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'Everyone Just Disappeared' for Cher When She Met Sonny — She Contacted a Medium after His Devastating Death

Esther NJeri
Jun 08, 2022
11:40 P.M.
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When Singer Cher met her future husband, Sonny, she thought he looked unusual, but their connection was instant. Soon after, they became an inseparable iconic duo with intertwined careers.

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Today, Cherilyn Sarkisian, AKA Cher, is a successful actress, singer, and TV personality. However, she had a tough time growing up. Her life wasn't smooth sailing when she was a child.

Her father, John Sarkisian, was rarely home when Cher was an infant, and he and her mother, Georgia Holt, divorced when the singer was ten months old. Holt went on to marry six more times.

Cher arrives to the Los Angeles premiere of 'The Promise' at TCL Chinese Theatre on April 12, 2017 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

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Growing up in a broken home, Cher needed protection more than she did love. When she met her future husband, Sonny Bono, it was a platonic relationship. She would say in a 1975 interview, according to Biography:

"It wasn't a fiery, sexy thing with us, but rather paternal, like we were bound together, two people who needed each other, almost for protection."

The duo, who would later become one of Hollywood's most iconic couples, met at Aldo's Coffee Shop in Hollywood, where the people that worked in the radio station next door would hang out.

Singers Sonny Bono and Cher at the Hilton Hotel, London on August 3, 1965 | Source: Getty Images

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Cher's first impression of Sonny was that he looked unusual with his long hair, long fingers, and beetle boots. She was 16 and had dropped out of school due to dyslexia, and he was 27 and married.

Initially, Sonny was interested in Cher's friend, but the moment they laid eyes on each other, there was an instant connection. The "I Found Someone" songstress remembers how it played out like with the Maria and Tony scene on "West Side Story":

"Everyone just disappeared."

Singer and actress Cher poses with Sonny Bono for a photo session on July 22, 1977 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

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Sonny soon moved next door to the apartment Cher shared with a few other women, and when they kicked her out, she moved in with him on the condition that she would clean the place. She never did get around to doing the chores.

Cher says that Sonny was not attracted to her when she first moved in, but their relationship grew from platonic to romantic with time. Sonny thought Cher needed protection, while her mother thought Cher's daddy issues played a role in her relationship with Sonny.

She felt Sonny was the spitting image of Cher's father, which could be why Cher felt attracted to him. However, Holt could not raise her concerns at the time because her daughter was in love, and she couldn't have done anything to change her daughter's mind.

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MARRIAGE AND MUSIC

Singers Sonny Bono And Cherduring the 45th Annual Academy Awards in March 1973 | Source: Getty Images

In 1965, the duo became popular with the song "I Got You, Babe," which became number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold more than a million copies.

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Sonny continued to oversee their careers, and Cher would later admit that while she knew she wanted to make music for the rest of her life, she would not have made it there without Sonny.

They continued to produce more hits, including "The Beat Goes On," even as their relationship continued to thrive during and after they became stars.

Singers and TV stars Sonny and Cher pose for a portrait at home in Beverly Hills, California circa 1970 | Source: Getty Images

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They had a faux wedding ceremony in 1964 but walked the aisle in 1969, this time for real. As with Cher's career, she was happy to let Sonny lead even in their personal life. She would say that she had a hero kind of worship for Sonny and thought he was great.

In 1969, they welcomed their child, daughter Chastity Bono — who would later transition to male and become known as Chaz Bono.

By the end of the '60s, the couple's career in music had floundered due to a shift in public taste, and the two landed a TV show, "The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour," in 1971, capturing 30 million weekly views.

Singers Sonny Bono and Cher pose with their daughter Chastity Bono for the television variety show 'The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour,' July 1, 1971. | Source: Getty Images

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Unfortunately, by 1972, their marriage fell apart, mainly because Cher had grown up and Sonny did not like the older her. She was 25 when he started cheating on her. Cher would share her thoughts on her husband, saying that he treated her more like his "golden goose" than his wife.

And while she admitted that Sonny hurt her in so many ways, she said she'd forgiven him because he'd been so much more than a husband — he'd been a great mentor and teacher.

While their career in TV thrived, their marriage suffered. Sonny cheated with multiple women, and Cher also had partners outside of marriage. However, infidelity was not enough to end their marriage, as their careers were still intertwined.

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Singers Sonny Bono and Cher in the United Kingdom circa 1960 | Source: Getty Images

They had an image to uphold and thus had to remain married. However, the facade would not last forever, and in February 1974, Sonny filed for separation. Cher demanded divorce shortly after, calling their union "involuntary servitude."

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In the process, Cher discovered that their corporation, Cher enterprises, formed by Sonny, was 95 percent owned by Sonny and five percent by their lawyer.

She also learned that she had signed a contract restricting her from taking jobs without Sonny. Cher had to participate in shows worth more than a million dollars to get out of the contract.

Singer/actress Cher arrives on the red carpet for Target Presents AFI's Night at the Movies at ArcLight Cinemas on April 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

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Eventually, their divorce became final on June 26, 1975. Despite their failed nuptials, there seemed to be some regret on Sonny's part as he disclosed that he enjoyed the power that was Cher and Sonny while it lasted.

He confessed that it took him years to let go of that feeling long after they divorced. But Sonny was not the only one that thought so highly of his ex.

Cher also referred to Sonny as "the most unforgettable character [she] ever met." In 2013, she shared how she thought their marriage was made in heaven.

SONNY'S DEATH LEFT CHER DEVASTATED

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Singer Sonny Bono arrives at the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California on June 12, 1977 | Source: Getty Images

After their divorce, Sonny became a restauranter before turning to politics, but unfortunately, on January 5, 1998, he met his untimely death in a skiing accident. Cher was devastated. Chastity, now Chaz, said he had never seen his mom as overwhelmed by anything in his life as she was by Sonny's death.

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However, years later, Cher disclosed that she and Sonny were still close and communicated through spiritual medium James Van Praagh. She said:

"He told me things only Sonny could have known."

Cher attends the UK Premiere of "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" at Eventim Apollo on July 16, 2018 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

She has also opened up about how she sometimes felt Sonny around her. She retold how she had this fabulous chandelier in her sitting room that would go off and on for no reason. She believed it was Sonny messing with her because that was something Sonny would do.

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