Sonia (singer)

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Sonia
Sonia Evans in 2008 (background edited) (crop).jpg
Sonia at Birmingham Pride 2008
Background information
Birth name Sonia Evans
Born (1971-02-13) 13 February 1971 (age 45)
Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Genres Pop
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1989–present
Labels Chrysalis, Arista

Sonia (born Sonia Evans; 13 February 1971)[1] is an English pop singer from Liverpool, Merseyside.[2] 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,[3] 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.

Music career[edit]

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.[3] At 18, Sonia became one of the youngest female British singers to achieve this feat. The single also topped the Irish chart[4] and reached the Top 10 of the US dance chart.[5]

Sonia's debut album, Everybody Knows, was released in April 1990.[6] The album peaked at #7 in the UK,[3] and was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry.[6] All 5 singles released from the album became top 20 hits in the UK,[3] 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",[3] 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,[3] although the album was less successful than her debut.

Sonia also contributed to two charity singles, Band Aid II's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" in 1989 (peaked at #1 in the UK[7]) and Gulf Aid's "As Time Stood Still" in 1991.

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".[8] Sonia was placed second in the contest.[9] Her third album, also titled Better the Devil You Know was released that year and reached #32 in the UK.[3]

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 #61 in the UK.[3]

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.

Sonia performed a vocal part in Italian eurobeat singer Nuage's I'm Never Gonna Let You Down And Forget You, released in Japan in 2004, produced by Dave Rodgers.

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.

In 2008, Sonia recorded a cover of The Beatles' classic "She Loves You" for the Liverpool – The Number Ones Album.

On 1 June 2009, Sonia released her first single for fourteen years, "Fool for Love".

Sonia at Lets Rock Bristol in 2014.

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.

On 21 December 2012, Sonia performed at the Stock Aitken Waterman "Hit Factory Live" reunion concert at London's The O2, along with many other former SAW acts, including Kylie Minogue.[10]

Acting career and television work[edit]

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.[11]

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 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.

She appeared on Series 5 of Hacker Time[12]

Personal life[edit]

Sonia married Mark Moses in 1998 and the couple have a daughter, Gracie Rose, who was born in 2010.[13]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Album Peak chart positions
UK
[3]
AUS
[14]
Everybody Knows 7 144
Sonia
  • Released: 7 October 1991
  • Format: LP, cassette, CD, DLD
  • Label: IQ Records
33
Better the Devil You Know
  • Released: 17 May 1993
  • Format: LP, cassette, CD, DLD
  • Label: Arista
32
Love Train – The Philly Album
  • Released: 1998
  • Format: Promotional release only
  • Label: BMG
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.
Album
Greatest Hits
  • Released: 2007
  • Format: CD, digital download
  • Label: BMG

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
UK
[3][15]
AUS
[14]
BEL
(FLA)

[16]
FRA
[17]
GER
[18]
IRE
[4]
NED
[19]
NOR
[20]
NZ
[21]
SWI
[22]
US Dance
[5]
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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "biography". Soniaontheweb.com. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  2. ^ "Sonia". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "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.
  4. ^ a b Irish chart peaks: "irishcharts.ie > Search results for 'Sonia'". Fireball Media. Retrieved 2015-12-15. 
  5. ^ a b "Sonia – US Dance Club Songs". billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  6. ^ a b c "BPI > Certified Awards > Search results for Sonia". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2016-01-29. 
  7. ^ "Official Charts > Band Aid II". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2016-01-29. 
  8. ^ "Better the Devil You Know". Esctoday.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "Cheers and groans as Kylie and Jason put in a shift at reopened Hit Factory". The Guardian. 2012-12-22. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  11. ^ "Tony Hadley wins Reborn final". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  12. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/schedules/cbbc/20150806
  13. ^ "Sonia Interview". Sonia on the web. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  14. ^ a b Australian (ARIA) chart peaks:
  15. ^ "ukmix.org Chart Histories – Sonia". imgur.org. Retrieved 2014-11-16. 
  16. ^ "ultratop.be > Sonia" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-15. 
  17. ^ "lescharts.com > Discographie Sonia" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-15. 
  18. ^ German chart peaks:
  19. ^ "dutchcharts.nl > Sonia" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-15. 
  20. ^ "norwegiancharts.com > Discography Sonia". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-15. 
  21. ^ "charts.org.nz > Discography Sonia". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-15. 
  22. ^ "hitparade.ch > Sonia" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-15. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Michael Ball
with "One Step Out of Time"
UK in the Eurovision Song Contest
1993
Succeeded by
Frances Ruffelle
with "Lonely Symphony (We Will Be Free)"