When you think of the all time greatest musical minds of our lifetime, no list would be complete without Stevie. His music runs through the heart of all music, inspiring musicians and the world with his smooth stylings… and his heart.
Stevie Wonder doesn’t need that much of an introduction. His achievements — 25 Grammy’s, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, over a 100 million records sold worldwide — are only PART of his story. He began not so long ago when he signed to Motown Records at age 11, becoming a teenage soul sensation billed as “Little Stevie.”
image credit steviewonder.org.uk
Stevland Hardaway Morris (born Stevland Hardaway Judkins; May 13, 1950), known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist. A child prodigy, he is considered to be one of the most critically and commercially successful musical performers of the late 20th century. Wonder signed with Motown’s Tamla label at the age of 11, and he continued performing and recording for Motown into the 2010s. He has been blind since shortly after birth.
Among Wonder’s works are singles such as “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours”, “Superstition”, “Sir Duke”, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and “I Just Called to Say I Love You”; and albums such as Talking Book, Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life.
He has recorded more than 30 U.S. top ten hits and is one of the most-awarded male solo artists. He’s sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the top 60 best-selling music artists in history. 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.
Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a holiday in the United States. He participated in the fight against Apartheid in South Africa, conducted fundraising for AIDS research, campaigned for numerous Children’s and Cancer charities and is always available for Disaster Relief fundraising. Stevie has also held his House Full of Toys annual charity concert since 1995 to raise funds for underprivileged children during the festive Christmas season.
In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
Stevie sat down for an interview with NPR and had this to say about Martin Luther King’s birthday:
I never saw it as being political — I just saw it as being the right thing to do. I just felt that a man who had fought for the economic, social and civil rights for all people should be recognized for the greatness that he did, and for those like himself who lived and died for that, should be recognized. And when people would say to me, “Hey, a black holiday!” I’d say “No, this is a holiday for everyone.” He was a black man, he was an African-American man but I’m not looking at the colour of a person’s skin — but, as Dr. King said, the content of their character. I just really believed that it was time to celebrate Dr. King. And as opposed to being in the spirit of, “Oh, please, please,” I don’t beg for it. This was something that should just happen because, you know, it’s for everyone.
Over the coming month I’ll be highlighting Stevie and some of the good works he has done – taking BOTH knees in support of Colin Kaepernick and how his music has changed the world.
Did you know all these things about Stevie? What surprised you most? I’d love to hear all about it on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram.