5 Charming Live Moments in Honor of Sonny Bono

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

One-half of the entertainment duo, Sonny & Cher, Sonny Bono was unlike any other pop culture personality of the 1960s and ’70s. He was a star that shone brightly against the technicolor of the era, even when placed next to his partner and wife, legendary vocalist Cher. Warm, charismatic, and downright lovable, his voice was inviting and his stage presence was heart-stealing.

Here are five charming live moments in honor of Sonny Bono, who was killed suddenly in a skiing accident on Jan. 5, 1998. He was 62 years old.

1. “I Got You Babe,” Top of the Pops 1965

Together, Sonny and Cher are electric while performing their beloved “I Got You Babe.” But it’s the young Sonny’s sweet glances, inviting smiles, and innocent sway that pulls you in. He looks like he’s just happy to be there, like he’d be happy anywhere he can sing with Cher.

2. Hits Medley Live, 1970

The medley of hits sees a straight-faced Sonny trying his best to bury his silliness. Giving Cher knowing looks and stealing a wink here and there, he still manages to make her smile in this special performance that shows they were more than lovers, they were best friends.

3. “The Beat Goes On”

Sonny gives a heart-stealing performance of “The Beat Goes On” on the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. With child-like energy, so infectious, the pair—dressed in coordinating colors–looks like they’re having the best time performing the drum-heavy waltz.

4. “It Never Rains in Southern California,” 1973

In another performance from the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, the pair stun in magenta as they belt out “It Never Rains in Southern California.” Sonny opens the song with soul, giving a goofy sway while charming viewers throughout the tune.

5. “I Got You Babe” Live on Letterman, 1987

After their divorce, the couple reunited to perform an impromptu rendition of “I Got You Babe” on Late Night with David Letterman. While they’re not in coordinating outfits, they still sing together as if no time has passed, goofing off and just having fun. It would be the last time they performed together.

Photo by Jeff Hochberg/Getty Images

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