Stevie Wonder Bio: Stevland Hardaway Music fans know Morris as Stevie Wonder, born on May 13, 1950. Wonder, a kid prodigy born blind, became a music icon. His deep voice and R&B innovations make him a multitalented artist. He has published almost 20 studio albums, receiving international honours. Celebrate the legend’s birthday with some life trivia.
Full Name: Stevland Hardaway Morris
Nickname: Little Stevie Wonder, Nappy Wonder
Birth date: May 13, 1950
Zodiac Sign: Taurus
Height: 6′ 0″
Relationship Status: Married
Net Worth: $110 million
Stevie Wonder has enchanted audiences everywhere. He was the third of five children born to Lula Mae Hardaway, an American musician, and Calvin Judkins, a U.S. Army soldier, in Saginaw, Michigan, on May 13, 1950. The incubator blinded him. At four, his mother divorced his father and moved to Detroit, where he attended Fitzgerald Elementary School. He joined the Whitestone Baptist Church choir. His mother changed her surname to Morris and he kept it for life. He played piano, harmonica, and drums as a child and established a band with a friend, “Stevie and John,” performing at parties and street corners.
He was discovered by legendary American musician Ronnie White, who took him to an audition at Universal Music Group’s Motown label in 1961. Stevie became “Little Stevie Wonder” immediately. His first single, “I Call it Pretty, But the Old People Call It the Blues,” and album, “The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie,” were unsuccessful in 1962. He attended Lansing’s Michigan School for the Blind that year. While touring, his 1963 song “Fingertips” from “Recorded Live: The 12-Year-Old Genius” topped the Billboard Hot 100. At 13, he became the youngest chart-topper. As his voice aged, his subsequent recordings were less successful. Two of his films bombed. In the mid-60s, he dropped the “Little” from his moniker and had several hits.
He wrote songs for himself and other Motown musicians. ‘I Was Made to Love Her’ and ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours’, his first self-produced song, were released between 1968 and 1970. His 1968 instrumental soul and jazz album, “Eivets Rednow,” was ignored. His 1970-married wife Syreeta Wright wrote “Where I’m Coming From,” his following record. 1971’s album. He ended his Motown deal later that year over artistic issues. After two new records, Motown offered him a larger royalty rate. “Music of My Mind,” his 1972 Motown album, covered romance, social, and political issues. He released “Talking Book,” which included “Superstition” and “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” the following year. His tunes won three Grammys.
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He sang for charity:
His 1973 album “Innervisions” won three Grammys, including Album of the Year. He performed at Shaw University’s homecoming benefit after a four-day coma after a serious accident. He toured Europe in 1974 and played a sold-out Madison Square Garden event. “Fulfillingness’ First Finale,” released in July, won three Grammys. “Songs in the Key of Life,” his 1976 album, is one of his most famous. It was the first album to debut at #1 on Billboard for 14 non-consecutive weeks. His newborn daughter Aisha inspired a song. In 1979, he released his first digital album, “Stevie Wonder’s Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants,” a mostly instrumental soundtrack. “Hotter Than July” was his 1980 platinum debut. “I Just Called to Say I Love You” from “The Woman in Red” was his best-selling single. He won an Oscar for “Best Song” in 1985. From his 1986 album “In Square Circle,” “Part-time Lover” was a smash.
He sang for charity and with Elton John and Bruce Springsteen that year. “Bad” featured him in 1987. Wonder’s 1991 CD for Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever” slowed him down. The 1996 Summer Olympics closing ceremony featured him. He recorded two songs for Spike Lee’s 2000 black comedy “Bamboozled.” He toured alongside Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, Andrea Bocelli, and others as a guest artist. “A Time to Love,” his first new album in 10 years, was released in 2005 to mixed reviews. Celine Dion’s 2013 and Mark Ronson’s 2015 albums featured him. He debuted on a vanity label in October 2020. He has been working on two CDs since 2008. His Presidential Medal of Freedom came in 2014.
He played synthesisers and other electronic instruments to support his tracks as a popular singer-songwriter. He has nine children and three wives, including Tomeeka Bracy in 2017. Wonder was one of the most prominent celebrities to oppose apartheid in South Africa. He led the effort to make Martin Luther King’s birthday a federal holiday. His unique voice inspires and entertains millions worldwide.
Blindness never hindered him.
Wonder has excelled despite being blind since infancy. He played several instruments as a kid prodigy.
He has advocated for race rights.
Wonder has protested South African race prejudice for years. He helped make Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday a federal holiday.
He’s never serious.
Wonder has always remained humble in his personal and professional life, despite his fame. He is likeable despite his many awards.
5 Shocking Facts
Autobiographical song “I Wish”
His 1976 award-winning song “Songs in the Key of Life” is based on his life.
60 top-selling musicians
He sold nearly 100 million recordings in the second part of the 20th century.
South Africa banned him.
South African radio and government banned him for accepting his 1985 Academy Award in Nelson Mandela’s honour.
Three straight albums won.
Wonder is the only artist to win Album of the Year three times.
He also smells somewhat.
He partially lost his sense of smell in a 1973 vehicle incident.