Stevie Wonder

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Stevie Wonder Biography

Stevie Wonder (born Steveland Hardaway Judkins, 13.5.1950)

Stevie Wonder is an American singer-songwriter and musician who has been a major figure in the popular music scene over the last forty years. Stevie Wonder is responsible for twelve top ten albums and more than thirty top ten hit singles including Uptight (Everything's Alright), Superstition, and I Just Called to Say I Love You. Amongst his many accolades, Stevie holds a Lifetime Achievement Award, twenty-six Grammy Awards, and is a member of both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Childhood

Steveland Judkins Hardaway was born in Saginaw, Michigan on May 13th 1950, the third of six children. Steveland was a premature baby and, due to complications, became blind shortly after birth. However, this did not discourage his musical aspirations and he began playing the harmonica at an early age. In 1954 Stevie moved with his family to Detroit where he joined a church choir.

By the age of ten, Stevie had mastered harmonica, piano and the drums. Stevie's talents did not go unnoticed; he impressed Ronnie White (of Motown act The Miracles) so much that White introduced eleven year-old Stevie to Motown CEO Berry Gordy. Gordy immediately signed Stevie to the Tamla Motown label under the name 'Little Stevie Wonder'.

Early Musical Career

Little Stevie Wonder had his first major hit when he was just thirteen, reaching number one in the US Pop and R&B charts with Fingertips (Pt. 2). Stevie provided vocals, harmonica, and bongos while a young Marvin Gaye played drums on the track.

After dropping 'Little' from his stage name, Stevie followed this initial success with a string of hits including I Was Made to Love Her, For Once in My Life, and Bob Dylan's Blowin' in the Wind. The 1960s also saw Stevie begin to co-write most of his singles and collaborate with other Motown artists, enjoying hits with Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' The Tears of a Clown and The (Motown) Spinners' It's A Shame.

After releasing a poorly received instrumental soul/jazz album under the pseudonym Eivets Rednow, Stevie Wonder had numerous hits throughout the late 1960s, including My Cherie Amour and Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours. This period also showcased Stevie's backing group, Wonderlove.

Classic Period

Stevie Wonder released the groundbreaking album Where I'm Coming From in 1971. However, following disagreements over creative control, Stevie left Motown on his 21st birthday. Now with more artistic freedom than ever before, Stevie recorded two albums, which he used as leverage when signing back up to Motown in 1972. By this time Stevie was a multi-instrumentalist and producing his own recordings. Stevie continued to broaden his horizons both lyrically and musically, including pioneering use of the synthesizer.

In 1972 Stevie released the classic album Music of My Mind, the first of five highly regarded albums on Motown. After touring with the Rolling Stones, Wonder released Talking Book in 1972, which spawned the number one single You Are the Sunshine of My Life. Both Talking Book and 1973's Innervisions went gold, hitting the top five in the US album chart.

Stevie's next album during this classic period, Fulfillingness' First Finale, was a sparser, more personal record than its predecessors, yet retained political bite with the number one single You Haven't Done Nothin' (with backing vocals from The Jackson 5). Songs in the Key of Life followed two years later, in 1976, and became the first album by an American artist to debut at number one on the US Billboard. The singles I Wish and Sir Duke both hit the number one spot in the US and the top five in the UK. In 1975 Stevie performed at the Wonder Dream Concert alongside Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.

Later Years

The 1980s were Wonder's most commercially successful years, with increased record sales, television appearances, and charity and civil-rights work. Hotter Than July, released in 1980, become Wonder's first platinum selling album and a vehicle for his campaign to establish Martin Luther King's birthday as a national holiday. In 1982 Wonder collaborated with Paul McCartney on the number one single, Ebony and Ivory, and in 1984 he released I Just Called to Say I Love You, from the The Woman in Red soundtrack. The single went to number one in the US and the UK and picked up an Academy Award for Best Song.

Stevie continued to release a steady stream of records throughout the 1980s and 90s, including collaborations with Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. In 2005 Wonder performed at the Live 8 concert in Philadelphia, and released A Time to Love, his first new album in ten years.

Personal Life

Stevie Wonder is an activist for civil rights and has vocalised his support for Barack Obama. In 2006 Stevie received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

Stevie has been married to his second wife, fashion designer Kai Milla Morris, since 2001. Wonder has seven children from several relationships, including his daughter, Aisha Morris, who has accompanied Wonder on his recordings as well as on stage.

