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Common misspelling: Stevey Wonder, Stevi Wonder; also known as Little Stevie Wonder


Given Name

Date of Birth

Birth Place

Stevland Hardaway Judkins

May 13, 1950

Saginaw, Michigan

Table of Contents

Biography News Websites Discography Filmography Books Posters Other Items


The following biography is from Wikipedia.org “The Free Encyclopedia.”


Stevie Wonder (born Stevland Hardaway Judkins on May 13, 1950, name later changed to Stevland Hardaway Morris), [1] is an African American singer, songwriter, record producer, musician, and social activist. Wonder has recorded more than 30 Top 10 hits, won 21 Grammy Awards [2] (a record for a solo artist), also one for lifetime achievement, he has won an Oscar for Best Song and been inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters halls of fame. Because of these and other achievements, Wonder is considered to be a musical genius. So much so that opera star Luciano Pavarotti once referred to him in a concert as a "great, great musical genius".


Blind from infancy, Wonder signed with Motown Records as an adolescent, and continues to perform and record for the label to this day. He has become one of the most successful and well-known artists in the world, with nine U.S. number-one hits to his name and album sales totaling more than 100 million units. Wonder has recorded several critically acclaimed albums and hit singles, and writes and produces songs for many of his labelmates and outside artists as well. A multi-instrumentalist, Wonder plays the drums, congas, bass guitar, organ and most famously the piano, keyboard, clavinet and harmonica.




Background information

Birth name Stevland Hardaway Judkins

Also known as Little Stevie Wonder, Stevland Morris, Eivets Rednow

Born May 30, 1950 (age 56)

Origin  Saginaw, Michigan, United States

Genre(s) R&B, Funk, Soul, Pop

Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer

Instrument(s) vocals, piano/keyboards, synthesizer, harmonica, congas, drums, bass guitar, clavinet

Years active 1961–present

Label(s) Motown

Website StevieWonder.net




Biography and musical career


 Classic period, 1972-1976

Wonder independently recorded two albums, which he used as a bargaining tool while negotiating with Motown. Eventually, the label agreed to his demands for full creative control and the rights to his own songs, and Wonder returned to Motown in March 1972 with Music of My Mind, an album which is considered a classic of the era. Unlike most previous artist LPs on Motown, which usually consisted of a collection of singles, b-sides, and covers, Music of My Mind was an actual LP, a full-length artistic statement, and began a string of five albums released over a period of less than five years, that make up what is generally considered Stevie Wonder's classic period.


October 1972's Talking Book featured the #1 pop and R&B hit "Superstition", which is one of the most distinctive examples of the sound of the clavinet. The song, originally intended for rock guitarist Jeff Beck, features a rocking groove that garnered Wonder an additional audience on rock radio stations. That audience was further exposed to Wonder when he opened for The Rolling Stones on their much-heralded 1972 American Tour. Wonder's pop following was not neglected, however, as "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" followed to #1 on the pop charts and has been a staple love song for the decades since. Between them the songs won three Grammy Awards.


Wonder's critical and popular acclaim only increased less than a year later, in August 1973, when Wonder released what is often called his best album, Innervisions. Political considerations were brought into greater focus than ever before, with the driving, percolating "Higher Ground" (#4 on the pop charts) followed by the memorable epic "Living for the City" (#8), which found Wonder more evocatively describing a time and place in American life than he would anywhere else in his career. Popular ballads such as "Golden Lady" and "All in Love is Fair" were also present, in a mixture of moods that nevertheless held together as a unified whole. The album generated three more Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.


On August 6, 1973, just days after the release of Innervisions, Wonder was in a serious automobile accident while on tour, when a log from a truck went through a passenger window and struck him in the head. This left him in a coma for four days and resulted in a permanent loss of his sense of smell.


Despite the setback, Wonder eventually recovered all of his musical faculties, and reappeared in concert at Madison Square Garden in March 1974 in a performance that highlighted both up-tempo material and long, building improvisations on mid-tempo songs such as "Living for the City". The album Fulfillingness' First Finale then appeared in July 1974 with a more personal, introspective outlook, but nevertheless sent two hits high on the pop charts. The Album of the Year was again one of three Grammys won.


