|Birth name||Sonia Evans|
|Born||13 February 1971|
Sonia Evans (born 13 February 1971), known mononymously as Sonia, is an English pop singer and actress from Liverpool. She had a 1989 UK number one hit "You'll Never Stop Me Loving You" and became the first female UK artist to achieve five top 20 hit singles from one album. She represented 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 number 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 number 7 in the UK, and was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry. All five 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". She was placed second in the contest. Her third album, also titled Better the Devil You Know was released that year and reached number 32 in the UK.
In 1994, Sonia replaced singer Debbie Gibson as Sandy in the West End musical Grease. A cover of "Hopelessly Devoted To You" was released as a tie-in single, but it only peaked at number 61 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 tracks remained unreleased until 2018.
On 1 June 2009, Sonia released her first single for 14 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.
In summer 2018, in conjunction with her appearance in the Channel 5 program Celebrity 5 Go Caravanning, Sonia's recording of "Dancing in the Driver's Seat", written by Barry Upton and Gordon Pogoda, was released. Another song recorded with Barry Upton and Gordon Pogoda in 2007, "Your Heart Or Mine", was released in 2018 as its follow-up.
Sonia signed a new record deal with Energise Records in 2019, and a new single, "A Night That's Never Ending", was released November 2019.
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 4.
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 pop stars 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.
In January 2007, she starred in the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, as Jack in Horsham, West Sussex, alongside Mark Curry. Sonia also starred in the 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.
In 2018, Sonia appeared alongside Todd Carty, Tony Blackburn, Colin Baker and Sherrie Hewson in Channel 5's Celebrity 5 Go Caravanning.
Sonia married Mark Moses in 1998 and the couple have a daughter, 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 singles|
|1994||"Hopelessly Devoted to You"||61||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1995||"Wake Up Everybody"||155||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Love Train - The Philly Album|
|2009||"Fool for Love"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album singles|
|2018||"Dancin' in the Driver's Seat"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Your Heart Or Mine"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2019||"A Night That's Never-Ending"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.|
- Koncienzcy, Rebecca (28 July 2018). "The famous people you didn't know were from Skelmersdale". Echo. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
- "biography". Soniaontheweb.com. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
- UK chart peaks:
- All except "We've Got the Power" and "Wake Up Everybody": "Official Charts > Sonia". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 January 2016. 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.
- "We've Got the Power" and "Wake Up Everybody": "ukmix.org Chart Histories – Sonia". Imgur.org. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
- Irish chart peaks: "irishcharts.ie > Search results for 'Sonia' (from irishcharts.ie)". Fireball Media, via Imgur.com. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
- "Billboard > Sonia Chart History > Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
- "BPI > Certified Awards > Search results for Sonia". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
- "Official Charts > Band Aid II". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
- "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 20 October 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.
- "BBC iPlayer – Channel Schedule – CBBC – Saturday 6 January 2018" – via BBC.
- "Sonia Interview 2013". Sonia on the web. Archived from the original on 25 May 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
- Australian (ARIA) chart peaks:
- "You'll Never Stop Me Loving You": "australian-charts.com > Sonia in Australian Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
- "Can't Forget You": "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 17 January 2014". Imgur.com. 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.com. 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.com. Archived from the original on 16 July 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
- "Ultratop > Sonia in Ultratop Vlaanderen" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
- "lescharts.com > Sonia dans les Charts Français" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
- "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Suchen nach "Sonia"" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
- "dutchcharts.nl > Sonia in Dutch Charts" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
- "norwegiancharts.com > Sonia in Norwegian Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
- "charts.nz > Sonia in New Zealand Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
- "hitparade.ch > Suchen nach: Sonia (Songs)" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
with "One Step Out of Time"
| UK in the Eurovision Song Contest
with "Lonely Symphony (We Will Be Free)"