Stevie Wonder is making moves.
The 70-year-old multi-time Grammy Award winner announced on Tuesday (October 13) that he was doing something that he had “never done before.” That “never” turned out to be branching out on his own and leaving Motown Records after being on the iconic label for nearly 60 years. He’ll be staring his own label under Republic Records and the Universal Music Group. The new imprint will be titled What The Fuss Records.
Wonder signed to Motown when he was 11 years old and had been signed to the label since 1961. His last album, A Time To Love was released in 2005 and before that, he released Conversation Peace in 1995. Even with two albums released over a 10 year period, the majority of Wonder’s work on Motown came in his adolescence, teens, twenties and thirties, including his “Genius Period” where from 21 to 26, he released Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness’ First Finale and Songs in the Key of Life. The final three all won Album of the Year at the Grammys, making Wonder the first Black artist to win the award, much less three times.
With the Motown announcement, Wonder released two new songs, “Where Is Our Love Song” with Texas’ own Gary Clark Jr. and “Can’t Put It In The Hands Of Fate” with Rapsody, Cordae, Chika and Busta Rhymes. All of the proceeds for “Where Is Our Love Song” will go to Feeding America.
Last year, Wonder revealed that he was in need of a kidney transplant and revealed during the press conference that not only did he get a match and underwent surgery, he says he feels 30 years younger.
“I was blessed with a new kidney and that happened on December 6, 2019 … I feel great. My voice feels great,” he said. “I told my daughter Aisha, ‘I’m going to be like five years younger than you now. I’m going from being 70 to being 40.’ I feel like I’m about 40 right now. I’m feeling great.”
He continued, “For all of the people, who have been listening to these rumors — if I’m feeling some kind of way, I’ll let you know. We don’t want to have misinformation. I am alive and well and looking forward to … having a car that drives, so I can drive myself.”