Cher Sues Widow Of Sonny Bono, Claims ’60s Hits Royalties Being Withheld

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Cher filed suit today in Los Angeles against former Rep. Mary Bono, alleging that she is illegally withholding royalties from the hits generated by Sonny & Cher in the 1960s.

Mary Bono, the widow of Sonny, stands accused of keeping Cher from her share of royalties on such hits as “I Got You Babe” and “The Beat Goes On.” The suit, filed in Los Angeles federal court, asks for $1 million.

Cher and Sonny Bono divorced in 1975, but agreed to split the revenue from the songs they recorded as a duo.

The Cher lawsuit alleges that Sonny’s fourth wife, Mary Bono, “has undone” Cher’s ownership of the rights and royalties, but doesn’t specify how that happened.

Sonny & Cher were among the most popular pop songsters of the ’60s, increasing their reach in the ’70s with their hit variety show, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. Upon their split, Cher went on to a successful film career and had several pop hits on her own, while Sonny moved into politics and became the mayor of Palm Springs and later a Republican congressman. He died in a skiing accident in 1998.

Information from City News Service was used in this report.

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