Stevie Wonder
American singer and songwriter
Stevie Wonder
Stevland Hardaway Morris, known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, a child prodigy who developed into one of the most creative musical figures of the late 20th century. Blind since shortly after birth, Wonder signed with Motown's Tamla label at the age of eleven, and continues to perform and record for Motown to this day.
Biography
Stevie Wonder's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Stevie Wonder from around the web
The Deadliest Anti-Gay Attack Before Orlando Inspires A New Musical
Huffington Post - 5 days
On June 24, 1973, New Orleans’s UpStairs Lounge was set ablaze in a deadly arson that claimed the lives of 32 people, many of whom identified as LGBTQ. Until Orlando’s Pulse massacre last year, the UpStairs attack was the largest in U.S. history to target the queer community. Though the fire took place just four years after the 1969 Stonewall riots ― which are considered the symbolic start of the modern LGBTQ rights movement ― the tragedy itself has become a bit of a historical footnote.  Enter Max Vernon. The New York playwright and composer learned about the UpStairs Lounge fire in college, and has written a new musical that brings the victims to life for a new generation of Off-Broadway theatergoers. But Vernon insists “The View UpStairs,” which opens at Manhattan’s Lynn Redgrave Theater at Culture Project on Feb. 28, is anything but a somber history lesson. “I wanted to write something that would use the fire to have a conversation about how our world has ch ...
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Dear Beyhive: Stop Whining. Beyonce Still Hasn't Earned Her Album Of The Year Grammy
Huffington Post - 12 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); It’s funny. With all of the furor over Beyonce’s losing the Album of the Year Grammy for the third time, you’d think Katy Perry or Britney Spears had snatched the prize out of Queen Bey’s outstretched hands. But people, she was beaten by Adele. While I personally think there wasn’t much to 25 beyond “Hello” (for me, 19 remains Adele’s strongest album-length work), are we really going to start slamming an artist as important as the Brit with the big, boomin ...
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Chance The Rapper Took Us To Church Last Night. Here's Why That Matters.
Huffington Post - 14 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Chance the Rapper thanked God like a trillion times in his acceptance speech for Best New Artist at Sunday night’s Grammys. Then he took the Grammys to church with a passionate, gospel-filled performance that featured a poppin’ choir, Kirk Franklin, and Tamela Mann. It was a rousing, meaningful on-stage moment for the 23-year-old Chicago rapper, who won his first three Grammy awards that evening with no record sales.  Performing a medley of “How Great,” “A ...
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Stevie Wonder Hears Man Singing ‘Superstition’ And Joins Him For Duet
Huffington Post - about 1 month
One minute, Grayson Erhard was performing for a hotel lobby. The next, he was sharing a stage with the great Stevie Wonder. The musician had just finished performing “Superstition” for a California audience on Saturday when, as if by magic, the 25-time Grammy award winner appeared and joined him on stage. “I played my entire rendition of the song before an audience member yelled that he was in the building!” Erhard recalled the surreal moment to The Huffington Post Tuesday. “Apparently he had heard it and decided to check it out.” Video shows Stevie being helped on stage at the Anaheim Marriott hotel just after Erhard admitted: “I don’t actually know the second and third verse, yet.” But that was no problem for Stevie. “I’ll sing it with you, and tell you the words you don’t know,” he said as he made his way beside him. “It’s difficult to remember what was going through my head because I immediately went into a daze when he got onstage,” Erhard told Hu ...
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One U2 Song Has Defined A Decade Of Important Moments For Barack Obama
Huffington Post - about 1 month
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); One song has threaded together the biggest moments in President Barack Obama’s career: “City of Blinding Lights” by U2, featured on the group’s 2004 album “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.” Obama first used the music when he announced his presidential campaign at a rally in Springfield, Illinois, in February 2007. The distorted guitar, heavy bass and four piano notes at the start of the song quickly became synonymous with the then-senator’s campaign. It ...
