95 Facts About Stevie Wonder


Stevland Hardaway Morris, known professionally as Stevie Wonder, is an American singer-songwriter.


Stevie Wonder is credited as a pioneer and influence by musicians across a range of genres that include rhythm and blues, pop, soul, gospel, funk, and jazz.


Stevie Wonder helped drive such genres into the album era, crafting his LPs as cohesive and consistent, in addition to socially conscious statements with complex compositions.


Stevie Wonder's single "Fingertips" was a No 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963, at the age of 13, making him the youngest artist ever to top the chart.


Stevie Wonder is the only artist to have won the award with three consecutive album releases.


Stevie Wonder began his "commercial period" in the 1980s; he achieved his biggest hits and highest level of fame, had increased album sales, charity participation, high-profile collaborations, political impact, and television appearances.


Stevie Wonder has continued to remain active in music and political causes.


Stevie Wonder is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with sales of over 100 million records worldwide.


Stevie Wonder has won 25 Grammy Awards and one Academy Award.


Stevie Wonder has been inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame.


Stevie Wonder is noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr.


Stevie Wonder was born Stevland Hardaway Judkins in Saginaw, Michigan, on May 13,1950, the third of five children born to Lula Mae Hardaway, and the second of Hardaway's two children with Calvin Judkins.


Stevie Wonder was born six weeks premature which, along with the oxygen-rich atmosphere in the hospital incubator, resulted in retinopathy of prematurity, a condition in which the growth of the eyes is aborted and causes the retinas to detach, so he became blind.


When Stevie Wonder was four, his mother divorced his father and moved with her three children to Detroit, Michigan, where Stevie Wonder sang as a child in a choir at the Whitestone Baptist Church.


Stevie Wonder later rekindled her relationship with her first child's father and changed her own name back to Lula Hardaway, going on to have two more children.


When Stevie Wonder was signed by Motown in 1961, his surname was legally changed to Morris, which was an old family name.


Stevie Wonder began playing instruments at an early age, including piano, harmonica, and drums.


Stevie Wonder formed a singing partnership with a friend; calling themselves Stevie and John, they played on street corners and occasionally at parties and dances.


Stevie Wonder was put in the care of producer and songwriter Clarence Paul, and for a year they worked together on two albums.


Tribute to Uncle Ray was recorded first, when Stevie Wonder was still 11 years old.


The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie was recorded next, an instrumental album consisting mainly of Paul's compositions, two of which, "Wondering" and "Session Number 112", were co-written with Wonder.


Stevie Wonder began to work in the Motown songwriting department, composing songs both for himself and his label mates, including "The Tears of a Clown", a No 1 hit for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.


In 1969, Stevie Wonder participated in the Sanremo Music Festival with the song "Se tu ragazza mia", in conjunction with Gabriella Ferri.


In September 1970, at the age of 20, Stevie Wonder married Syreeta Wright, a songwriter and former Motown secretary.


Wright and Stevie Wonder worked together on the next album, Where I'm Coming From, Stevie Wonder writing the music, and Wright helping with the lyrics.


Around this time, Stevie Wonder became interested in utilizing synthesizers after hearing albums by electronic group Tonto's Expanding Head Band.


Also in 1970, Stevie Wonder co-wrote, and played numerous instruments on the hit "It's a Shame" for fellow Motown act the Spinners.


Stevie Wonder's contribution was meant to be a showcase of his talent and thus a weapon in his ongoing negotiations with Gordy about creative autonomy.


Stevie Wonder returned to Motown in March 1972 with Music of My Mind.


Stevie Wonder's lyrics dealt with social, political, and mystical themes as well as standard romantic ones, while musically he began exploring overdubbing and recording most of the instrumental parts himself.


Stevie Wonder's touring with the Stones was a factor behind the success of both "Superstition" and "You Are the Sunshine of My Life".


Stevie Wonder had become the most influential and acclaimed black musician of the early 1970s.


Shaw was facing financial difficulties, so Stevie Wonder, who was a member of the university's board of trustees, rallied other acts such as Exuma, LaBelle, and the Chambers Brothers to join the concert, which raised over $10,000 for the school's scholarship fund.


Stevie Wonder embarked on a European tour in early 1974, performing at the Midem convention in Cannes, at the Rainbow Theatre in London, and on the German television show Musikladen.


Stevie Wonder co-wrote and produced the 1974 Syreeta Wright album Stevie Wonder Presents: Syreeta.


On October 4,1975, Stevie Wonder performed at the historic "Stevie Wonder Dream Concert" in Kingston, Jamaica, a benefit for the Jamaican Institute for the Blind.


Stevie Wonder toured briefly with an orchestra in support of the album, and used a Fairlight CMI sampler onstage.


Stevie Wonder gained a No 1 hit that year in collaboration with Paul McCartney in their paean to racial harmony, "Ebony and Ivory".


In 1983, Wonder performed the song "Stay Gold", the theme to Francis Ford Coppola's film adaptation of S E Hinton's novel The Outsiders.


Stevie Wonder accepted the award in the name of Nelson Mandela and was banned from all South African radio by the Government of South Africa.


Incidentally, on the occasion of his 35th birthday, Stevie Wonder was honored by the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid for his stance against racism in South Africa that same year.


Stevie Wonder performed "Overjoyed" on Saturday Night Live when he was the host.


Stevie Wonder was featured in Chaka Khan's cover of Prince's "I Feel For You", alongside Melle Mel, playing his signature harmonica.


Stevie Wonder was in a featured duet with Bruce Springsteen on the all-star charity single for African Famine Relief, "We Are the World", and he was part of another charity single the following year, the AIDS-inspired "That's What Friends Are For".


In 1987, Stevie Wonder appeared on Michael Jackson's Bad album, on the duet "Just Good Friends".


