Stevland Hardaway Judkins (born May 13, 1950), name later changed
to Stevland Hardaway Morris, known by his stage name Stevie Wonder,
is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer
and activist. Blind since shortly after birth, Wonder signed
with Motown Records' Tamla label at the age of eleven, and continues
to perform and record for Motown to this day.
Some of Wonder's best known works include singles such as "Superstition", "Sir
Duke", "I Wish" and "I Just Called to Say I Love
You". Well known albums also include Talking Book, Innervisions
and Songs in the Key of Life. He has recorded more than thirty
U.S. top ten hits and received twenty-two Grammy Awards, the most
ever awarded to a male solo artist. 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 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the Hot
100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart's fiftieth
anniversary, with Wonder at number five.
Stevie Wonder was born in Saginaw, Michigan in 1950, being the third
of six children to Calvin Judkins and Lula Mae Hardaway. Owing to
his being born six weeks premature, the blood vessels at the back
of his eyes had not yet reached the front and their aborted growth
caused the retinas to detach. The medical term for this condition
is retinopathy of prematurity, or ROP, and while it may have been
exacerbated by the oxygen pumped into his incubator, this was not
the primary cause of his blindness.
When Stevie Wonder was four, his mother left his father and moved
herself and her children to Detroit. She changed her name back to
Lula Hardaway and later changed her son's surname to Morris, partly
because of relatives. Morris has remained Stevie Wonder's legal name
ever since. He began playing instruments at an early age, including
piano, harmonica, drums and bass. During childhood he was active
in his church choir.
 Discovery and early Motown recordings
Ronnie White of The Miracles gives credit to his brother Gerald
White for persistently nagging him to come to his friend's house
in 1961 to check out Stevie Wonder. Afterward, White brought Wonder
and his mother to Motown Records. Impressed by the young musician,
Motown CEO Berry Gordy signed Wonder to Motown's Tamla label with
the name Little Stevie Wonder. Before signing, producer Clarence
Paul gave Wonder his trademark name after stating "we can't
keep calling him the eighth wonder of the world". He then recorded
the regional Detroit single, "I Call It Pretty Music, But the
Old People Call It the Blues", which was released on Tamla in
late 1961. Wonder released his first two albums, The Jazz Soul of
Little Stevie and Tribute to Uncle Ray, in 1962, to little success.
 Music career
 Early success: 1963–1971
By age 13, Wonder had a major hit, "Fingertips (Pt. 2)",
a 1963 single taken from a live recording of a Motor Town Revue performance,
issued on the album Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius. The song,
featuring Wonder on vocals, bongos, and harmonica, and a young Marvin
Gaye on drums, was a #1 hit on the U.S. pop and R&B charts and
launched him into the public consciousness.
In 1964, Stevie Wonder made his film debut in Muscle Beach Party
as himself, credited as "Little Stevie Wonder". He returned
in the sequel released five months later, Bikini Beach. He performed
on-screen in both films, singing "Happy Street," and "Happy
Feelin' (Dance and Shout)," respectively.
Dropping the "Little" from his moniker, Wonder went on
to have a number of other hits during the mid-1960s, including "Uptight
(Everything's Alright)", "With a Child's Heart", and "Blowin'
in the Wind", a Bob Dylan cover which was one of the first songs
to reflect Wonder's social consciousness, co-sung by his mentor,
producer Clarence Paul. He also began to work in the Motown songwriting
department, composing songs both for himself and his label mates,
including "Tears of a Clown", a number one hit performed
by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.