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Stevie Wonder Says Farewell To Michelle Obama With A Sweet Serenade
Huffington Post - about 2 months
Michelle Obama made her final talk show appearance as first lady Wednesday on “The Tonight Show,” and to put it plainly, it brought out a lot of emotions. FLOTUS gave an interview and took part in host Jimmy Fallon’s recurring “Thank You Notes” sketch. She even surprised fans who were recording goodbye messages to her.  Our favorite moment of the night, though, was when music icon Stevie Wonder serenaded the first lady with his hits “Isn’t She Lovely” and a modified version of “My Cherie Amour.”  “My Michelle amour, you the only one that we adore / because we know for us your heart beats for / you’ll always be first lady in our life,” Wonder sang, as Obama took it all in. We’re sure going to miss her in The White House.  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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A-Listers Party At The White House Until Morning To Say Goodbye To Barack Obama
Huffington Post - about 2 months
With only two weeks left until Barack and Michelle Obama vacate the White House for good, the first family welcomed a host of celebrity guests on Friday night for a star-studded farewell party.  Aside from an awards show, there haven’t been this many famous people gathered in one room since a casting call for a holiday-themed Garry Marshall romantic comedy.  The White House bash effectively serves as the kickoff to events celebrating President Obama’s time in office, leading up to his final address, which he’ll deliver in Chicago on Jan. 10. Days later, President-elect Donald Trump will call 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. home after his inauguration, for which he’s struggled to find big-name performers.  In contrast, Obama’s farewell party attracted some of the biggest A-listers around. Attendees reportedly included Meryl Streep, George and Amal Clooney, Robert De Niro, Beyoncé and Jay Z, Nick Jonas, Jordin Sparks, David Letterman, Paul McCartney, Kelly Rowland, Olivia Wilde and Jas ...
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Frank Ocean's Mom Wants Anti-Gay Singer Cut From Her Son's Album
Huffington Post - about 2 months
Frank Ocean’s mom, Katonya Breaux, has no time for blatant homophobia.  Breaux didn’t mince words when it came to Kim Burrell, the gospel singer who made headlines in recent days when a video in which she made blatantly anti-gay comments in a church sermon surfaced Dec. 30. Burrell, who has performed with artists like Stevie Wonder, Missy Elliott and Harry Connick Jr., is featured on “Godspeed,” a song on Ocean’s 2016 album, “Blonde.” But if Breaux were to have her way, that wouldn’t be the case for long. On New Year’s Day, the LGBTQ icon’s mom offered a cheeky, but pointed, suggestion on Twitter:  Me: Son, can we crop Kim Burrells voice out of your song?? — katonya breaux (@katonya) January 1, 2017 She continued:  I mean damn. Hypocrisy and the inciting of hate pisses me off. Opportunistic &?%#€!! — katonya breaux (@katonya) January 1, 2017 Burrell, who is also a pastor at the Love & Liberty Fellowship Church in Houston, has ...
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George Michael Was Working On A Documentary Prior To His Death
Huffington Post - 2 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); George Michael had been working on a documentary in the weeks leading up to his death, according to his official website and social accounts. An Instagram post from November revealed that Michael was “busy putting the finishing touches to his special documentary film” called “Freedom.” The caption noted: “He has discovered some incredible, unseen archive footage and is shooting additional interviews for the project so the film will now air in March 2017. It pr ...
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Detroit Just Named A Street After Stevie Wonder, And He's Thrilled
Huffington Post - 2 months
Stevie Wonder moved out of Detroit years ago, but he’ll always have a home in Motown ― and now he can also lay claim to his very own street. The legendary musician joined Mayor Mike Duggan Wednesday for the public unveiling of “Stevie Wonder Avenue,” a renamed portion of Milwaukee Avenue north of downtown. The new name is marked with a street sign at the corner of Woodward Avenue. Prepping for the #StevieWonder street dedication ceremony today at Woodward and Milwaukee in #Detroit. #Street4StevieDetroit A photo posted by carlotta.tutt.holloway (@carlottath) on Dec 21, 2016 at 8:27am PST “This is just an amazing moment,” Wonder said at the dedication, his brother and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) by his side. “I’m going to freeze this moment … and remember it forever.” "Signed, Sealed, Delivered..." RT @wjrradio: Stevie Wonder Avenue! #street4stevieDetroit @ChrisRenwickWJR pic.twitter.com/cowfjkVvft — Dave Lambert (@DLambertsOnline) December ...
