take the boy on weekend trips.[13][14] Bono
Bono
was a champion of the Salton Sea
Salton Sea
in southeastern California, where a park was named in his honor. The 2005 documentary film Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea[15] (narrated by John Waters) features Bono
Bono
and documented the lives of the inhabitants of Bombay Beach, Niland and Salton City, as well as the ecological issues associated with the Sea. In 1996, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him.[16] Religion[edit] He became interested in Scientology
Scientology
and took Scientology
Scientology
courses partly because of the influence of Mimi Rogers, but stated that he was a Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
on all official documents, campaign materials and websites.[17] His wife Mary also took Scientology
Scientology
courses.[18][19] However, after his death, Mary Bono
Bono
stated that "Sonny did try to break away [from the Church of Scientology] at one point, and they made it very difficult for him." The Church denied any estrangement with Bono.[20] Death[edit]

Sonny Bono's headstone at Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California. The epitaph reads: "AND THE BEAT GOES ON".

Bono
Bono
died on January 5, 1998, of injuries sustained when he hit a tree while skiing on the Nevada
Nevada
side of Heavenly Ski Resort
Heavenly Ski Resort
near South Lake Tahoe, California.[21][22] His death came less than a week after Michael Kennedy, a son of Robert F. Kennedy, died in a similar skiing accident in Aspen, Colorado. After Bono's death, Mary Bono
Bono
told an interviewer from TV Guide
TV Guide
that Sonny had been addicted to prescription drugs, mainly Vicodin
Vicodin
and Valium. Though Mary claimed that Sonny's drug use caused the accident, the autopsy performed by the Douglas County Coroner showed no indication of any substances or alcohol.[21] At Mary Bono's request, Cher
Cher
gave a eulogy at Sonny's funeral. His remains were buried at Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California.[23][24] The epitaph on Bono's headstone reads: "AND THE BEAT GOES ON", written in uppercase.[25] Mary Bono
Bono
was elected to fill the remainder of his congressional term. She was elected in her own right seven subsequent times before being defeated in the election of 2012.[26] See also[edit]

California portal Biography portal

Sonny Bono
Bono
Memorial Park, a small park in Washington, DC. List of actor–politicians List of famous skiing deaths List of United States Congress members who died in office (1950–99)

References[edit]

^ "U.S. Copyright
Copyright
Office: Annual Report 2002: Litigation". Copyright.gov. Retrieved 2011-01-21.  ^ "Sonny Bono
Bono
Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on February 17, 2010. Retrieved October 8, 2009.  ^ Yates, Nona (January 7, 1998). "Sonny Bono, a Chronology". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 8, 2009.  ^ "Sonny Bono
Bono
Inner Views
Inner Views
– from Rhino Handmade". Rhinohandmade.com. Retrieved 2015-02-10. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ "Sonny & Cher
Cher
Boost Ratings". The New Mexican. Santa Fe, New Mexico. November 29, 1987, p. 35, accessed through NewspaperARCHIVE.com
NewspaperARCHIVE.com
on March 13, 2009. ^ "Sonny and Cher
Cher
Reunited on David Letterman Show." Aiken Standard. Aiken, South Carolina. November 15, 1987. p. 3. accessed through NewspaperARCHIVE.com
NewspaperARCHIVE.com
on March 13, 2009. ^ "Bono, Sonny – Biographical Information". Bioguide.congress.gov. Retrieved October 8, 2009.  ^ "Bill Summary & Status – 105th Congress (1997–1998) – H.R.2589 – THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Thomas.loc.gov. March 26, 1998. Retrieved April 25, 2012.  ^ Lawrence Lessig, Copyright's First Amendment, 48 UCLA L. Rev. 1057, 1065 (2001) ^ " Salton Sea
Salton Sea
rescue to be named for Sonny Bono". CNN. January 16, 1998.  ^ "Rewinding the Charts: Fifty Years Ago, Sonny & Cher
Cher
'Got' to No. 1". Billboard. Retrieved December 2, 2017.  ^ "'Sonny's cheating made me consider suicide': Cher
Cher
admits she thought about ending her own life". Daily Mail. November 19, 2010. Retrieved November 19, 2012.  ^ "Anthony Kiedis". Angelfire. Retrieved April 25, 2012.  ^ "Kiedis' Bedroom Joy With Cher". Contactmusic.com. October 11, 2004. Retrieved April 25, 2012.  ^ "Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea". Saltonseadoc.com. Retrieved October 8, 2009.  ^ " Palm Springs Walk of Stars
Palm Springs Walk of Stars
by date dedicated" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 13, 2012.  ^ Wright, Lawrence (November 5, 2013). Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the prison of belief. New York City: Vintage. pp. 249–50. ISBN 978-0307745309.  ^ Pareene, Alex (February 10, 2011). "The Cult of Scientology's friends in Washington". Salon. Retrieved May 17, 2015.  ^ Bardach, Ann (August 1999). "Proud Mary Bono". George. Retrieved May 17, 2015.  ^ Babington, Charles (July 15, 1999). " Bono
Bono
Not Receptive to Scientologists". The Washington Post. p. A5. Retrieved September 24, 2017.  ^ a b Claiborne, William (January 7, 1998). "Sonny Bono
Bono
Is Killed in Ski Crash". The Washington Post.  ^ "Sonny Bono
Bono
Killed in Skiing
Skiing
Accident". CNN. January 6, 1998. Retrieved September 27, 2016.  ^ Palm Springs Cemetery District "Interment Information" ^ Brooks, Patricia; Brooks, Jonathan (2006). "Chapter 8: East L.A. and the Desert". Laid to Rest in California: a guide to the cemeteries and grave sites of the rich and famous. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press. pp. 239–40. ISBN 978-0762741014.  ^ Sonny Bono
Bono
at Find a Grave ^ Lochhead, Carolyn (November 7, 2012). "Mary Bono
Bono
Mack defeated in Palm Springs upset". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 

Further reading[edit]

Sonny Bono: And The Beat Goes On. New York: Pocket Books 1991. ISBN 0-671-69366-2 Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles, 12th edition. Menomonee Falls WI: Record Research 2009 ISBN 0-89820-180-2 and ISBN 978-0-89820-180-2

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sonny Bono.

Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Sonny Bono
Bono
on IMDb Sonny Bono
Bono
at the TCM Movie Database Sonny Bono
Bono
at Find a Grave Sonny Bono
Bono
Community Facebook Page Sonny Bono
Bono
interviewed on the Pop Chronicles
Pop Chronicles
(1969) Sonny Bono: Pop Songs & Politics at the TCM Movie Database FBI Records: The Vault – Salvatore Phillip "Sonny" Bono
Bono
at vault.fbi.gov S.505: Sonny Bono
Bono
Copyright
Copyright
Term Extension Act

Political offices

Preceded by Frank Bogert Mayor of Palm Springs, California April 1988 – April 1992 Succeeded by Lloyd Maryanov

U.S. House of Representatives

Preceded by Al McCandless Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California's 44th congressional district January 3, 1995 – January 5, 1998 Succeeded by Mary Bono

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 211370 LCCN: n91031405 ISNI: 0000 0000 8349 398X GND: 119085607 SUDOC: 084121343 BNF: cb140373047 (data) MusicBrainz: c43d2302-02db-487b-b62d-8cb3c57f94c6 US Congress: B000622 BNE: XX1094

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