In 1968 he recorded an album of instrumental soul/jazz tracks, mostly
harmonica solos, under the pseudonym (and title) Eivets Rednow, which
is "Stevie Wonder" spelled backwards. The album failed
to get much attention, and its only single, a cover of "Alfie",
only reached number 66 on the U.S. Pop charts and number 11 on the
U.S. Adult Contemporary charts. Nonetheless, he managed to score
several hits between 1968 and 1970 such as "I Was Made to Love
Her"; "For Once in My Life" and "Signed, Sealed,
Delivered I'm Yours". In September 1970, at the age of 20, Wonder
married Syreeta Wright, a former company secretary for Motown and
songwriter. For his next album known as Where I'm Coming From, his
newly-wed wife Syreeta gave him a helping hand with the writing and
producing aspects, with the permission of Gordy. The album flopped
in the charts. Reaching his twenty-first birthday on May 13, 1971,
he allowed his Motown contract to expire.
In 1970, Wonder co-wrote, and played numerous instruments on the
hit "It's a Shame" for fellow Motown act The Spinners.
His contribution was meant to be a showcase of his talent and thus
a weapon in his on-going negotiations with Gordy about creative autonomy.
 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.
The 120-page contract shattered precedent at Motown and additionally
gave Wonder a much higher royalty rate. Wonder returned to Motown
in March 1972 with Music of My Mind. Unlike most previous artist
LPs on Motown, which usually consisted of a collection of singles,
B-sides and covers, Music of My Mind was a full-length artistic statement
with songs flowing together thematically. Wonder's lyrics dealt
with social, political, and mystical themes as well as standard romantic
ones, while musically Wonder began exploring overdubbing and recording
most of the instrumental parts himself.Music of My Mind marked
the beginning of a long collaboration with Tonto's Expanding Head
Band (Robert Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil).
Superstition" (reduced quality)
from Talking Book by Stevie Wonder, Motown 1972-10-27. Sample from
Stevie Wonder Song Review: A Greatest Hits Collection, Motown,
Problems listening to this file? See media help.
Released in the fall of 1972, Talking Book featured the No. 1 hit "Superstition",
which is one of the most distinctive and famous examples of the sound
of the Hohner clavinet keyboard. The song features a rocking
groove that garnered Wonder an additional audience on rock radio
stations. Talking Book also featured "You Are the Sunshine of
My Life", which also peaked at No. 1. During the same time as
the album's release, Stevie Wonder began touring with the Rolling
Stones to alleviate the negative effects from pigeon-holing as a
result of being an R&B artist in America. Wonder's touring
with The Rolling Stones was also a factor behind the success of both "Superstition" and "You
Are the Sunshine of My Life". Between them, the two
songs won three Grammy Awards. On an episode of the children's
television show Sesame Street that aired in April 1973, Wonder
and his band performed "Superstition", as well as an original
song called "Sesame Street Song", which demonstrated his
abilities with the "talk box".
Political considerations were brought into greater focus than ever
before on his next album, Innervisions, released in 1973.[citation
needed] The album featured "Higher Ground" (#4 on the pop
charts) as well as the trenchant "Living for the City" (#8).
Both songs reached No. 1 on the R&B charts. 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. Innervisions generated three more Grammy
Awards, including Album of the Year. The album is ranked #23
on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Wonder had become the most influential and acclaimed black musician
of the early 1970s.
On August 6, 1973, Wonder was in a serious automobile accident while
on tour in North Carolina, when a car in which he was riding rear-ended
a flatbed truck, sliding under the back of the truck and causing
the bed of the truck to crash through the car's windshield, striking
Wonder in the head. This left him in a coma for four days
and resulted in a partial loss of his sense of smell and a temporary
loss of sense of taste.
Despite the setback, Wonder eventually recovered all of his musical
faculties, and re-appeared in concert at Madison Square Garden in
March 1974 with 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 appeared
in July 1974 and set two hits high on the pop charts: the #1 "You
Haven't Done Nothin'" and the Top Ten "Boogie On Reggae
Woman". The Album of the Year was again one of three Grammys
The same year Wonder took part in a Los Angeles jam session which
would become known by the bootleg album A Toot and a Snore in '74.