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Pentatonix Have The Most Hilarious Christmas Special Outtakes With Kelly Clarkson
Huffington Post - 2 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); There’s something special about Pentatonix and Christmas. The Grammy-winning a cappella group recently released their third holiday album, “A Pentatonix Christmas,” and also starred in their own holiday TV special Wednesday night on NBC, which featured guest appearances by Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson. The one-hour special found them singing tunes alongside their musical pals and idols. The members of Pentatonix are friendly with Clarkson ...
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Stevie Wonder and friends like Lionel Richie, John Legend raise more than $500,000 at House Full of Toys concert
LATimes - 3 months
Today in Entertainment: Marvel unveils 'Spider-Man' trailer, Taylor Swift and Zayn Malik duet Dec. 11, 2016, 5:07 p.m. Here's what's new and interesting in the world of entertainment and the arts today:Marvel drops 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' trailerTaylor Swift and Zayn Malik release surprise duetTrump...
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LATimes article
Stevie Wonder and friends gather for 20th House Full of Toys holiday benefit
LATimes - 3 months
There’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea of a jewelry exhibit focusing on items made of silver, ruby, emeralds and turquoise — unless the guy hosting the exhibit is sitting on a trove of gold, platinum and diamonds that he shares only in brief glimpses. That was a bit the way the 20th-anniversary...
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LATimes article
The Top Songs of 2016: A Mixtape for a Crazy Year
Huffington Post - 3 months
Some years are groovier than others. This year, music provided a steadying backbeat against the craziness of the political climate. We recoiled from depressing TV news segments and reached for the beats to keep us sane. Who knows if we will emerge from the funk in 2017? If not, we hope music continues to be our guide rope through this alternate reality. We love the artists and songs that delivered bold statements, notable comebacks and other creative noises to make 2016 bearable. Here's how the year went down: Technology majorly influenced how we discovered music. Streaming platforms put countless new releases at our fingertips, but these services also proved to be cluttered landscapes wherein quality albums by megastars like Sting or Paul Simon went largely unnoticed in the mainstream (even if Simon's whole record, especially "Proof of Love," was sublime). We were gifted with Leonard Cohen's final work (which proved interestingly dark, as its title promised) just two weeks before hi ...
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Huffington Post article
Stevie Wonder, Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams could join the original song race
LATimes - 3 months
When it comes to contenders for the original song Oscar, the limelight is on “Moana” and “La La Land,” both sporting multiple contenders. There is the usual array of anthems – “Try Everything” from “Zootopia,” Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from “Trolls,” so many others – and novelty...
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LATimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Stevie Wonder
    FORTIES
  • 2014
    Wonder's ninth child, his second with Tomeeka Robyn Bracy, was born in December 2014.
    More Details Hide Details Originally thought to be triplets, the couple's new daughter is named Nia, meaning "purpose" – "one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa".
  • THIRTIES
  • 2009
    In October 2009, Wonder and Millard separated; Wonder filed for divorce in August 2012.
    More Details Hide Details Children Wonder has nine children by five different women. The mother of Wonder's first child is Yolanda Simmons, whom Wonder met when she applied for a job as secretary for his publishing company. Simmons bore Wonder a daughter on February 2, 1975: Aisha Morris. After Aisha was born, Stevie said "she was the one thing that I needed in my life and in my music for a long time." Morris was the inspiration for Wonder's hit single "Isn't She Lovely?" Morris is a singer who has toured with her father and accompanied him on recordings, including his 2005 album, A Time to Love. Wonder and Simmons had a son, Keita, in 1977. In 1983 Wonder had a son with Melody McCulley. Wonder has a daughter, Sophia, and a son, Kwame, with a woman whose identity has not been publicly disclosed.
