Sonia

Sonia Evans (born 13 February 1971), known mononymously as Sonia, is an English pop singer from Liverpool. 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.

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.

Sonia also contributed to two charity singles, Band Aid II’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in 1989 (peaked at number 1 in the UK) 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”. 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.

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.

Sonia married Mark Moses in 1998 and the couple have a daughter, who was born in 2010.

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