He also co-wrote and produced the Syreeta Wright album Stevie Wonder
On October 4, 1975, Wonder performed at the historical "Wonder
Dream Concert" in Kingston, Jamaica, a benefit for the Jamaican
Institute for the Blind.
By 1975, in his 25th year, Stevie Wonder had won two consecutive
Grammy Awards: in 1974 for Innervisions and in 1975 for Fulfillingness'
First Finale.
The double album-with-extra-EP Songs in the Key of Life, was released
in September 1976. Sprawling in style, unlimited in ambition, and
sometimes lyrically difficult to fathom, the album was hard for some
listeners to assimilate, yet is regarded by many as Wonder's crowning
achievement and one of the most recognizable and accomplished albums
in pop music history. The album became the first of an
American artist to debut straight at #1 in the Billboard charts,
where it remained for 14 non-consecutive weeks. Two tracks, became
#1 Pop/R&B hits "I Wish" and "Sir Duke".
The baby-celebratory "Isn't She Lovely?" was written about
his newborn daughter Aisha, while songs such as "Love's in Need
of Love Today" (which years later Wonder would perform at the
post-September 11, 2001 America: A Tribute to Heroes telethon) and "Village
Ghetto Land" reflected a far more pensive mood. Songs in the
Key of Life won Album of the Year and two other Grammys. The
album ranks 56th on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums
of All Time.
Wonder's "classic period" is generally agreed to consist
of the concept albums he created in the early- to mid-1970s,
peaking in 1976. Some observers see in 1971's Where I'm Coming
From certain indications of the beginning of the classic period,
such as its new funky keyboard style which Wonder used throughout
the classic period. Some determine Wonder's first "classic" album
to be 1972's Music of My Mind, on which he attained personal control
of production, and on which he programmed a series of songs integrated
with one another to make a concept album. Others skip over early
1972 and determine the beginning of the classic period to be Talking
Book in late 1972, the album in which Wonder "hit his stride".
After such a concentrated and sustained level of creativity,[citation
needed] Wonder stopped recording for three years, releasing only
the 3 LP Looking Back, an anthology of his first Motown period. The
albums Wonder released during this period were very influential on
the music world. 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 Magazine's 2003 list of the 500 Greatest Albums of
All Time included four of the five albums, with three in the top
 Commercial period: 1979–1990
It was in Wonder's next phase that he began to commercially reap
the rewards of his legendary classic period. The '80s saw Wonder
scoring his biggest hits and reaching an unprecedented level of fame
evidenced by increased album sales, charity participation, high-profile
collaborations, political impact, and television appearances.
This period had a muted beginning, for when Wonder did return, it
was with the soundtrack album Journey through the Secret Life of
Plants (1979), featured in the film The Secret Life of Plants. 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.[citation
needed] In this year Wonder also wrote and produced the dance hit "Let's
Get Serious", performed by Jermaine Jackson and (ranked by Billboard
as the #1 R&B single of 1980).
Hotter than July (1980) became Wonder's first platinum-selling single
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')", "I Ain't Gonna Stand for It", and the
sentimental ballad, "Lately", which was later covered by
Jodeci and S Club 7.
In 1982, Wonder released a retrospective of his '70s work with Stevie
Wonder's Original Musiquarium, which included four new songs: the
ten-minute funk classic "Do I Do" (which included Dizzy
Gillespie), "That Girl" (one of the year's biggest singles
to chart on the R&B side), "Front Line", a narrative
about a soldier in the Vietnam War that Stevie Wonder wrote and sang
in the 1st person, 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
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. Wonder wrote the lyrics.