On October 5, 1975, Wonder performed the historical Wonder Dream Concert in Kingston, Jamaica, a Jamaican Institute for the Blind benefit concert. Along with Wonder Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, the three original "Wailers", performed together for the last time.


Wonder then focused his attentions on what he intended as his magnum opus, the double album-with-extra-EP Songs in the Key of Life, released in September 1976. Sprawling in style, unlimited in ambition, and sometimes lyrically difficult to fathom, the album was hard for some listeners to fully assimilate. Two tracks fairly jumped out of the radio with energy, however, becoming the #1 hits "I Wish" and "Sir Duke". "Isn't She Lovely" was a future wedding and bat mitzvah fixture, while songs such as "Love's in Need of Love Today" (which years later Wonder would perform at the post-September 11 America: A Tribute to Heroes telethon) and the classical "Village Ghetto Land" reflected a far more pensive mood. "Pastime Paradise" would become an interpolation for Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" (one of the most popular hits of the 1990s). Yet again Wonder was awarded Album of the Year, along with two other Grammys.


Possibly exhausted by this concentrated and sustained level of creativity, Wonder was not heard from again for three years. Nevertheless his output during this stretch had left its mark: the 1983 Rolling Stone Record Guide said that these albums "pioneered stylistic approaches that helped to determine the shape of pop music for the next decade"; Rolling Stone's 2003 list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time included four of the five, with three in the top 90; while in 2005 Kanye West said of his own work, "I'm not trying to compete with what's out there now. I'm really trying to compete with Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life. It sounds musically blasphemous to say something like that, but why not set that as your bar?" [3]



 Later career, 1979-present

When Wonder did return, it was with a soundtrack album for the never-finished film Journey through the Secret Life of Plants (1979). Mostly instrumental, the album was panned at the time of its release but has come to be regarded by some critics as an unusual classic. Hotter than July (1980) became Wonder's first platinum selling album, and its single "Happy Birthday" was a successful vehicle for his campaign to establish Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday as a national holiday. The album also included "Master Blaster (Jammin')", his tribute to Bob Marley, and the sentimental ballad, "Lately", which was later covered by 1990s R&B act Jodeci.


In 1982, Wonder released a retrospective of his '70s work with Stevie Wonder's Original Musiquarium and included three more hit singles in his catalogue, including the ten-minute funk classic "Do I Do" (which included legendary jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie), "That Girl" (one of the year's biggest singles to chart on the R&B side) and "Ribbon in the Sky", one of his many classic compositions. Wonder also gained a #1 hit that year in collaboration with Paul McCartney in their paean to racial harmony, "Ebony and Ivory".


1984 saw the release of Wonder's soundtrack album for The Woman in Red. The lead single, "I Just Called to Say I Love You", was a #1 pop and R&B hit in both the US and UK, where it was placed 13th in the all-time list of best-selling singles in the UK issued in 2002. It went on to win an Academy Award for "Best Song" in 1985. The following year's In Square Circle featured the #1 pop hit "Part-Time Lover". He was also featured in Chaka Khan's cover of Prince's "I Feel For You", alongside Melle Mel, playing his signature harmonica, which was a huge hit. In roughly the same period he was also featured on harmonica on Eurythmics' single, "There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)."


By 1985 Stevie Wonder was an American icon, the subject of good-humored jokes about blindness and affectionately impersonated by Eddie Murphy on Saturday Night Live. Thus it was only natural that he was in a featured duet with Bruce Springsteen on the all-star charity single for African famine relief, "We Are the World", and that he was part of another charity single the following year, the AIDS-targeted "That's What Friends Are For".


Also in 1985, Wonder performed "Go Home" from his album In Square Circle, at the Grammy awards ceremony in Los Angeles in the infamous synthesizer jam along with Thomas Dolby, Howard Jones and Herbie Hancock.


In 1986, Stevie Wonder appeared in The Cosby Show as himself.


In 1987 Wonder appeared on the duet Just Good Friends for Michael Jackson's Bad album


After 1987's Characters LP, Wonder continued to release new material, albeit at a slower pace. He recorded a soundtrack album for Spike Lee's film Jungle Fever in 1991, and released both Conversation Peace and the live album Natural Wonder during the same decade.


Stevie Wonder also performed in a unique remix of Seasons Of Love from the Jonathan Larson musical Rent which can be found on disc two of the cast original Broadway cast recording.