    In June 2009 he became the fourth artist to receive the Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award.
    More Details Hide Details He has had ten U.S. number-one hits on the pop charts as well as 20 R&B number one hits, and has sold over 100 million records, 19.5 million of which are albums; he is one of the top 60 best-selling music artists with combined sales of singles and albums. Wonder has recorded several critically acclaimed albums and hit singles, and writes and produces songs for many of his label mates and outside artists as well. Wonder plays the piano, synthesizer, harmonica, congas, drums, bongos, organ, melodica and Clavinet. In his childhood, he was best known for his harmonica work, but today he is better known for his keyboard skills and vocal ability. Wonder was the first Motown artist and second African-American musician to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song, which he won for his 1984 hit single "I Just Called to Say I Love You" from the movie The Woman in Red.
    Wonder's harmonica playing can be heard on the 2009 Grammy-nominated "Never Give You Up", featuring CJ Hilton and Raphael Saadiq.
    More Details Hide Details In October 2013, Wonder revealed that he had been recording new material for two albums, When the World Began and Ten Billion Hearts, in collaboration with producer David Foster, the albums to be released in 2014. He is featured on two tracks on Mark Ronson's new album Uptown Special.
    He sang at the Michael Jackson memorial service in 2009, at Etta James' funeral, in 2012, and a month later at Whitney Houston's memorial service.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2006
    Wonder also performed at Washington, D.C.'s 2006 "A Capitol Fourth" celebration.
    More Details Hide Details Wonder appeared on singer Celine Dion's studio album Loved Me Back to Life performing a cover of his 1985 song "Overjoyed". The album was released in October 2013. A prominent figure in popular music during the latter half of the 20th century, Wonder has recorded more than 30 U.S. top ten hits and won 25 Grammy Awards (the most ever won by a solo artist) as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also won an Academy Award for Best Song, and been inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters halls of fame. He has also been awarded the Polar Music Prize. American music magazine Rolling Stone named him the ninth greatest singer of all time.
    In 2006, Wonder staged a duet with Andrea Bocelli on the latter's album Amore, offering harmonica and additional vocals on "Canzoni Stonate".
    More Details Hide Details
    In June 2006, Wonder made a guest appearance on Busta Rhymes' album The Big Bang, on the track "Been through the Storm".
    More Details Hide Details He sings the refrain and plays the piano on the Dr. Dre and Sha Money XL-produced track. He appeared again on the last track of Snoop Dogg's album Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, "Conversations". The song is a remake of "Have a Talk with God" from Songs in the Key of Life.
    Other In May 2006, Wonder's mother Lula Mae Hardaway died in Los Angeles at age 76.
    More Details Hide Details During his September 8, 2008 UK concert in Birmingham, he spoke of his decision to begin touring again following his loss: "I want to take all the pain that I feel and celebrate and turn it around." Wonder was introduced to Transcendental Meditation through his marriage to Syreeta Wright. Consistent with that spiritual vision, Wonder became vegetarian, and later a vegan, singing about it on The Late Late Show with James Corden during the show's "Carpool Karaoke" segment.
    If Wonder were to join forces with Bennett, it would not be for the first time; their rendition of "For Once in My Life" earned them a Grammy for best pop collaboration with vocals in 2006.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2005
    Wonder's first new album in ten years, A Time to Love, was released in October 2005 to lower sales than previous albums, and lukewarm reviews—most reviewers appearing frustrated at the end of the long delay to get an album that mainly copied the style of Wonder's "classic period" without doing anything new.
    More Details Hide Details The first single, "So What the Fuss", was released in April. A second single, "From the Bottom of My Heart", was a hit on adult-contemporary R&B radio. The album also featured a duet with India Arie on the title track "A Time to Love". By June 2008, Wonder was working on two projects simultaneously: a new album called The Gospel Inspired By Lula, which will deal with the various spiritual and cultural crises facing the world, and Through The Eyes Of Wonder, an album he has described as a performance piece that will reflect his experience as a blind man. Wonder was also keeping the door open for a collaboration with Tony Bennett and Quincy Jones concerning a rumored jazz album.
