When Sonny And Cher Got Divorced: The Biggest Pop Split Of The 20th Century

By Kellar Ellsworth
1974: Entertainers Sonny Bono and Cher attend the circus with their daughter Chastity Bono. Cher performed as ringmaster at the opening day of the Ringling Brothers Circus. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

When Sonny Bono and Cher declared "I Got You Babe" to musical accompaniment, it was more than a #1 single, it was a theme song. Their divorce, a decade later, felt like the end of an era, or even a loss of innocence. Sonny and Cher were in love, dammit! They wrote a song about it and had all that cute banter on stage, and on The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. But on February 20, 1974, Cher filed for divorce, and the feeling was mutual. Sonny and Cher were splitsville. Like Martin & Lewis, like Simon & Garfunkel, the binding "and" was gone. Sonny continued as Sonny Bono, and later won election to the U.S. Congress. Cher continued her rise as a singer and actress.