In December 1999, Wonder announced that he was interested in pursuing an intraocular retinal prosthesis to partially restore his sight. [1]


Wonder's first new album in ten years, A Time to Love, was released on October 18, 2005, after having been pushed back from first a May, and then a June release. The album was released electronically on September 27, 2005, exclusively on Apple's iTunes Music Store; see External links below. The first single, "So What the Fuss", was released in April and features Prince on guitar and background vocals from En Vogue. A second single, "From the Bottom of My Heart" is a current hit on adult-contemporary R&B radio. The album also features a duet with India Arie on the title track "A Time to Love".


Wonder performed at the pre-game show for Super Bowl XL in Detroit in early 2006, singing various hit singles (with his four-year-old son on drums) and accompanying Aretha Franklin during "The Star Spangled Banner".


In March 2006, Wonder received new national exposure on the top-rated American Idol television program. Each of 12 contestants were required to sing one of his songs, after having met and received guidance from him. (Some of the contestants idolized Wonder, while others showed little familiarity with his work.) Wonder also performed "My Love Is on Fire" live on the show itself. Most recently, in June 2006, Stevie Wonder made a guest appearance on Busta Rhymes' new album, The Big Bang on the track "Been through the Storm" he sings the refrain and plays the piano on the Dr. Dre and Sha Money XL produced track. He appeared again on the last track of Snoop Dogg's new album, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, "Conversations". The song is a remake of "Have a Talk with God" from Songs in the Key of Life. It is also rumored that he will appear on Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's new album, Strength and Loyalty.


Stevie Wonder also performed at the Nation's Capitol's 2006 "A Capitol Fourth" celebration, which was hosted by actor star Jason Alexander.




Wonder's success as a socially conscious musical performer was significantly influential to both R&B and pop music. Among the musicians and performers who list Wonder as one of their major influences are Avia, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Kanye West, George Michael, Jermaine Jackson, Michael Jackson, Nik Kershaw, Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Maggie Russell, India.Arie, Musiq Soulchild, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Jay Kay, Donell Jones and the members of Jodeci, Maroon 5, the Neptunes, Dru Hill, Babyface, Prince, Beyonce Knowles and Nicholas Jonas.


Wonder's songs are renowned for being hard and demanding to sing. There are many 9th, 11th and 13th chords. His melodies make abrupt, unpredictable changes. His songs are melismatic, meaning that a syllable of a word is sung over different notes. Such qualities allow only skilled singers to sing his songs competently. In the American Idol Hollywood Performances, judge Randy Jackson repeatedly stated the difficulty of Wonder's songs.



 Personal life

Wonder has seven children. His last child, Mandla Kadjay Carl Stevland Morris, was born on May 13, 2005, and is the second child of Wonder and his current wife, fashion designer Kai Milla Morris. He is an active supporter of the United States Democratic Party.




Main article: Stevie Wonder discography


 US and UK Top Ten singles

Thirty-three of Stevie Wonder's singles, listed below, reached the Top Ten on Billboard's Hot 100 chart in the United States, or in the United Kingdom.


1963: "Fingertips - Part 2" (US #1)

1965: "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" (US #3)

1966: "Blowin' in the Wind" (US #9)

1966: "A Place in the Sun" (US #9)

1967: "I Was Made to Love Her"(US #2, UK #5)

1968: "For Once in My Life" (US #2, UK #3)

1968: "Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day" (US #9)

1969: "My Cherie Amour" (US #4, UK #4)

1969: "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday" (US #7, UK #2)

1970: "Never Had A Dream Come True" (UK #6)

1970: "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" (US #3)

1970: "Heaven Help Us All" (US #9)

1971: "If You Really Love Me" (US #8)

1972: "Superstition" (US #1)

1973: "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" (US #1, UK #7)

1973: "Higher Ground" (US #4)

1973: "Living for the City" (US #8)

1974: "He's Misstra Know It All" (UK #10)

1974: "You Haven't Done Nothin'" (with The Jackson 5) (US #1)

1974: "Boogie On Reggae Woman" (US #3)

1977: "I Wish" (US #1, UK #5)

1977: "Sir Duke" (US #1, UK #2)

1979: "Send One Your Love" (US #4)

1980: "Master Blaster (Jammin)" (US #5, UK #2)

1980: "I Ain't Gonna Stand For It" (UK #10)

1981: "Lately" (UK #3)

1981: "Happy Birthday" (UK #2)

1982: "Ebony and Ivory" (duet with Paul McCartney) (US #1, UK #1)

1982: "That Girl" (US #4)

1982: "Do I Do" (UK #10)

1984: "I Just Called to Say I Love You" (US #1, UK #1)

1985: "Part-Time Lover" (US #1, UK #3)

1985: "Go Home" (US #10)


 Top Ten US and UK Albums

Twelve of Stevie Wonder's albums, listed below, reached the Top Ten in either the United States or the United Kingdom.