    Wonder has two sons with second wife Kai Millard Morris; the elder is named Kailand and he occasionally performs as a drummer on stage with his father. The younger son, Mandla Kadjay Carl Stevland Morris, was born on May 13, 2005, his father's 55th birthday.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2002
    His key appearances include performing at the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Paralympics in Salt Lake City, the 2005 Live 8 concert in Philadelphia, the pre-game show for Super Bowl XL in 2006, the Obama Inaugural Celebration in 2009, and the opening ceremony of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.
    More Details Hide Details
  • TWENTIES
  • 1999
    In December 1999, Wonder announced that he was interested in pursuing an intraocular retinal prosthesis to partially restore his sight.
    More Details Hide Details Into the 21st century, Wonder continues to record and perform; though mainly occasional appearances and guest performances, he did do two tours, and released one album of new material, 2005's A Time to Love.
  • 1996
    Wonder has won 22 Grammy Awards: as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996.
    More Details Hide Details He is one of only two artists and groups who have won the Grammy for Album of the Year three times as the main credited artist, along with Frank Sinatra.
  • 1994
    Among his other activities he played harmonica on one track for the 1994 tribute album KISS My Ass: Classic KISS Regrooved; sang at the 1996 Summer Olympics closing ceremony; collaborated in 1997 with Babyface on "How Come, How Long", a song about domestic violence that was nominated for a Grammy award; and played harmonica on Sting's 1999 "Brand New Day".
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1991
    He recorded a soundtrack album for Spike Lee's film Jungle Fever in 1991.
    More Details Hide Details From this album, singles and videos were released for "Gotta Have You" and "These Three Words". The B-side to the "Gotta Have You" single was "Feeding Off The Love of the Land", which was played during the end credits of the movie Jungle Fever but was not included on the soundtrack. A piano and vocal version of "Feeding Off The Love of the Land" was also released on the Nobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal compilation. Conversation Peace and the live album Natural Wonder were released in the 1990s.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1987
    After 1987's Characters album, Wonder continued to release new material, but at a slower pace.
    More Details Hide Details
    Michael Jackson also sang a duet with him entitled "Get It" on Wonder's 1987 album Characters.
    More Details Hide Details This was a minor hit single, as were "Skeletons" and "You Will Know".
    In 1987, Wonder appeared on Michael Jackson's Bad album, on the duet "Just Good Friends".
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1985
    He played harmonica on the album Dreamland Express by John Denver in the song "If Ever", a song Wonder co-wrote with Stephanie Andrews; wrote the track "I Do Love You" for the Beach Boys' 1985 self-titled album; and played harmonica on "Can't Help Lovin' That Man" on The Broadway Album by Barbra Streisand.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1984
    The album never surfaced and instead 1984 saw the release of Wonder's soundtrack album for The Woman in Red.
    More Details Hide Details The lead single, "I Just Called to Say I Love You", was a No. 1 pop and R&B hit in both the United States and the United Kingdom, where it was placed 13th in the list of best-selling singles in the UK published in 2002. It went on to win an Academy award for best song in 1985. Wonder accepted the award in the name of Nelson Mandela and was subsequently banned from all South African radio by the Government of South Africa. The album also featured a guest appearance by Dionne Warwick, singing the duet "It's You" with Stevie and a few songs of her own. The following year's In Square Circle featured the No. 1 pop hit "Part-Time Lover". The album also has a Top 10 Hit with "Go Home." It also featured the ballad "Overjoyed", which was originally written for Journey Through "The Secret Life of Plants", but did not make the album. He performed "Overjoyed" on Saturday Night Live when he was the host. He was also featured in Chaka Khan's cover of Prince's "I Feel For You", alongside Melle Mel, playing his signature harmonica. In roughly the same period he was also featured on harmonica on Eurythmics' single, "There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)" and Elton John's "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues".
  • 1983
    In 1983, he scheduled an album to be entitled People Work, Human Play.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 1983, Wonder performed the song "Stay Gold", the theme to Francis Ford Coppola's film adaptation of S. E. Hinton's novel The Outsiders.
