Sonia at Birmingham Pride 2008
|Birth name||Sonia Evans|
13 February 1971 |
Skelmersdale, Lancashire, England
Sonia (born Sonia Evans; 13 February 1971) is an English pop singer from Skelmersdale, Lancashire. 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.
Her singing career was launched in 1989 by the songwriting and music producing trio Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman known as Stock Aitken Waterman. She was signed to Chrysalis Records after badgering Pete Waterman to listen to her sing outside the recording studio in Liverpool. Waterman did a regular weekly radio broadcast. He called her bluff and had her sing live on his show. She released her debut single, "You'll Never Stop Me Loving You" in June 1989. It quickly became a number one single in the UK Singles Chart. At 18, she became one of the youngest female British singers to achieve this feat. The song also topped the Irish chart and reached the Top 10 of the US dance chart.
She released her debut album, Everybody Knows, in 1990, which peaked at #7. All 5 singles taken from it became top 20 hits, making Sonia the first British solo female artist to achieve this. Also in 1990, she recorded the song "You've Got A Friend" with the group Big Fun. It was released as a charity single for Childline and became a top 20 hit.
Due to tensions with Stock Aitken & Waterman she left the label and released her second, self-titled album in 1991, produced by Nigel Wright. The first single taken from it, "Only Fools (Never Fall in Love)" peaked at #10, although the album was less successful than her debut.
In 1993, she represented the United Kingdom in the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest, singing the Dean Collinson and Brian Teasdale composition "Better the Devil You Know". She finished in second place. Her third album, also titled Better the Devil You Know was released that year and reached #32 in UK.
In 1995, she 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 was only released as a promo.
Late 2007 saw her greatest hits album released only featuring recordings from Sonia's time with BMG Music (1991–1993).
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 to this day. (Barry Upton also co-wrote Sonia's hit "Only Fools (Never Fall in Love))". The first recording of "Dancing in the Driver's Seat" (sung by Inspiration), however, was released in the Oscar-winning film Little Miss Sunshine and is on the album Gordon Pogoda Songs From Film & TV. The song is in a similar vein to other Motown-influenced Sonia records like "Only Fools (Never Fall in Love)", "Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy" and "Better the Devil You Know".
On 1 June 2009, she released her first single for fourteen years - "Fool for Love".
In 2010, Sonia's debut album and its accompanying singles were reissued on CD and iTunes, including several never released remixes and two unreleased songs: a megamix and a cover of "Let's Have a Party". Also in 2010, Sonia's song "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 gameshow 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 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. The show was aired on ITV1 and was presented by Davina McCall. 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.
She 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 is married and has 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||1||29||26||18||20||21||10||29||43||10||Everybody Knows|
|"Can't Forget You"||17||5||—||—||47||—||—||—||98||—||—|
|"Listen to Your Heart"||10||22||39||—||—||72||—||—||119||—||—|
|1990||"Counting Every Minute"||16||18||—||—||—||—||—||—||118||—||—|
|"You've Got a Friend" (with Big Fun)||14||12||—||—||—||—||—||—||157||—||—||Non-album Single|
|"End of the World"||18||18||—||—||—||—||—||—||153||—||—||Everybody Knows|
|1991||"Only Fools (Never Fall in Love)"||10||6||—||—||—||51||—||—||—||—||—||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||26||—||—||46||59||—||—||—||—||—|
|"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 24 May 2014.
- "Sonia". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
- "You'll Never Stop Me Loving You". Chartstats. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
- "Better the Devil You Know". Esctoday.com. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- Miles, Tina (16 May 2009). "Eurovision was wonderful for me, says Liverpool singer Sonia". Liverpool Echo. Archived from the original on 21 June 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- "Cheers and groans as Kylie and Jason put in a shift at reopened Hit Factory". The Guardian. 22 December 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
- "Tony Hadley wins Reborn final". Daily Mail. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
- "Sonia Interview". Sonia on the web. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 514. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Australian (ARIA) chart peaks:
- "You'll Never Stop Me Loving You": "Australiancharts.com Sonia 'You'll Never Stop Me Loving You'". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- "Can't Forget You": "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 17 January 2014". Imgur. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
- "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 29 November 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
- "Everybody Knows": "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 15 July 2015". Imgur. Archived from the original on 16 July 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
- "ukmix.org Chart Histories - Sonia". imgur.org. Retrieved 2014-11-16.
- "Sonia - US Dance Club Songs". billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-05-10.
with "One Step Out of Time"
|UK in the Eurovision Song Contest
with "Lonely Symphony (We Will Be Free)"