In 1983, Wonder scheduled an album to be entitled "People Work,
Human Play." The album never surfaced and instead 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 United States and the United Kingdom,
where it was placed 13th in the list of best-selling singles in the
UK published in 2002. It went on to win an Academy Award for "Best
Song" in 1985. The album also featured a guest appearance by
Dionne Warwick, singing the duet "It's You" with Stevie
and a few songs of her own. The following year's In Square Circle
featured the #1 pop hit "Part-Time Lover". The album also
has a Top 10 Hit with "Go Home." It also featured the ballad "Overjoyed" which
was originally written for Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants,
but didn't make the album. He performed "Overjoyed" on
Saturday Night Live when he was the host. He was also featured in
Chaka Khan's cover of Prince's "I Feel For You", alongside
Melle Mel, playing his signature harmonica. In roughly the same period
he was also featured on harmonica on Eurythmics' single, "There
Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)" and Elton John's "I
Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues".
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.
Wonder sometimes joined in the jokes himself such as in The Motown
Revue with Smokey Robinson. He 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 (1986), the AIDS-inspired "That's What Friends
Are For". He also played the harmonica on the album Dreamland
Express by John Denver in the song "If Ever", a song Wonder
co-wrote with Stephanie Andrews. He also wrote the track "I
Do Love You" for The Beach Boys' 1985 self-titled album. Stevie
Wonder also played the harmonica on a track called "Can't Help
Lovin' That Man" from "Showboat" on "The Broadway
Album" by Barbra Streisand.
In 1986, Stevie Wonder appeared on The Cosby Show, as himself, in
the episode "A Touch of Wonder".
In 1987, Wonder appeared on Michael Jackson's Bad album on the duet "Just
Good Friends". Michael Jackson also sang a duet with him titled "Get
It" on Wonder's 1987 album Characters. This was a minor hit
single, as were "Skeletons" and "You Will Know".
In the fall of 1988, Wonder dueted with Julio Iglesias on the hit
single "My Love", which appeared on Iglesias' album Non
 Later career: 1991–2001
Stevie Wonder at the Grammy Awards of 1990
?After 1987's Characters LP, Wonder continued to release new material,
but at a slower pace. He recorded a soundtrack album for Spike Lee's
film Jungle Fever in 1991. From this album, singles and videos were
released for "Gotta Have You" and "These Three Words".
The B-side to the "Gotta Have You" single included a recording
of "Feeding Off The Love Of The Land", the song that was
played during the end credits of the movie "Jungle Fever",
but was not included on the soundtrack. A piano and vocal version
of "Feeding Off The Love Of The Land" was also released
on the Nobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal compilation. It is rumored
that "Feeding Off The Love Of The Land" was originally
intended for release on Fulfillingness' First Finale Volume Two,
a project that has never been confirmed as completed.
Conversation Peace and the live album Natural Wonder were also released
in the 1990s. The former received its European launch at a high-profile
March 1995 press conference in Paris, where Stevie mentioned how
the tearing down of The Wall between East and West Berlin and the
desire for a united Europe had played a significant part in the inspiration
behind the album.
In 1994, Wonder made a guest appearance on the KISS cover album
KISS My Ass: Classic KISS Regrooved, playing harmonica and supplying
background vocals for the song "Deuce", performed by Lenny
In 1996, Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life was selected as
a documentary subject for the Classic Albums documentary series.
This series dedicates 60 minutes to one groundbreaking record per
feature. The same year, he performed John Lennon's song "Imagine" in
the closing ceremony of the Atlanta Olympic Games. The same year,
Wonder performed in a remix of "Seasons of Love" from the
Jonathan Larson musical Rent.
In 1997, Wonder collaborated with Babyface for a song about abuse
(domestic violence) called "How Come, How Long" which was
nominated for an award.
In December 1999, Wonder announced that he was interested in pursuing
an intraocular retinal prosthesis to partially restore his sight.
That same year, Wonder was featured on harmonica in the Sting song "Brand
In 2000, Stevie Wonder contributed two new songs to the soundtrack
for Spike Lee's Bamboozled album ("Misrepresented People" and "Some
 Current career: 2002–present
In March 2002, Wonder performed at the opening ceremonies of the
2002 Winter Paralympics in Salt Lake City.
On July 2, 2005, Wonder performed in the USA part of the Live 8
series of concerts in Philadelphia.
