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.

Read More

Calling Festival - Stevie Wonder, London, June 29 2014

11th July 2014 -

 Review

As a lifelong fan of Stevie Wonder's recordings from the 1960s and 70s (plus the odd gem from the largely best-averted 1980s), I have avoided checking him out live over the years, for reasons I...

Pharrell Williams Explains Full Meaning Behind Son Rocket's Name

14th April 2014 -

 News

Oscar-nominated hip-hop star Pharrell Williams named his son Rocket Ayer to honour his favourite musicians, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Herbie Hancock and Roy Ayers.The Happy hitmaker reveals he and his wife, model/designer Helen Lasichanh, wanted...

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

8th April 2014 -

 News

Stevie Wonder has become the second headliner to be announced for this year's London's Calling Festival, which will take place on London's Clapham Common in June. Wonder, who has hinted that he'll be releasing two...

Stevie Wonder Confirmed To Headline Sunday 29th June 2014 At Calling Festival

8th April 2014 -

 Press

Live Nation today announces that Stevie Wonder, one of the most celebrated and prominent figures in popular music, will headline Sunday 29 June 2014 at Calling Festival in London, while Richie Sambora will join the...

20 Feet From Stardom

27th March 2014 -

 Movie Review

Entertaining and uplifting, this Oscar-winning documentary tells the unknown story of the back-up singers who made classic records so memorable. Packed with lively, engaging people and fantastic music, the film also offers a sharp look...

A Week In News: Grammys Glory, Bad Boy Bieber, Retiring Rockers, And The Wild, Wild West

31st January 2014 -

 News

Grammy Awards Glory: Last Sunday's Grammy Awards proved probably the most spectacular ceremony in living memory. The most enviable of all performance line-ups entertained a near-record 28.5 million viewers, with Madonna, Daft Punk, Beyoncé and...

Eddie Murphy To Fight With Stevie Wonder In Movie

20th November 2013 -

 News

Eddie Murphy is turning his return to stand-up comedy into a new "mockumentary", featuring Stevie Wonder and a cast of funny characters.The Shrek star has been working on a stage comeback for some time and...

Stevie Wonder Announces Two Brand New Albums For 2014

30th October 2013 -

 News

Stevie Wonder has ended his eight year album drought by announcing that 2014 will bring not just one, but two brand new albums filled with plenty of original material. The 63 year-old funk and soul...

Kings Of Leon Crowned Rulers Of The Charts With 'Mechanical Bull'

30th September 2013 -

 News

Kings of Leon are celebrating yet another chart-topping album with their new and sixth studio album, Mechanical Bull. Sufficiently tantalised by the teasing stream of singles we've heard in recent months, such as 'Supersoaker,' fans...

Global Citizen Festival: A Celebration Of Unity With Stevie Wonder In Central Park

30th September 2013 -

 News

Has there ever been a festival more rooted in positivity, unity and optimism for change than last weekend's Global Citizen Festival? The charitable event raised awareness about serious world issues and also saw soul legend...

Kings of Leon Rock Global Citizen 2013 In The Name Of Ending Worldwide Poverty

29th September 2013 -

 News

The Global Citizen festival is now in full swing after a roaring start last night (Saturday, September 28,) courtesy of Kings of Leon. The band played to an enthusiastic crowd of some 60,000 people, with...

A Weekend Wedding In Italy Means John Legend And Chrissy Teigen's Marriage Is Off To A Great Start

15th September 2013 -

 News

Congratulations, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen! The Grammy award-winning singer and the world famous model tied the knot at long last. According to Us Weekly, the pair had a small, private at Villa Pizzo in...

Kings of Leon's 'Supersoaker' Is First Single from 'Mechanical Bull' [Listen]

18th July 2013 -

 News

Kings of Leon have released 'Supersoaker,' the first single from their forthcoming album Mechanical Bull. The soulful effort features the band's signature anthemic guitar bursts and Caleb Followill's scowling vocals. All in all, it's pretty...

Bruce Springsteen Dedicates Song To Trayvon Martin During Irish Concert: The Stars Speak Out

17th July 2013 -

 News

Bruce Springsteen is not the first musician to voice their view on the recent controversial Trayvon Martin shooting case, whereby a teenager was shot by a man named George Zimmerman who has been acquitted by...

Stevie Wonder Takes A Stand Against Florida Law After Trayvon Case

17th July 2013 -

 News

Stevie Wonder, the Grammy-winning musician and singer, has spoken out as being strongly opposed to Florida's laws regarding self-defence, whereby people are allowed to use deadly force if they believe their life is in danger,...