1963: Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius (US #1)

1972: Talking Book (US #3)

1973: Innervisions (US #4, UK #8)

1974: Fulfillingness' First Finale (US #1, UK #5)

1976: Songs in the Key of Life (US #1, UK #2)

1979: Journey through the Secret Life of Plants Soundtrack (US #4, UK #8)

1980: Hotter than July (US #3, UK #2)

1982: Stevie Wonder's Original Musiquarium (US #4, UK #8)

1984: The Woman in Red Soundtrack (US #4, UK #2)

1985: In Square Circle (US #5, UK #5)

1995: Conversation Peace (UK #8)

2005: A Time to Love (US #5)


 Awards and recognition

Wonder has received 21 Grammy Awards [4]:


Year Award Title

1973 Best Rhythm & Blues Song "Superstition"

1973 Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male "Superstition"

1973 Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male "You are the Sunshine of My Life"

1973 Album of the Year Innervisions

1974 Best Rhythm & Blues Song "Living for the City"

1974 Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male "Boogie On Reggae Woman"

1974 Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male Fulfillingness' First Finale

1974 Album of the Year Fulfillingness' First Finale

1976 Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male "I Wish"

1976 Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male Songs in the Key of Life

1976 Best Producer of the Year N/A

1976 Album of the Year Songs in the Key of Life

1985 Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male In Square Circle

1986 Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal

(awarded to Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Wonder) "That's What Friends Are For"

1995 Best Rhythm & Blues Song "For Your Love"

1995 Best Male R&B Vocal Performance "For Your Love"

1998 Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s)

(awarded to Herbie Hancock, Robert Sadin, and Wonder) "St. Louis Blues"

1998 Best Male R&B Vocal Performance "St. Louis Blues"

2002 Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals

(awarded to Wonder and Take 6) "Love's in Need of Love Today"

2005 Best Male Pop Vocal Performance "From the Bottom of My Heart"

2005 Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals

(awarded to Beyoncé and Wonder) "So Amazing"


Wonder has also received an Academy Award for Best Song for "I Just Called to Say I Love You" from The Woman in Red. In 1989, Wonder was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is also an inductee to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Wonder received the Polar Music Prize and Kennedy Center Honors in 1999. In 2002, he was presented with the George and Ira Gershwin Lifetime Achievement Award at UCLA's Spring Sing. He was awarded the Billboard Music Award for the Century Award in 2004, and was one the first inductees into the Michigan Walk of Fame.



 Music sample

Redemption Song (file info) — play in browser (beta)

soul singer Stevie Wonder

Problems listening to the file? See media help.



  1. ^ Stevie Wonder's mother's authorized biography, Blind Faith: The Miraculous Journey of Lula Hardaway, Stevie Wonder's Mother (2002, Simon and Schuster) states that his surname was legally changed to Morris, "an old family name," when he signed with Motown in 1961.

  2. ^ Search for "Stevie Wonder" at Grammy.com

  3. ^ Jones, Steve (Aug 21, 2005). "West hopes to register with musical daring". USA Today.

  4. ^ Search for "Stevie Wonder" at Grammy.com





The above biography has been copied in part or in whole from an article on Wikipedia.org "The Free Encyclopedia."  It has been modified under the GNU Free Document License Section 5 in the following manner: (1) All links within the article have been removed, including text links such as "[#]"; (2) The "[Edit]" text and link have been removed [if you would like to update the article, you may do so from the original page]; (3) the table of Contents links and text have been removed; and (4) all of the sections of the original article have not been copied. All of the above text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Document License.

URL of Original Article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevie_Wonder

Date Article Copied: December 2006

We will try to replace this article with an original biography in the near future, but we hope this will be of help to our visitors in the mean time.

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