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. The
first single, "So What the Fuss", was released in April.
A second single, "From the Bottom of My Heart" was a hit
on adult-contemporary R&B radio. The album also featured 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
Stevie Wonder at a conference in Salvador, Brazil in July 2006
In March 2006, Wonder received new national exposure on the top-rated
American Idol television program. Wonder performed "My Love
Is on Fire" (from A Time To Love) live on the show itself. 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.
In 2006 Wonder staged a duet with Andrea Bocelli on the latter's
album Amore, offering harmonica and additional vocals on "Canzoni
Stonate". Stevie Wonder also performed at Washington, D.C.'s
2006 "A Capitol Fourth" celebration.
On August 2, 2007, Stevie Wonder announced the A Wonder Summer's
Night 13 concert tour — his first U.S. tour in over ten years.
This tour was inspired by the recent passing of his mother, as he
stated at the conclusion of the tour on December 9 at the Jobing.com
Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
Wonder performs during the final day of the 2008 Democratic National
Convention in Denver, Colorado.
On August 28, 2008, Wonder performed at the Democratic National
Convention at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. Songs
included were a previously unreleased song, "Fear Can't Put
Dreams to Sleep," and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours".
On September 8, 2008, Wonder started the European leg of his Wonder
Summer's Night Tour, the first time he had toured Europe in over
a decade. His opening show was at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham,
England. During the tour, Wonder played eight UK gigs; four at The
O2 Arena in London, two in Birmingham and two at the M.E.N. Arena
in Manchester. Stevie Wonder's other stops in the tour's European
leg also found him performing in Holland (Rotterdam), Sweden (Stockholm),
Germany (Cologne, Mannheim and Munich), Norway (Hamar), France (Paris),
Italy (Milan) and Denmark (Aalborg). Wonder also toured Australia
(Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane) and New Zealand
(Christchurch, Auckland and New Plymouth) in October and November.
By June 2008, Wonder was working on two projects simultaneously:
a new album titled The Gospel Inspired By Lula which will deal with
the various spiritual and cultural crises facing the world, and Through
The Eyes Of Wonder, an album which Wonder has described as a performance
piece that will reflect his experience as a blind man. Wonder was
also keeping the door open for a collaboration with Tony Bennett
and Quincy Jones concerning a rumoured jazz album. If Wonder
was to join forces with Bennett, it would not be for the first time;
Their rendition of "For Once in My Life" earned them a
Grammy for best pop collaboration with vocals in 2006. Wonder's
harmonica playing can be heard on the 2009 Grammy-nominated "Never
Give You Up" featuring CJ Hilton and Raphael Saadiq.
Wonder is presented the Gershwin Award for Lifetime Achievement by
United States president Barack Obama.
Wonder performed on January 18, 2009 at the We Are One: The Obama
Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. On Inauguration Day,
January 20, 2009, Wonder performed the song "Brand New Day" with
musician Sting. He performed his new song "All About the Love
Again" and, with other musical artists, "Signed, Sealed,
and Delivered". On February 23, 2009, Wonder became the second
recipient of the Library of Congress's Gershwin Prize for pop music,
honored by President Barack Obama at the White House.
On July 7, 2009, Wonder performed "Never Dreamed You'd Leave
In Summer" and "They Won't Go When I Go" at the Staples
Center for Michael Jackson's memorial service. On October 29,
2009, Wonder performed at the 25th anniversary concert for the Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame. Among performing songs with B.B. King, Wonder
performed Michael Jackson's 'The Way You Make Me Feel', during which
he became emotionally distraught and was unable to perform until
he regained his composure.
On January 22, 2010, Wonder performed Bridge Over Troubled Water
for the Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief
event to help victims of the earthquake in Port-au-Prince on January
On March 6, 2010, Wonder was awarded the Commander of the Arts and
Letters by French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand. Wonder had
been due to receive this award in 1981, but scheduling problems prevented
this from happening. A lifetime achievement award was also given
to Wonder on the same day, at France's biggest music awards.
