Stevie Wonder, born Steveland Hardaway Morris, was born to be a star. At an early age, he learned to sing and play many instruments like the piano, harmonica drums. At 11, Stevie was discovered by a member of Motown Records’ The Miracles. That discovery later led to an audition with Motown founder, Barry Gordy. Gordy signed the 11 year-old and gave him the name, Stevie Wonder. In 1962, he released his debut album, The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie Wonder, an instrumental album that showcased Wonder’s many musical talents. In the same year, he released another album titled Tribute to Uncle Ray, where he covered Ray Charles’ songs. He audience grew even larger when he debuted Little Stevie Wonder The 12 Year Old Genius. With the help of Gordy and others on the Motown Label, Stevie’s career began to soar.
For Once In My Life was released in 1968 and took Stevie’s career to new heights. The album featured hist songs like “Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day”, “For Once In My Life”, and “You Met Your Match.” With the help of Motown, Stevie grew form little Stevie into a major superstar and went on to create timeless albums including My Cherie Amour, Talking Book, Hotter Than July, Songs in Key of Life and the soulful political album Innervisions.
Outside of his music, Wonder made it his passion to also fight for various political and social issues. He led a movement to create a national holiday for Martin Luther King Jr., Dedicated his Oscar win to Nelson Mandela, and advocating for the blind and disabled.
Today, Wonder has won 25 Grammys (as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award), an Academy Award, inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, inducted in the Song Writers Hall of Fame, and become one of the best selling artist in the U.S. In 2016, the City of Detroit also paid homage to Wonder by renaming a portion of his childhood street as “Stevie Wonder Avenue” and awarded him an honorary key to the city.
Top 5 Stevie Wonder Songs:
- For Once In My Life
2. I Just Called to Say I love You
3. Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours
4. Living For The City
5. My Cherie Amour
Black Music Month Countdown: No. 4 – Stevie Wonder was originally published on kissdetroit.com