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Stevie Wonder Picture Gallery

45th naacp image awards 220214
45th naacp image awards 220214
45th naacp image awards 220214
45th naacp image awards 220214
45th naacp image awards 220214

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The Latest Stevie Wonder News

Pharrell Williams Explains Full Meaning Behind Son Rocket's Name

14th April 2014

Oscar-nominated hip-hop star Pharrell Williams named his son Rocket Ayer to honour his favourite musicians, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Herbie...

Stevie Wonder, Aerosmith To Top London's Calling Festival Bill This June

8th April 2014

Stevie Wonder has become the second headliner to be announced for this year's London's Calling Festival, which will take place...

Stevie Wonder Finally Makes It To Montreux

3rd April 2014

Soul legend Stevie Wonder will fulfil late Montreux Jazz Festival founder Claude Nobs' lifelong wish by headlining this year's Swiss...

John Legend And Chrissy Teigen Delayed Wedding

4th March 2014

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen had to delay their wedding. The couple married in September last year by Lake Como...

Kim And Kanye's Week-long Wedding

10th February 2014

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are planning to turn their wedding into a week-long event. The rapper and his reality...

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Stevie Wonder Reviews

Stevie Wonder - A Time To Love Album

23rd November 2005

Stevie WonderNew Single "Positivity"Nov 28th '05 "a man returned to the peak of his...

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Stevie Wonder Festivals

Calling Festival

28th June 2014

Austin City Limits

3rd October 2014

Bestival

4th September 2014

Glastonbury Festival

25th June 2014

Bonnaroo

12th June 2014

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Stevie Wonder Footage Film / Movie Reviews

20 Feet From Stardom 2013, Review by Rich Cline

Entertaining and uplifting, this Oscar-winning documentary tells the unknown story of the back-up singers who...

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Stevie Wonder Interviews

Stevie Wonder interview, Savoy hotel, London. 4/11/05

15th November 2005

Stevie Wonder – Press conference, Savoy hotel, London. 4/11/05How do you measure the greatness of...

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Stevie Wonder Related Artists

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

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Comments

FELECIA's picture

FELECIA

I WENT TO THE STEVIE WONDER CONCERT LAST WEEK IN CONCORD. IT WAS TRULEY THE BEST CONCERT THAT I HAVE EVER BEEN TO. I LEFT AND I WAS STILL FEELING ELATED. EVERYTHING WAS JUST MAGICAL. IT WAS THE BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE. I GOT TO SEE MY ALL TIME FAVORITE ARTIST OF ALL TIMES. I WAS ALSO FORTUNATE TO HAVE THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE, FRONT ROW SECTION FLOOR, ROW AA SEAT 125 WHICH WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF STEVIE, THANKS TO LIVE NATION AND TICKET MASTERS AND OF COURSE THE 8TH WONDER OF THE WORLD, MR STEVIE WONDER HIMSELF. I AM STILL BEAMING EVERYTIME I THINK ABOUT THE CONCERT. ONE ADDED BONUS WAS I WAS ON THE JUMBOTRON ALL NIGHT. ALL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY KNEW THAT I WAS THERE. IT WAS UNBELIEEVABLE. IT WAS A WONDER FULL NIGHT TO REMEMBER. I WAS THE LADY IN RED.

6 years 7 months ago
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colleenk49's picture

colleenk49

i love you stevie! have since the 60's! you are a good person, a fantastic performer and you have great apathy for all God's people! i commend you for wanting to bury that filthy disgusting "N" word! i am caucasion and my father would have really let me have it if i EVER uttered that word out of my mouth and I taught my children the same.thank you for all of your wonderful music over the years..it has brought me much happiness and when i listen to "fingertips" it brings me back to the fabulous 60's.God Bless you stevie!

5 years 9 months ago
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Kosmosmom's picture

Kosmosmom

Does anyone know if the rumor is true that Stevie Wonder used to own a blue honda motorcycle with custom paint? I recently attended a motorcycle show in Florida and the owner told everyone that the bike used to belong to Stevie. Any information would be greatly appreciated.Thanks,Denise

5 years 9 months ago
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