His summer 2010 tour included a two-hour set at the Bonnaroo Music
Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, a stop at London's "Hard
Rock Calling" in Hyde Park, and appearances at England's Glastonbury
Festival, Rotterdam's North Sea Jazz Festival, and a concert in Bergen,
Norway and a concert in Dublin, Ireland at the O2 Arena on June 24th.
Early on February 2011, the Apollo Theater announced that Stevie
Wonder will be the next in line for the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame.
The theater said that the singer will be inducted into the New York
City institution's Hall of Fame in five months.
A prominent figure in popular music during the latter half of the
20th century, Wonder has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits
and won twenty-two Grammy Awards (the most ever won by a solo
artist) as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also won
an Academy Award for Best Song, and been inducted into both the
Rock and Roll and Songwriters halls of fame. He has also
been awarded the Polar Music Prize. American music magazine Rolling
Stone named him the ninth greatest singer of all time. In
June 2009 he became the fourth artist to receive the Montreal Jazz
Festival Spirit Award.
He has ten U.S. number-one hits on the pop charts as well as 20
R&B number one hits, 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 label
mates and outside artists as well. Wonder plays the piano, synthesizer,
harmonica, congas, drums, bass guitar, bongos, organ, melodica, and
clavinet. In his childhood, he was best known for his harmonica work,
but today he is better known for his keyboard skills and vocal ability.
Wonder was the first Motown artist and second African American musician
to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song for his 1984 hit single "I
Just Called to Say I Love You" from the movie The Woman in Red.[citation
Wonder's songs are renowned for being quite difficult to sing. He
has a very developed sense of harmony and uses many extended chords
utilizing extensions such as 9ths, 11ths, 13ths, b5s, etc. in his
compositions. Many of his melodies make abrupt, unpredictable changes.
Many of his vocal melodies are also melismatic, meaning that a syllable
is sung over several notes. Some of his best known and most frequently
covered songs are played in keys which are more often found in jazz
than in pop and rock. For example, "Superstition", "Higher
Ground" and "I Wish" are in the key of E flat minor,
and feature distinctive riffs in the E flat minor pentatonic scale
(i.e. largely on the black notes of the keyboard).
Wonder played a large role in bringing synthesizers to the forefront
of popular music. He developed many new textures and sounds never
heard before. In 1981, Wonder became the first owner
of an E-mu Emulator.
 Songs sampled by other musicians
Wonder has recorded with Jon Gibson, a Christian Soul musician,
on a remake of his own song, "Have a Talk With God" (from
the 1989 album Body & Soul), covered by Gibson in which Wonder
plays harmonica. The two men met in the early 1980s through a
shared music agent (Bill Wolfer).
Red Hot Chili Peppers covered "Higher Ground" in 1989
on their Mother's Milk album. Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
covered "Superstition" and Wonder made a cameo appearance
in the official music video for the song.
"Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing" was rendered by English
band Incognito in 1992 and John Legend covered this song for the
2005 film, Hitch. George Michael and Mary J. Blige covered "As" in
the late 90's. In 1999, Salome De Bahia made a Brazilian version
of "Another Star". Tupac Shakur sampled "That Girl" for
his hit song "So Many Tears".
"Pastime Paradise" would become an interpolation for Coolio's "Gangsta's
Paradise" while Will Smith would use "I Wish" as the
basis for the theme song to his movie, Wild Wild West. The elements
of "Love's In Need of Love Today" were used by 50 Cent
in the song "Ryder Music", and Warren G sampled "Village
Ghetto Land" for his song "Ghetto Village".[citation
Mary Mary, did a cover of his song, "You Will Know" on
their 2002 album, Incredible. Australian soul artist Guy Sebastian
recorded a cover of "I Wish" on his Beautiful Life album.
