Fast Friends, Eventual Lovers
Salvatore “Sonny” Bono had already been making music for a few years when he met Cherilyn “Cher” LaPierre in a Los Angeles coffee shop in 1962. Cher was only 16 years old, 11 years younger than Sonny. At the time, Bono was 27 and working for producer Phil Spector at Hollywood’s Gold Star Studios. The two became fast friends and eventual lovers.
The romance didn’t come naturally, nor did it happen quickly. According to his biography, Sonny was actually interested in a friend of Cher’s at the time. But when Cher’s roommates kicked her out of their apartment and she needed a place to stay, Sonny offered to let her stay at his place in return for housekeeping duties. It proved to be a good opportunity for Cher, whose father had recently abandoned her family.