Sonia at Birmingham Pride 2008
|Birth name||Sonia Evans|
13 February 1971 |
Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Sonia (born Sonia Evans; 13 February 1971) is an English pop singer from Liverpool, Merseyside. She is perhaps best known for her 1989 UK number one hit "You'll Never Stop Me Loving You" and for representing the United Kingdom in the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest, where she finished second with the song "Better the Devil You Know". Between 1989 and 1993, she had 11 UK Top 30 hits, including "Listen to Your Heart" (1989), "Counting Every Minute" (1990) and "Only Fools (Never Fall in Love)" (1991). In 1994, she starred as Sandy in a West End revival of the musical Grease, while on television she appeared as Bunty in the 1998 BBC comedy series The Lily Savage Show.
Sonia was signed to Chrysalis Records after badgering Pete Waterman to listen to her sing outside his recording studio in Liverpool. Waterman called her bluff and asked her to sing live on his weekly radio show. Sonia's debut single, "You'll Never Stop Me Loving You", composed and produced by the songwriting and music production trio Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman (Stock Aitken Waterman) was released in June 1989. "You'll Never Stop Me Loving You" peaked at #1 on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks the following month. At 18, Sonia became one of the youngest female British singers to achieve this feat. The single also topped the Irish chart and reached the Top 10 of the US dance chart.
Sonia's debut album, Everybody Knows, was released in April 1990. The album peaked at #7 in the UK, and was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry. All 5 singles released from the album became top 20 hits in the UK, making Sonia the first British solo female artist to achieve this. Sonia achieved a sixth top 20 hit in the UK in 1990 with "You've Got A Friend", recorded with the group Big Fun, and released as a charity single for Childline.
After tensions developed with Stock Aitken Waterman, Sonia left her record label and released her second, self-titled album in 1991, produced by Nigel Wright. The first single released from it, "Only Fools (Never Fall in Love)" became Sonia's third UK top 10 hit, although the album was less successful than her debut.
In 1993, Sonia represented the United Kingdom in the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest, singing the Dean Collinson and Brian Teasdale composition "Better the Devil You Know". Sonia was placed second in the contest. Her third album, also titled Better the Devil You Know was released that year and reached #32 in the UK.
In 1995, Sonia released a cover of "Wake Up Everybody", which did not enter the UK Top 100. It was to be the lead single of her fourth album, the soul covers album Love Train - The Philly Album, but Sonia was unhappy with it and it only received a promotional release.
Late 2007 saw the release of Sonia's Greatest Hits album. However, this compilation only featured recordings from Sonia's two albums released on BMG.
In 2007, prior to Sonia's "Greatest Hits" release, she recorded two Motown-influenced songs, "Dancing In the Driver's Seat" and "Your Heart Or Mine", both of which were written by Barry Upton and U.S. songwriter Gordon Pogoda. However, her record label decided to include no new songs on "Greatest Hits", so both recordings remain unreleased.
On 1 June 2009, Sonia released her first single for fourteen years, "Fool for Love".
In October 2010, the "Everybody Knows" album was remastered and re-issued in expanded form, containing two additional tracks, extended versions of her first four singles, and a demo version of "You'll Never Stop Me Loving You." Also in 2010, Sonia's cover version of "You've Got a Friend", a duet with Big Fun, was released on a reissue of the group's debut album.
Acting career and television work
Prior to her music career, around 1988, Evans appeared as an extra in Channel 4's soap opera Brookside, and also appeared in an episode of the BBC1 situation comedy Bread, where she played Ellia, a short-term girlfriend of Adrian Boswell, in episode 11 of series 5.
In 1990, Sonia co-hosted children's game show The Wetter The Better as a scoreboard person with main quizmaster Ross King, which was part of the Saturday morning children's magazine show 8:15 from Manchester.
In 1993, Sonia made her theatre debut in the musical Slice Of Saturday Night, alongside Dennis Waterman. The following year she replaced singer Debbie Gibson as Sandy in a West End revival of Grease, where she stayed for a year. In 1997 she returned to the stage on the musical What A Feeling!, which also included fellow 1980s stars Luke Goss and Sinitta. An accompanying soundtrack album was released.
She has also played alongside Lily Savage as her wayward daughter Bunty Savage, both on the BBC series The Lily Savage Show and live shows.
