Stevie Wonder

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Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder at a conference in Salvador, Brazil, in July 2006
Background information
Birth name Stevland Hardaway Judkins
Also known as Stevland Hardaway Morris, Little Stevie Wonder, Eivets Rednow
Born May 13, 1950 (1950-05-13) (age 64)
Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.
Origin Detroit, Michigan
Genres Soul, pop, R&B, funk, jazz
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, multi-instrumentalist
Instruments Vocals, keyboards, harmonica, drums, bass guitar, congas, bongos, keytar, accordion, harpejji
Years active 1961–present
Labels Tamla, Motown
Website steviewonder.net

Stevland Hardaway Morris (born May 13, 1950 as Stevland Hardaway Judkins),[1] known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist.

Wonder became one of the most successful and well-known artists on the Motown label. He has recorded 23 albums and many hit singles, and written and produced songs for many of his labelmates and other artists as well. Wonder plays the drums, guitar, synthesizers, congas, and most famously the piano, harmonica, and the keyboard.

Early life[change | change source]

He was born on May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan. His real name is Steveland Hardaway Judkins but he changed his last name to his mother's married name, Morris, and it has been his surname ever since.

He has been blind nearly since his birth.

Career[change | change source]

Wonder's first album, The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie, was released by Motown Records in 1962 when Wonder was 12 years old. He released his second album Tribute to Uncle Ray later that year. His first live album Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius reached number one in the Billboard 200.[2] This made him the youngest musician ever to have a number one album in the United States.

Wonder won his first four Grammy Awards in 1973. Two of the awards were for his single "Superstition". In 1974 Wonder's seventeenth album Fulfillingess' First Finale was released. Wonder won another four Grammys for the album that year. It was Wonder's second number one album. Wonder's next album Songs in the Key of Life also reached number one.

In 1984 Wonder's single "I Just Called to Say I Love You" reached number one in the United States. It was Wonder's only number one in the UK. It was number one there for six weeks. In 1985 Wonder sung on Dionne Warwick's single "That's What Friends Are For" with Elton John and Gladys Knight. It reached number one in the US. Wonder shared the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo Or Group With Vocal. In August 1987 Michael Jackson's album Bad was released. Wonder sang on the album's fifth song "Just Good Friends". In December 1987 Wonder released a single called "Get It". Michael Jackson sung on the song.

In 1995 Wonder released Conversation Peace. It was his first album that was not a soundtrack since 1987. One single, "For Your Love", was released from the album. It won 2 Grammy awards for Best R&B Male Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song.

In 2005 Wonder released his first album in ten years, A Time to Love. On June 25, 2011, Wonder performed at the opening ceremony of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.

Wonder said in 2013 that he will release 2 new albums in 2014, and is making a third.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Love, Dennis & Brown, Stacy. Blind Faith: The Miraculous Journey of Lula Hardaway, Stevie Wonder's Mother. Simon & Schuster, 2007. ISBN 1-4165-7785-8, ISBN 978-1-4165-7785-0. Stevie Wonder's mother's authorized biography states that his surname was legally changed to Morris when he signed with Motown in 1961.
  2. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/stevie-wonder-mn0000622805/awards
  3. http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/oct/30/stevie-wonder-new-album-release

Other websites[change | change source]