Stevie Wonder recorded a soundtrack album for Spike Lee's film Jungle Fever in 1991.


Conversation Peace and the live album Natural Stevie Wonder were released in the 1990s.


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


Into the 21st century, Stevie Wonder contributed two new songs to the soundtrack for Spike Lee's Bamboozled album.


Stevie Wonder continues to record and perform; though mainly occasional appearances and guest performances, he did do two tours, and released one album of new material, 2005's A Time to Love.


In June 2006, Stevie Wonder made a guest appearance on Busta Rhymes' album The Big Bang, on the track "Been through the Storm".


Stevie Wonder appeared again on the last track of Snoop Dogg's album Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, "Conversations".


In 2006, Stevie Wonder staged a duet with Andrea Bocelli on the latter's album Amore, offering harmonica and additional vocals on "Canzoni Stonate".


Stevie Wonder performed at Washington, DC's 2006 "A Capitol Fourth" celebration.


Stevie Wonder did a 13-date tour of North America in 2007, starting in San Diego on August 23; this was his first US tour in more than 10 years.


Stevie Wonder's opening show was at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham in the English Midlands.


Stevie Wonder's other stop in the tour's European leg found him performing in the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Norway, France, Italy and Denmark.


Stevie Wonder's harmonica playing can be heard on the 2009 Grammy-nominated "Never Give You Up", featuring CJ Hilton and Raphael Saadiq.


Stevie Wonder sang at the Michael Jackson memorial service in 2009, at Etta James' funeral, in 2012, a month later at Whitney Houston's memorial service, and at the funeral of Aretha Franklin in 2018.


Stevie Wonder appeared on singer Celine Dion's studio album Loved Me Back to Life, performing a cover of his 1985 song "Overjoyed".


Stevie Wonder was featured on two tracks on Mark Ronson's 2015 album Uptown Special, and the track "Stop Trying to Be God" on Travis Scott's 2018 album Astroworld.


In October 2020, Stevie Wonder announced that he had a new vanity label released via Republic Records, So What the Fuss Records, marking the first time his music was not released through Motown Records.


In June of 2021, Stevie Wonder appeared in the documentary Summer of Soul, directed by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, showing the Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969.


In never before seen footage, a young 19 year old Stevie Wonder is seen performing in front of thousands of people in Harlem.


In October of 2022, Stevie Wonder celebrated his 50th anniversary of his project Talking Book.


Stevie Wonder was keeping the door open for a collaboration with Tony Bennett and Quincy Jones concerning a rumored jazz album.


In 2013, Stevie Wonder revealed that he had been recording new material for two albums, When the World Began and Ten Billion Hearts, in collaboration with producer David Foster, to be released in 2014.


In October 2020, while promoting his two recent singles, Stevie Wonder mentioned both Through the Eyes of Stevie Wonder and The Gospel Inspired by Lula as projects in development.


Stevie Wonder is one of the most notable popular music figures of the second half of the 20th century.


Stevie Wonder is one of the most successful songwriters and musicians.


Stevie Wonder recorded several critically acclaimed albums and hit singles, and wrote and produced songs for many of his label mates and outside artists as well.


Stevie Wonder plays the piano, synthesizer, harmonica, congas, drums, bongos, organ, melodica and Clavinet.


Stevie Wonder has been credited as a pioneer and influence to musicians of various genres including pop, rhythm and blues, soul, funk and rock.


Stevie Wonder was the first Motown artist and second African-American musician to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song, which he won for his 1984 hit single "I Just Called to Say I Love You" from the movie The Woman in Red.


Stevie Wonder won 25 Grammy Awards, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award.


Stevie Wonder is the only artist to have won the award with three consecutive album releases.


Stevie Wonder has been inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, Rock and Rock Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Stevie Wonder is noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr.


On October 21,1974, with the Boston busing desegregation underway, Stevie Wonder spoke and led students in song at a lounge at the University of Massachusetts Boston the day after he performed at the Boston Garden.


Stevie Wonder was married to Motown singer-songwriter and frequent collaborator Syreeta Wright from 1970 until their amicable divorce in 1972.


In 1983, Stevie Wonder had a son named Mumtaz Morris with Melody McCulley.


Stevie Wonder has a daughter, Sophia, and a son, Kwame, with a woman whose identity has not been publicly disclosed.


Stevie Wonder has two sons with second wife Kai Millard Morris.


Stevie Wonder's ninth child, his second with Tomeeka Robyn Bracy, was born in December 2014, amid rumors that he would be the father to triplets.


At a concert in London's Hyde Park on July 6,2019, Stevie Wonder announced that he would be undergoing a kidney transplant in September.


Stevie Wonder was introduced to Transcendental Meditation through his marriage to Syreeta Wright.


Consistent with that spiritual vision, Stevie Wonder became vegetarian, and later a vegan, singing about it in October 2015 on The Late Late Show with James Corden during the show's "Carpool Karaoke" segment.


Stevie Wonder joined Twitter on April 4,2018, and his first tweet was a five-minute video honoring Martin Luther King Jr.


Stevie Wonder has been a longtime Baptist affiliated with black churches.


Stevie Wonder closed the ceremony with a rendition of the Lord's Prayer and his song "As".


Stevie Wonder has won 25 Grammy Awards, as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996.


Stevie Wonder is one of only four artists and groups who have won the Grammy for Album of the Year three times as the main credited artist, along with Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, and Taylor Swift.


Stevie Wonder is the only artist to have won the award with three consecutive album releases.


Stevie Wonder has been given a range of awards, both for his music and for his civil rights work, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Civil Rights Museum, being named one of the United Nations Messengers of Peace, and earning a Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2014, presented at a ceremony in the White House on November 24 that year.


Stevie Wonder has received many honorary degrees in recognition of his music career.