In 2003, Sonia appeared in the ITV1 reality show Reborn in the USA, where former popstars including Leee John from the band Imagination, Michelle Gayle, Gina G, Elkie Brooks and pop duo Dollar performed American hits. The show saw the artists touring America and each week one artist was eliminated from the show. Sonia came sixth out of the nine participants, and her participation was notable for her clashes with Dollar members Thereza Bazar and especially David Van Day.
Sonia also starred in the LHK Productions pantomime Cinderella in December 2010 / January 2011 as the Wicked Queen Edwina at the Stiwt Theatre in Wrexham, North Wales, alongside Big Brother star Dale Howard.
Sonia married Mark Moses in 1998 and the couple have a daughter, Gracie Rose, who was born in 2010.
|Album||Peak chart positions|
|Better the Devil You Know
|Love Train – The Philly Album
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart.|
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1989||"You'll Never Stop Me Loving You"||1||29||18||29||20||1||26||10||43||21||10||Everybody Knows|
|"Can't Forget You"||17||98||47||—||—||5||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Listen to Your Heart"||10||119||—||39||72||22||—||—||—||—||—|
|1990||"Counting Every Minute"||16||118||—||—||—||18||—||—||—||—||—|
|"You've Got a Friend" (with Big Fun)||14||157||—||—||—||12||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album Single|
|"End of the World"||18||153||—||—||—||18||—||—||—||—||—||Everybody Knows|
|1991||"Only Fools (Never Fall in Love)"||10||—||—||—||51||6||—||—||—||—||—||Sonia|
|"Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy"||22||—||—||—||—||23||—||—||—||—||—|
|"You to Me Are Everything"||13||—||—||—||—||14||—||—||—||—||—|
|1992||"Boogie Nights"||30||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Better the Devil You Know|
|1993||"Better the Devil You Know"||15||—||46||—||59||26||—||—||—||—||—|
|"We’ve Got the Power" (Gladiators featuring Sonia)||90||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album Single|
|1994||"Hopelessly Devoted to You"||61||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album Single|
|1995||"Wake Up Everybody"||155||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Love Train - The Philly Album|
|2009||"Fool for Love"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album Single|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.|
- "biography". Soniaontheweb.com. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
- "Sonia". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
- "Official Charts > Sonia". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2016-01-29. N.B. The Official Charts site does not display peaks between 76–100 for the period April 1991 to February 1994; hence the UK peak for "We've Got the Power" is not displayed here.
- Irish chart peaks: "irishcharts.ie > Search results for 'Sonia'". Fireball Media. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
- "Sonia – US Dance Club Songs". billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-05-10.
- "BPI > Certified Awards > Search results for Sonia". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
- "Official Charts > Band Aid II". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
- "Better the Devil You Know". Esctoday.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2012-06-21.
- Miles, Tina (2009-05-16). "Eurovision was wonderful for me, says Liverpool singer Sonia". Liverpool Echo. Archived from the original on 2012-06-21. Retrieved 2012-06-21.
- "Cheers and groans as Kylie and Jason put in a shift at reopened Hit Factory". The Guardian. 2012-12-22. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
- "Tony Hadley wins Reborn final". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
- "Sonia Interview". Sonia on the web. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
- Australian (ARIA) chart peaks:
- "You'll Never Stop Me Loving You": "australian-charts.com > Sonia – You'll Never Stop Me Loving You (song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
- "Can't Forget You": "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 17 January 2014". Imgur. Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2015-11-26.
- "Listen to Your Heart", "Counting Every Minute", "You've Got a Friend" and "End of the World": "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 17 June 2014". Imgur. Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2015-11-26.
- "Everybody Knows": "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 15 July 2015". Imgur. Archived from the original on 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2015-11-26.
- "ukmix.org Chart Histories – Sonia". imgur.org. Retrieved 2014-11-16.
- "ultratop.be > Sonia" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
- "lescharts.com > Discographie Sonia" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
- German chart peaks:
- "You'll Never Stop Me Loving You": "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Sonia – You'll Never Stop Me Loving You (single)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
- "Listen to Your Heart": "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Sonia – Listen to Your Heart (single)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
- "Only Fools (Never Fall in Love)": "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Sonia – Only Fools (Never Fall in Love) (single)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
- "Better the Devil You Know": "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Sonia – Better the Devil You Know (single)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
- "dutchcharts.nl > Sonia" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
- "norwegiancharts.com > Discography Sonia". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
- "charts.org.nz > Discography Sonia". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
- "hitparade.ch > Sonia" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
with "One Step Out of Time"
|UK in the Eurovision Song Contest
with "Lonely Symphony (We Will Be Free)"