    More Details Hide Details Wonder wrote the lyrics.
  • 1982
    In 1982, Wonder released a retrospective of his 1970s work with Stevie Wonder's Original Musiquarium, which included four new songs: the ten-minute funk classic "Do I Do" (which featured Dizzy Gillespie), "That Girl" (one of the year's biggest singles to chart on the R&B side), "Front Line", a narrative about a soldier in the Vietnam War that Wonder wrote and sang in the first person, and "Ribbon in the Sky", one of his many classic compositions.
    More Details Hide Details He also gained a No. 1 hit that year in collaboration with Paul McCartney in their paean to racial harmony, "Ebony and Ivory".
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1980
    Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday a holiday in the United States.
    More Details Hide Details In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2013, Billboard magazine released a list of the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart's 55th anniversary, with Wonder at number six.
  • 1979
    The 1979 mainly instrumental soundtrack album Stevie Wonder's Journey Through "The Secret Life of Plants" was composed using an early music sampler, a Computer Music Melodian.
    More Details Hide Details Wonder toured briefly in support of the album, and used a Fairlight CMI sampler on stage. In this year Wonder also wrote and produced the dance hit "Let's Get Serious", performed by Jermaine Jackson and (ranked by Billboard as the No. 1 R&B single of 1980). Hotter than July (1980) became Wonder's first platinum-selling single album, and its single "Happy Birthday" was a successful vehicle for his campaign to establish Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday as a national holiday. The album also included "Master Blaster (Jammin')", "I Ain't Gonna Stand for It", and the sentimental ballad, "Lately".
    Until 1979's Stevie Wonder's Journey Through "The Secret Life of Plants" his only release was the retrospective three-disc album Looking Back, an anthology of his early Motown period.
    More Details Hide Details The 1980s saw Wonder achieving his biggest hits and highest level of fame; he had increased album sales, charity participation, high-profile collaborations, political impact, and television appearances.
  • 1975
    In 1975, he played harmonica on two tracks on Billy Preston's album It's My Pleasure.
    More Details Hide Details The double album-with-extra-EP Songs in the Key of Life was released in September 1976. Sprawling in style, unlimited in ambition, and sometimes lyrically difficult to fathom, the album was hard for some listeners to assimilate, yet is regarded by many as Wonder's crowning achievement and one of the most recognizable and accomplished albums in pop music history. The album became the first by an American artist to debut straight at No. 1 in the Billboard charts, where it stood for 14 non-consecutive weeks. Two tracks became No. 1 Pop/R&B hits "I Wish" and "Sir Duke". The baby-celebratory "Isn't She Lovely? " was written about his newborn daughter Aisha, while songs such as "Love's in Need of Love Today" and "Village Ghetto Land" reflected a far more pensive mood. Songs in the Key of Life won Album of the Year and two other Grammys. The album ranks 57th on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
    By 1975, at age 25, Wonder had won two consecutive Grammy Awards: in 1974 for Innervisions and in 1975 for Fulfillingness' First Finale.
    More Details Hide Details
    On October 4, 1975, Wonder performed at the historic "Wonder Dream Concert" in Kingston, Jamaica, a benefit for the Jamaican Institute for the Blind.
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  • 1974
    Despite the setback, Wonder re-appeared in concert at Madison Square Garden in March 1974 with a performance that highlighted both up-tempo material and long, building improvisations on mid-tempo songs such as "Living for the City".
    More Details Hide Details The album Fulfillingness' First Finale appeared in July 1974 and set two hits high on the pop charts: the No. 1 "You Haven't Done Nothin'" and the Top Ten "Boogie on Reggae Woman". The Album of the Year was again one of three Grammys won. The same year Wonder took part in a Los Angeles jam session that would become known as the bootleg album A Toot and a Snore in '74. He also co-wrote and produced the Syreeta Wright album Stevie Wonder Presents: Syreeta.