In 2003, Raven-Symoné recorded a cover of "Superstition" for
the soundtrack to Disney's The Haunted Mansion. In 2005, Canadian
singer Dave Moffatt, from the group The Moffatts, sang the song "Overjoyed" from
the In Square Circle album on Canadian Idol. Clay Aiken performed "Isn't
She Lovely?" in the episode "My Life in Four Cameras" of
 Personal life
Wonder has been married twice: to Motown singer Syreeta Wright from
1970 until their divorce in 1972; and since 2001, to fashion designer
Kai Milla Morris. He has seven children from his two marriages
and several relationships.
His daughter, Aisha Morris, was the inspiration for his hit single "Isn't
She Lovely." Aisha Morris is a singer who has toured with her
father and accompanied him on recordings, including his 2005 album,
A Time 2 Love. Wonder has two sons with Kai Milla Morris; the older
is named Kailand and he occasionally performs as a drummer on stage
with his father. The younger son, Mandla Kadjay Carl Stevland Morris,
was born May 13, 2005, his father's 55th birthday.
In May 2006, Wonder's mother died in Los Angeles, California, at
the age of 76. During his September 8, 2008 UK concert in Birmingham
he spoke of his decision to begin touring again following his loss. "I
want to take all the pain that I feel and celebrate and turn it around".[citation
Wonder is an activist for civil rights.
 Charting discography
Main article: Stevie Wonder discography
 Top 40 singles
Year Title Chart positions
 US R&B US Dance US AC UK
1963 "Fingertips - Pt. 2" 1 1 - - -
1966 "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" 3 1 - - 14
Blowin' in the Wind" 9 1 - - 36
A Place in the Sun" 9 3 - - 20
1967 "I Was Made to Love Her" 2 1 - - 5
1968 "For Once in My Life" 2 1 - - 3
Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day" 9 1 - - -
1969 "My Cherie Amour" 4 4 - - 4
Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday" 7 5 - - 2
1970 "Never Had A Dream Come True" 26 11 - - 5
Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" 3 1 - - 15
Heaven Help Us All" 8 2 - - 29
1971 "We Can Work It Out" 13 3 - - 27
If You Really Love Me" 8 4 - - 20
1972 "Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)" 33
13 - - -
Superstition" 1 1 - - 11
1973 "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" 1 3 - - 3
Higher Ground" 4 1 - - 29
Living for the City" 8 1 - - 15
1974 "He's Misstra Know It All" - - - - 10
You Haven't Done Nothin'"
(with The Jackson 5) 1 1 - - 30
Boogie On Reggae Woman" 3 1 - - 12
1977 "I Wish" 1 1 - - 5
Sir Duke" 1 1 - - 2
Another Star" 32 18 - - 29
As" 36 36 - - -
1979 "Send One Your Love" 4 5 - - -
1980 "Master Blaster (Jammin)" 3 1 1 1 2
I Ain't Gonna Stand For It" 10 4 - - 11
1981 "Lately" - - - - 3
Happy Birthday" - 17 - - 2
That Girl" 3 1 - - 39
1982 "Do I Do" 7 2 - - 10
Ebony and Ivory" (with Paul McCartney) 1 8 - - 1
Ribbon in the Sky" - 9 - - -
1984 "I Just Called to Say I Love You" 1 1 - 1 1
1985 "Part-Time Lover" 1 1 1 1 3
That's What Friends Are For"
(with Dionne Warwick, Elton John and Gladys Knight) 1 1 - 1 16
Love Light In Flight" 17 4 6 10 -
1986 "Go Home" 10 2 1 1 -
Land Of La La" - 19 - - -
Overjoyed" 24 8 - 1 17
1987 "Skeletons" 17 1 20 - -
1988 "Get It" (with Michael Jackson) - 4 - - 37
My Eyes Don t Cry" - 6 12 - -
You Will Know" - 1 - - -
1989 "With Each Beat Of My Heart" - 28 - - -
1990 "Keep Our Love Alive" - 24 - - -
1991 "Fun Day (From "Jungle Fever")" - 6 - -
Gotta Have You (From "Jungle Fever")" - 3 - - -
1992 "These Three Words" - 7 - - -
1995 "For Your Love" - 11 - 30 23
2005 "So What The Fuss" - 34 - 40 19
From The Bottom Of My Heart" - 25 - 7 -
 U.S. and UK albums
Year Album Chart positions
 US R&B UK
1963 Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius 1 - -
1966 Up-Tight 33 2 -
1966 Down to Earth 72 8 -
