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Stevie Wonder

From Wind Repertory Project
Stevie Wonder

Biography

Stevland Hardaway Morris (born Stevland Hardaway Judkins, 14 May 1950, Saginaw, Mich.), known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist.

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

He began playing instruments at an early age, including piano, harmonica and drums. He formed a singing partnership with a friend; calling themselves Stevie and John, they played on street corners, and occasionally at parties and dances. In 1961, when aged 11, Wonder sang his own composition, Lonely Boy, to Ronnie White of the Miracles; White then took Wonder and his mother to an audition at Motown, where CEO Berry Gordy signed Wonder to Motown's Tamla label. Before signing, producer Clarence Paul gave him the name Little Stevie Wonder. He has continued to perform and record for Motown as of the early 2010s.

Among Wonder's works are singles such as 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 received 25 Grammy Awards, the most ever awarded to a male solo artist, and has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the top 60 best-selling music artists.

Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday a holiday in the United States. In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2013, 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.


Works for Winds


References