  • 1973
    On August 6, 1973, Wonder was in a serious automobile accident while on tour in North Carolina, when a car in which he was riding hit the back of a truck.
    More Details Hide Details This left him in a coma for four days and resulted in a partial loss of his sense of smell and a temporary loss of sense of taste.
    On an episode of the children's television show Sesame Street that aired in April 1973, Wonder and his band performed "Superstition", as well as an original called "Sesame Street Song", which demonstrated his abilities with television.
    More Details Hide Details Innervisions, released in 1973, featured "Higher Ground" (No. 4 on the pop charts) as well as the trenchant "Living for the City" (No. 8). Both songs reached No. 1 on the R&B charts. Popular ballads such as "Golden Lady" and "All in Love Is Fair" were also present, in a mixture of moods that nevertheless held together as a unified whole. Innervisions generated three more Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. The album is ranked No. 23 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Wonder had become the most influential and acclaimed black musician of the early 1970s.
  • 1972
    Wonder returned to Motown in March 1972 with Music of My Mind.
    More Details Hide Details Unlike most previous albums on Motown, which usually consisted of a collection of singles, B-sides and covers, Music of My Mind was a full-length artistic statement with songs flowing together thematically. Wonder's lyrics dealt with social, political, and mystical themes as well as standard romantic ones, while musically he began exploring overdubbing and recording most of the instrumental parts himself. Music of My Mind marked the beginning of a long collaboration with Tonto's Expanding Head Band (Robert Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil). Released in late 1972, Talking Book featured the No. 1 hit "Superstition", which is one of the most distinctive and famous examples of the sound of the Hohner Clavinet keyboard. Talking Book also featured "You Are the Sunshine of My Life", which also peaked at No. 1. During the same time as the album's release, Wonder began touring with the Rolling Stones to alleviate the negative effects from pigeonholing as a result of being an R&B artist in America. Wonder's touring with the Stones was also a factor behind the success of both "Superstition" and "You Are the Sunshine of My Life". Between them, the two songs won three Grammy Awards.
  • 1971
    Reaching his 21st birthday on May 13, 1971, he allowed his Motown contract to expire.
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  • 1970
    Marriages Wonder has been married twice: to Motown singer/songwriter and frequent collaborator Syreeta Wright from 1970 until their amicable divorce in 1972; and from 2001 till 2012 to fashion designer Kai Millard.
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    In 1970, Wonder co-wrote, and played numerous instruments on the hit "It's a Shame" for fellow Motown act the Spinners.
    More Details Hide Details His contribution was meant to be a showcase of his talent and thus a weapon in his ongoing negotiations with Gordy about creative autonomy. During this period, Wonder independently recorded two albums and signed a contract with Motown Records. The 120-page contract was a precedent at Motown and gave Wonder a much higher royalty rate.
    In September 1970, at the age of 20, Wonder married Syreeta Wright, a songwriter and former Motown secretary.
    More Details Hide Details Wright and Wonder worked together on the next album, Where I'm Coming From; Wonder writing the music, and Wright helping with the lyrics. They wanted to "touch on the social problems of the world", and for the lyrics "to mean something". It was released at around the same time as Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. As both albums had similar ambitions and themes, they have been compared; in a contemporaneous review by Vince Aletti in Rolling Stone, Gaye's was seen as successful, while Wonder's was seen as failing due to "self-indulgent and cluttered" production, "undistinguished" and "pretentious" lyrics, and an overall lack of unity and flow.
  • OTHER
  • 1968
    Nonetheless, he managed to score several hits between 1968 and 1970 such as "I Was Made to Love Her", "For Once in My Life" and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours".
    More Details Hide Details A number of Wonder's early hits, including "My Cherie Amour", "I Was Made to Love Her", and "Uptight (Everything's Alright)", were co-written with Henry Cosby.
    In 1968 he recorded an album of instrumental soul/jazz tracks, mostly harmonica solos, under the title Eivets Rednow, which is "Stevie Wonder" spelled backwards.
    More Details Hide Details The album failed to get much attention, and its only single, a cover of "Alfie", only reached number 66 on the U.S. Pop charts and number 11 on the US Adult Contemporary charts.
