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.
Net Worth: In 2013, Celebrity Net Worth claimed that Stevie Wonder had a net worth of 110 million USD.
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'.
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. 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. 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 was married to his second wife, fashion designer Kai Milla Morris, in 2001. The couple separated in 2009, before being divorced in August 2012. Wonder has seven children from several relationships, including his daughter, Aisha Morris, who has accompanied Wonder on his recordings as well as on stage.
As October symbolises the start of Black History Month in the UK; we take a look at some of the most influential black musicians of all time.
The annual celebration encourages us to honour black people and recognise their significant contributions to history, a key contributor being their extraordinary influence on the music industry.
Whether you focus on Jimi Hendrix or Aretha Franklin, there's no denying their music continues to influence artists as the years go by. We took a dive into the history of music to identify just a few of our favourite black artists (in no particular order!). Find out if your favourite is on the list!
Aretha Franklin performing in Chicago in 2018 / Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune/TNS/ABACA/PA Images
In honour of the arrival of the royal baby...
With much of the world celebrating the arrival of a new royal baby, we're feeling ultra broody. Thus, here's a playlist for all the parents (or indeed expectant parents) out there who need a lift...
Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder
Released in 1976, this ode to Stevie Wonder's daughter Aisha Morris criminally under-charted even in spite of the fact it wasn't initially released as a single - though his iconic Diamond-certified Motown album Songs in the Key of Life did not.
Continue reading: Parenthood Playlist: The Most Tear-jerking Anthems About Having Children
'Innervisions' was release on this day (August 3rd) in 1973.
This week we home in on one of Stevie Wonder's most important albums to date: 'Innervisions'. It was released 45 years ago to the day and remains an iconic part of musical history. It's one of those legendary albums that will just never lose relevance, especially with its wide-ranging themes.
Stevie Wonder - Innervisions
'Innervisions' was Stevie Wonder's sixteenth studio album and marked the time when he stopped releasing two or three albums a year because he no longer needed to following the massive success of 1972's Grammy winning 'Talking Book'.
Continue reading: Album Of The Week: Stevie Wonder's Innovative 'Innervisions'
Paul McCartney has worked with some of the world's most talented acts.
Paul McCartney may be one of the greatest musicians on the planet as a solo artist, but whenever he gets together with another trailblazer, magic happens. From Michael Jackson to Kanye West, he has worked with so many greats - and it's likely there will be many more.
Paul McCartney performing at Desert Trip 2016
Here are our ten favourite Paul McCartney duets:
Stevie Wonder performs before President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton to a crowd of 11,000 supporters at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Florida, United States - Sunday 6th November 2016
Stevie Wonder performing at Barclaycard presents British Summer Time. Stevie played his album Songs In The Key Of Live in full at the event held at Hyde Park London, United Kingdom - Sunday 10th July 2016
Stevie Wonder performed his 1976 album 'Songs In The Key Of Life' in full at Barclaycard presents British Summer Time held in Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom - Sunday 10th July 2016
Wonder’s divorce from second wife Kai Millard Morris has now been finalised.
Stevie Wonder is officially divorced from his second wife Kai Millard Morris, six years since their initial separation. According to People magazine the singer will now pay $25,000 a month in child support to Morris, for their two children Kailand, 14, and 10-year-old Mandla.
Stevie Wonder will pay $25,000 a month in child support.
People reports that a Los Angeles judge finalised the former couple’s divorce on Monday, with the pair sharing joint custody of their two children. Wonder is also said to be allowed to take the boys on tour with him on a ‘limited basis’.
Continue reading: Stevie Wonder Agrees To Pay $25K A Month In Child Support To Former Wife
The singer became the latest star to join Corden in the segment, delivering the best car ride yet.
James Corden has already delivered many memorial moments and superstar guests since taking over the ‘Late Late Show’ earlier this year. But the latest edition of his ‘Carpool Karaoke’ segment may have just delivered the show’s most epic moment yet, as the host was joined by singing legend, Stevie Wonder.
Corden was joined by Stevie Wonder for the latest edition of ‘Carpool Karaoke’.
The segment started with Wonder in the driving seat with Corden nervously asking the singing superstar if he was sure he had driving license. Wonder then told a relieved Corden that he didn't in fact have his licence with him, before accusing the host of stealing it (in a British accent of course).
The White House was opened up to a highly exclusive private party studded with celebs on Saturday, courtesy of the President.
A few more details emerged today about an exclusive private party held by President Obama over the weekend, at which megastars such as Prince are rumoured to have performed. At Monday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed that the President and the First Lady did indeed host a “private event” on Saturday (June 13th), but he remained tight-lipped as to further details.
However, Page Six was informed by anonymous attendees that not was The Purple One playing, he also brought Stevie flippin’ Wonder on-stage for a duet!
Prince performing at Leeds Arena in 2014
What happens when you take Pharrell, Snoop Dog, Snoop's favourite medication, and Stevie Wonder? A crazy story - that's what!
With Snoop Dog's 'Bush' set to hit shelves on 12th May 2015, Snoop and the record's producer, Pharrell Williams, took some time to give an interview about the creation of some of the tracks from the album. One of the main topics of conversation, however, turned out to be how they got Stevie Wonder to appear on the song 'California Role', and how the two musicians reacted to his arrival.
'California Role' was released on 5th May 2015
Pharrell originally played the song 'California Role' while the two were recording the album in Miami, apparently because it was a song he had made that had never made it onto an album. Snoop knew he couldn't rap over the song, so he reached out to a friend of his to write some lyrics for him, before he realised that the song was calling out for Stevie Wonder.
Lady Gaga will be honoured by the Songwriters Hall of Fame when she receives their Contemporary Icon Award in a ceremony on 19th June.
Lady GaGa's status as an iconic singer has been confirmed by the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The Hall will present Gaga with the Contemporary Icon Award which is presented to a singer "who has attained an iconic status in pop culture".
Lady Gaga will receive the Contemporary Icon Award.
Continue reading: Lady Gaga Receive Contemporary Icon Award Songwriters Hall Fame
Check out 'Daffodils', the latest track from Mark Ronson's upcoming album 'Uptown Special'.
Mark Ronson has released a new track 'Daffodils'.
Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Berry Gordy, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross, Valisia Lekae, Raymond Luke Jr., Br and on Victor Dixon - The opening night curtain call for Motown:The Musical at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre - New York City, NY, United States - Sunday 14th April 2013
Date of birth
13th May, 1950