Name at birth: Chastity Sun Bono
Chaz Bono is the only child of Sonny and Cher, a famous pop music duo of the 1960s who became TV stars in the 1970s. Born Chastity in 1969, Chaz was the cherubic daughter of the hippie-era couple who rose to fame with pop songs such as "I Got You Babe" and "The Beat Goes On." In her childhood, Chastity was a familiar face on her parents' hit TV show, a variety series that lasted from 1971 to 1974. Her parents split up and went on to different careers: Cher had a stellar solo career as a singer and an admirable career as a movie actress, and Sonny was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 before dying in a 1998 skiing accident. After a brief fling at a music career in the early 1990s, Chastity Bono became a public advocate for gay and lesbian causes. For many years an outspoken lesbian, Chastity announced in 2009 that she was undergoing a sex-change operation. By 2010, Chastity Sun Bono was Chaz Salvatore Bono. He documented the procedure for Becoming Chaz, a 2011 documentary that ended up with three Emmy nominations after being aired on the cable network owned by Oprah Winfrey.
Salvatore, Chaz Bono’s chosen middle name, was his father’s given name.