It was in 1989, after an impromptu audition with Pete Waterman, that Sonia signed her first record deal. At the age of 18 her debut single Youíll Never Stop Me Loving You hit the charts where it climbed quickly to number one, selling 350,000 copies and making Sonia the youngest Briton to have a number one since 1968 (Those Were The Days by Mary Hopkin). The success of this record was followed by a string of hits, an album, Everybody Knows, entered the charts at number 8 (selling 500,000 copies) and Sonia promptly becoming a household name. However a legal dispute arose and Sonia departed from PWL to IQ Records.
A new deal signified big change. Soniaís image and sound was no longer controlled. She began co-writing her own material, gone was the perm and her trade mark pig-tail. Her image became trendier, sexier and more womanly, but never pretentious. The title of her second album Sonia boasted this new self-control. The songs were a departure from her previous PWL tracks, songs like Be My Baby have a more jazzy flavour. Another string of hits followed and Sonia promoted them by touring Europe, America and Asia.
Despite not winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993, Better The Devil You Know, Soniaís first release on the Arista label, entered the UK charts at number 9, closely followed by an album of the same name which entered the charts at number 20. The album also included three other of the highest scoring songs which she performed in the Song For Europe Contest, four cover versions, four songs which she co-wrote and Set Me On Fire, a song written for her by Lisa Stansfield who also features on backing vocals. This album however was not as successful as Arista had hoped, selling 25,000 copies in Europe, and Sonia was dropped from the label.
In 1994 Sonia released the single Hopelessly Devoted To You on Cockney Records. This song had previously been a hit for Olivia Newton-John who has also represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest. This release was well received by the media, receiving complementary reviews from a variety of magazines including Music Week and Live & Kicking. This single also contained The Anthem Medley, a medley of three favourite cover versions: I Am What I Am, You Make Me Feel Mighty Real and Donít Leave Me This Way. This single was released to promote her role as Sandy in the musical Grease in the Dominion Theatre in Londonís West End.
In November 1995 Sonia released Wake Up Everybody on Carlton Sounds. This three-song CD had a more mature and laid back sound, created by Steve Levine of Manmade Soul. One reviewer said "this was originally a hit for Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes in 1975 and Sonia does the business with it!!". This release also contained two other new tracks; a cover of the 70ís hit Show You The Way To Go, (previously covered by Dannii Minogue) and Nowhere Left To Hide, a brand new track co-written by Sonia, Steve Levine, and Darius Zickus, who have since worked with ex-Eternal singer Louise on her second album Woman In Me.
Aside from Soniaís three studio albums her rich vocals can also be heard on Do They Know Its Christmas by Band Aid II, formerly the biggest selling single in the world. She also released a charity single with Big Fun called Youíve Got A Friend. The proceeds of this single were donated to Childline. A song called Weíve Got The Power was also recorded, for the Gladiators TV programme.
Sonia recently starred in What A Feeling!, a show which features songs from the most popular musicals. On the cast album she sings on eight of the fifteen live tracks. This album is a fantastic vehicle for Soniaís voice. The tracks allow her to demonstrate her phenomenal vocal range, much more so than any of her previous studio albums. She soars through LIVE challenging selections such as Chaka Kahnís Iím Every Woman and Whitney Houstonís Run To You as well as Irene Caraís Fame and What A Feeling with a tip of the hat to Andrew Lloyd Webber in I Donít Know How To Love Him from Jesus Christ Superstar. The audienceís thunderous appreciation is heard at the end of each outstanding performance.
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