Stevie Wonder To Boycott Florida Over 'Stand Your Ground' Legislation

17th July 2013 -

 News

Stevie Wonder will boycott the state of Florida due to its 'stand your ground' legislation. The singer was prompted to comment on the law following awareness of the legislation generated by the George Zimmerman trial,...

Stevie Wonder Lets His Voice Be Heard By Boycotting Florida And Other 'Stand Your Ground' State Shows

16th July 2013 -

 News

Stevie Wonder is, like many other Americans, extremely ticked off over the 'not guilty' decision given to George Zimmerman in the 2nd degree murder case against the unarmed, African American teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida...

Lauryn Hill Begins Three Month Stay In Prison For Tax Evasion

9th July 2013 -

 News

Lauryn Hill is officially a jail bird, as the rapper/singer has begun her three month stay behind bars for tax evasion charges. According to TMZ, Hill checked into the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury on...

Stevie Wonder to pay gospel tribute to his mother

26th June 2013 -

 News

Stevie Wonder is making a gospel album in tribute to his mother.The 'Superstition' hitmaker will pay his respects to Lula Mae Hardaway - who died in 2006, aged 76 - on 'Gospel Inspired By Lula',...

Jahmene Douglas to collaborate with Stevie Wonder on album 'Love Never Fails' out July 22nd 2013

19th June 2013 -

 Press

Jahméne Douglas is excited to announce that Stevie Wonder will be appearing alongside him on the album track Give Us This Day, which appears on his debut album Love Never Fails, due for release on...

A Week In Music - Daft Punk Get Lucky, Lana Del Rey Soundtracks Gatsby And Rod Stewart Shocks Us All

20th May 2013 -

 News

This Week In Albums... There was only album anyone was really talking about wasn't there? Daft Punk's much anticipated fourth LP Random Access Memories was streamed early after it leaked on the internet allowing the...

Stevie Wonder Closes Hangout Festival The Only Way He Knows How

20th May 2013 -

 News

Stevie Wonder headlined the final day of the three day Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama, this weekend, closing the event with a marvellous display that included covers and renditions of classic tracks of his...

Daft Punk think Auto-Tune ruins music

18th May 2013 -

 News

Daft Punk think Auto-Tune is ruining pop music.Though the duo - Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter - like experimenting with the vocal-tweaking software in a ''fun'' way, they think it is over-relied on to...

Despite Stevie Wonder, Hip-Hop Will Rule At Hangout Festival, Gulf Shores

17th May 2013 -

 News

The Hangout Musical Festival returns to Gulf Shores, Alabama, this weekend with a pretty varied line-up including Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon and Tom Petty as well as a number of notable hip-hop acts. Though...

Stevie Wonder's Daughter Is Engaged

4th February 2013 -

 News

Stevie Wonder's daughter and backing singer Aisha Morris is engaged.The Superstition hitmaker was performing a pre-Super Bowl concert in New Orleans, Louisiana on Saturday night (02Feb13) when he suddenly stopped the show and announced the...

Stevie Wonder to Perform in New Orleans on Super Bowl Weekend

27th January 2013 -

 News

Stevie Wonder will be performing on Super Bowl weekend in New Orleans. The entertainer will be gathering crowds at an outdoor concert on February 2 at the Wyndham Waterfront Hotel – the evening before the...

Stevie Wonder To Perform Over Super Bowl Weekend

25th January 2013 -

 News

Musical genius, icon and all-round nice guy Stevie Wonder is going to make the Super Bowl weekend a whole lot more magical, as he will be performing in New Orleans next week for the much-anticipated...

Halle Berry And Chaka Khan To Be Made BET Honorees

21st December 2012 -

 News

Halle Berry and Chaka Khan will be amongst the honourees being recognised by BET for their contribution to the advancement of the African American population during next years awards presentation.The network announced the news today...

BAD25: Spike Lee's Michael Jackson Documentary Hits All The Right Notes

22nd November 2012 -

 News

Spike Lee’s Michael Jackson documentary BAD25 has been hailed as a success. Spike Lee, of course, has personal knowledge of working with Jackson – he directed his 1996 video ‘The Don’t Care About Us,’ so...

A Tribute To Dick Clark - Stevie Wonder Leads The Honours At the AMAs

20th November 2012 -

 News

At Sunday night's (November 18) American Music Awards, Stevie Wonder paid tribute to the late Dick Clark, the former presenter of American Bandstand.Clark passed away in April, aged 82 and Stevie said that he was...

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Stevie Wonder Images

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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 10 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!

6 years 1 day 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 12 months ago
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