1967 I Was Made to Love Her 45 7 -
1968 For Once in My Life 50 4 -
1969 My Cherie Amour 34 3 17
1970 Signed, Sealed, and Delivered 25 7 -
1971 Where I'm Coming From - 7 -
1972 Music of My Mind 21 6 -
1972 Talking Book 3 1 16
1973 Innervisions 4 1 6
1974 Fulfillingness' First Finale 1 1 5
1976 Songs in the Key of Life 1 1 2
1979 Journey through the Secret Life of Plants 4 4 7
1980 Hotter than July 2 1 2
1982 Stevie Wonder's Original Musiquarium 4 1 8
1984 The Woman in Red 4 1 2
1985 In Square Circle 5 1 5
1987 Characters 17 1 33
1995 Conversation Peace 17 2 8
1996 Natural Wonder - 88 -
1996 Song Review A Greatest Hits Collection - 100 19
2000 At the Close of a Century - 100 -
2002 The Definitive Collection 35 28 -
2004 Best Of Stevie Wonder: 20th Century Masters Christmas Collection
- 90 -
2005 A Time To Love 5 2 24
2007 Number 1's 171 40 23
 Awards and recognition
 Grammy Awards
Wonder has received 25 Grammy Awards: including a Lifetime Achievement
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
1973 Best Producer* Innervisions
1974 Best Rhythm & Blues Song "Living for the City"
1974 Best Male R&B Vocal Performance "Boogie On Reggae Woman"
1974 Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Fulfillingness' First Finale
1974 Album of the Year Fulfillingness' First Finale
1974 Best Producer* Fulfillingness' First Finale
1976 Best Male R&B Vocal Performance "I Wish"
1976 Best Male Pop Vocal Performance 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 Male R&B Vocal Performance 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"
1996 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award General
1998 Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s)
(awarded to Herbie Hancock, Robert Sadin, and Wonder) "St. Louis
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
2005 Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
(awarded to Beyoncé and Wonder) "So Amazing"
2006 Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals (awarded to Tony Bennett
and Wonder) "For Once In My Life"
* Between 1965 and 1980, a self-produced artist won an additional
Grammy as a producer as well as an artist.
 Other awards and recognition
* 1983: inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
* 1984: received an Academy Award for Best Song for "I Just Called to
Say I Love You" from the movie The Woman in Red.
* 1989: inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
* 1996: received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
* 1999: received the Polar Music Prize and Kennedy Center Honors.
* 2002: received the George and Ira Gershwin Lifetime Achievement Award at
UCLA's Spring Sing. The same year, Wonder received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime
Achievement Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
* 2004: received the Billboard Century Award. Also in 2004, Rolling Stone
Magazine ranked him #15 on their list of the 100 Greatest Rock and Roll Artists
of All Time.
* 2006: was inducted, as one of the first inductees, into the Michigan Walk
of Fame. The same year, Wonder received a Lifetime Achievement Award from
the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.
* 2008: Ranked at number five on "The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists",
making him as the third most successful male artist in the history of Billboard
Hot 100 chart.
* 2009: Recipient of the second Gershwin Prize For Popular Song.
* 2009: Recipient of the Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award. This special
award underlines a popular artist’s extraordinary contribution to the
musical world. The Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award is in bronze.
* 2009: Named a Messenger of Peace by the United Nations.