  • 1964
    During 1964, Wonder appeared in two films as himself, Muscle Beach Party and Bikini Beach, but these were not successful either.
    More Details Hide Details Sylvia Moy persuaded label owner Berry Gordy to give Wonder another chance. Dropping the "Little" from his name, Moy and Wonder worked together to create the hit "Uptight (Everything's Alright)", and Wonder went on to have a number of other hits during the mid-1960s, including "With a Child's Heart", and "Blowin' in the Wind", a Bob Dylan cover, co-sung by his mentor, producer Clarence Paul. He also began to work in the Motown songwriting department, composing songs both for himself and his label mates, including "The Tears of a Clown", a No. 1 hit for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (it was first released in 1967, mostly unnoticed as the last track of their Make It Happen LP, but eventually became a major success when re-released as a single in 1970, which prompted Robinson to reconsider his intention of leaving the band).
  • 1963
    At the Regal Theater, Chicago, his 20-minute performance was recorded and released in May 1963 as the album Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius.
    More Details Hide Details A single, "Fingertips", from the album was also released in May, and became a major hit. The song, featuring a confident and enthusiastic Wonder returning for a spontaneous encore that catches out the replacement bass player, who is heard to call out "What key? What key?", was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 when Wonder was aged 13, making him the youngest artist ever to top the chart. The single was simultaneously No. 1 on the R&B chart, the first time that had occurred. His next few recordings, however, were not successful; his voice was changing as he got older, and some Motown executives were considering cancelling his recording contract.
  • 1962
    At the end of 1962, when Wonder was 12 years old, he joined the Motortown Revue, touring the "chitlin' circuit" of theatres across America that accepted black artists.
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    Feeling Wonder was now ready, a song, "Mother Thank You", was recorded for release as a single, but then pulled and replaced by the Berry Gordy song "I Call It Pretty Music, But the Old People Call It the Blues" as his début single; released summer 1962, it almost broke into the Billboard 100, spending one week of August at 101 before dropping out of sight.
    More Details Hide Details A follow-up single, "Little Water Boy", had no success, and the two albums, released in reverse order of recording—The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie in September 1962 and Tribute to Uncle Ray in October 1962—also met with little success.
  • 1961
    In 1961, when aged 11, Wonder sang his own composition, "Lonely Boy", to Ronnie White of the Miracles; White then took Wonder and his mother to an audition at Motown, where CEO Berry Gordy signed Wonder to Motown's Tamla label.
    More Details Hide Details Before signing, producer Clarence Paul gave him the name Little Stevie Wonder. Because of Wonder's age, the label drew up a rolling five-year contract in which royalties would be held in trust until Wonder was 21. He and his mother would be paid a weekly stipend to cover their expenses: Wonder received $2.50 a week, and a private tutor was provided for when Wonder was on tour. Wonder was put in the care of producer and songwriter Clarence Paul, and for a year they worked together on two albums. Tribute to Uncle Ray was recorded first, when Wonder was still 11 years old. Mainly covers of Ray Charles's songs, it included a Wonder and Paul composition, "Sunset". The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie was recorded next, an instrumental album consisting mainly of Paul's compositions, two of which, "Wondering" and "Session Number 112", were co-written with Wonder.
  • 1950
    Stevie Wonder was born in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1950, the third of six children of Calvin Judkins and Lula Mae Hardaway.
    More Details Hide Details He was born six weeks premature which, along with the oxygen-rich atmosphere in the hospital incubator, resulted in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a condition in which the growth of the eyes is aborted and causes the retinas to detach; so he became blind. When Wonder was four, his mother left his father and moved to Detroit with her children. She changed her name back to Lula Hardaway and later changed her son's surname to Morris, partly because of relatives. Wonder has retained Morris as his legal surname. He began playing instruments at an early age, including piano, harmonica and drums. He formed a singing partnership with a friend; calling themselves Stevie and John, they played on street corners, and occasionally at parties and dances.
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