At age three, he began to play his brother's accordion. By age six, Sonnier had performed on the radio; at age eleven, he made his first recordings. He also released several independent singles and four albums as a teenager. By the 1970s, he was signed to Mercury Nashville Records, but without much success in the country music field. Sonnier temporarily abandoned his pursuit of a country music career in favor of recording Cajun music on the independent Rounder Records label.
Although his independent album did not produce much commercial success, it was nominated for a Grammy Award. After being signed as Merle Haggard's opening act, Sonnier later decided to return to country music; he was signed to RCA Records in the 1980s, where his biggest successes came in the singles "No More One More Time" and a cover of British singer Richard Thompson's "Tear Stained Letter", songs which landed in the Top Ten on the country charts. In the 1990s, Sonnier moved to Capitol Records, but his solo career faltered soon afterwards. He continued to find success as a session musician, and briefly took up acting as well. In the late 1990s, he returned to Rounder Records to record Cajun music once more, occasionally collaborating with Michael Doucet of Beausoleil.
Sonnier also saw his second Grammy nomination, for the 1997 album Cajun Pride; a third soon followed with 2001's Cajun Blood being nominated for Best Traditional Folk Album. In 2009, he was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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