Cher Files Lawsuit Against Sonny Bono’s Heirs for Terminating Her Legal Right to Sonny & Cher Royalties

Cher, of the famous 1960s Sonny & Cher duo has filed a lawsuit against the heirs of Sonny Bono for terminating her and Sonny’s legal agreement over royalties. The licensing agreement was reached after the couple divorced in 1975, in which a provision states that Cher is to receive 50 per cent of all royalties earned by Sonny & Cher recordings that included among many others the hits singles “Baby Don’t Go,” “I Got You Babe,” “The Beat Goes On,” “Bang Bang,” and “Little Man.”

According to reports, the heirs of Sonny Bono has been trying to terminate the licensing agreements for some of the songs since 2016, Last month, Cher received notice from the Bono Collection Trust that the widow of Sonny, Mary Bono, has terminated Cher’s rights to receive royalties from the above-mentioned Sonny & Cher hit singles.

As response, Cher filed a civil lawsuit to assert her right as co-owner of all musical compositions and royalties of their recordings, which has gone unchallenged for years The co-ownership has entitled her to receive 50% of all related royalties earned by the songs they recorded as a couple in the 1960s and 1970s.

Although Cher’s civil complaint did not specify an exact amount, as she is also claiming relief for “damages sustained” as results of the actions taken by Sonny’s heirs. While the exact amount of damages caused is not yet presently known, it is estimated to exceed $1 million.

About the Sonny & Cher Duo

In 1965, Sonny and Cher came out of their careers as back up singers, after they recorded “I Got You Babe” and “Baby Don’t Go.” As the two singles both became instant hits the couple immediately achieved international fame as recording artists known as Sonny and Cher.

Their successful career lasted for more than a decade for which they sold more than 40 million records worldwide. Twice nominated for Grammy Awards, the couple ranked No. 18 in Rolling Stone’s list of the “ 20 Greatest Duos of All Times.”

While still famous during the 1970s, the husband and wife team also hit it big with two top-rated U.S. television shows, “The Sonny & Cher Show” and “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.” However, their team up ended in a divorce in 1975.
The breakup led to Cher’s successful career as a solo singer and as an actress; contributing to the success of several Hollywood blockbuster movies like Suspect, Silkwood, The Witches of Eastwick and Mama Mia.

Sonny Bono on the other hand, embarked on a political career, first as mayor of Palm Springs, Ca. and later as a Republican Congressman in 1994 and 1996. Unfortunately, Sonny Bono met his untimely demise in a skiing accident during his term. Through a special election, his second wife Mary Bono won the seat left vacant by Sonny. Although Mary Bono held the position for several years, she was ousted in 2012.