Stevland Hardaway Morris (born May 13, 1950, as Stevland Hardaway Judkins), known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is a renowned American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and activist. Blind since shortly after birth, Wonder signed with Motown’s Tamla label at the age of eleven, and continues to perform and record for Motown to this day. To date, Wonder 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. In 2008, Billboard magazine named Wonder as 5th in their list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists. Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes. In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
Born on 13th May 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan, he is better known by his stage name of Stevie Wonder and is musically active from 1961. When 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.
In 1961 when he signed with Motown. Wonder has recorded more than thirty top-ten hits, won twenty-two Grammys (the most ever won by a solo artist), including one Lifetime Achievement Award, and has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters halls of fame.
Blind from infancy, Wonder signed with Motown Records at the age of eleven and has become one of the most successful and well-known artists on the label, with nine U.S. number-one hits to his name, thirty-five U.S. albums - twenty-eight major studio releases - and album sales totalling more than seventy-two million units. He has recorded several critically acclaimed albums and hit singles, and writes and produces songs for many of his labelmates and outside artists. A multi-instrumentalist, Wonder plays the drums, guitar, synthesisers, congas, and most famously the piano, harmonica, and keyboards.
His contribution to worldwide social and political change is just as impressive, with Wonder championing the effort to make Martin Luther King’s birthday a national holiday, as well as becoming a driving force behind 1985’s USA for Africa campaign.
As one critic wrote about Wonder’s ingenious musical techniques: “He was simply the best at humanizing synthesizers.’” His mind-bending fusion of innovative beats and ear-to-the street lyrical sensibilities single-handedly revitalized American songwriting in the 1970s. Wonder forged his divergent styles into a trademark sound, putting his musical signature on a quartet of albums that would change music forever: 1972’s Talking Book, 1973’s Innervisions, 1974’s Fullfillingness’ First Finale, and 1976’s Songs in the Key of Life. By the end of the decade end Wonder had won a record fifteen Grammys, as well as numerous other awards.
He continued his hit-making journey in the decades to follow, writing, among other classics, his 1982 collaboration with Paul McCartney, “Ebony and Ivory,” which remained number one for seven weeks in a row. 1984’s The Woman in Red soundtrack produced the enduring classic “I Just Called to Say I Love You”, yet another number-one hit that netted him an Academy Award.
In 1989 Wonder was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside The Rolling Stones.
Two recent Stevie Wonder collections capture the depth of his career: At the Close of the Century, 1999’s first authorised boxed set, a four-CD, seventy-song collection with additional bonus tracks, and 2002’s The Definitive Collection, a twenty-one song CD, including fifteen of Wonder’s number ones, with songs from 1963 to 1985.
Inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2002, he was the first African American to be awarded the Johnny Mercer Award in 2004, in recognition of a lifetime of outstanding creative works. At the end of the year he was presented with Billboard’s highest honour for creative achievement, The Billboard Century Award, whose past recipients include George Harrison, Joni Mitchell, and John Mellencamp. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine cited four Wonder albums in their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, including Innervisions (23rd) and Songs in the Key of Life (56th).
Tribute to Uncle Ray
Tribute to Uncle Ray is the second album released by Stevie Wonder during his Little Stevie Wonder phase in 1962. The album was an attempt by Berry Gordy and Motown to introduce Stevie as a scion and legatee of Ray Charles simply by virtue of his colour and handicap. The album was traditionally followed by other tribute albums to Nat "King" Cole and Sam Cooke by Marvin Gaye and The Supremes respectively. Like his debut, this album failed to generate hit singles as Motown struggled[..]
Down To Earth
Down to Earth is Motown singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder's sixth studio album, released in 1966 on the Tamla (Motown) label. The album was a departure from Wonder's earlier, teen pop-driven albums, and, along with its predecessor, Up-Tight, it re-established the sixteen-year-old Wonder, whose voice had recently changed, as a Motown hitmaker.[..]
Uptight (Everything's Alright)
"Uptight (Everything's Alright)" is a 1966 hit single recorded by Stevie Wonder for the Tamla (Motown) label. One of his most popular early singles, "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" was the first Stevie Wonder single to be co-written by the artist.
The single was a watershed in Wonder's career for several reasons. Aside from the number-one hit "Fingertips", only two of Wonder's singles had reached the Top 40 of Billboard's Pop Singles chart, ("Workout, Stevie Workout"[..]
I Was Made To Love Her
"I Was Made to Love Her" is a hit single recorded by American soul musician Stevie Wonder for Motown's Tamla label in 1967 (see 1967 in music). The song was written by Wonder, his mother Lula Mae Hardaway, Sylvia Moy and producer Henry Cosby; and included on Wonder's 1967 album I Was Made to Love Her. Released as a single, "I Was Made to Love Her" peaked at number-two on the Billboard Pop Singles chart and spent four non-consecutive weeks at number-one on the Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles[..]
Someday at Christmas
Someday at Christmas is a Christmas album by Stevie Wonder, released in 1967 under Motown Records. It was his eighth studio album release. It would also be re-released in 1978 with different cover art and different Catalog number (Original 1967 catalog: T-281, 1978 reissue: T7-362 R1). It would again be re-released as part of Universal Music's Christmas Edition of their successful 20th Century Masters series in 2003 with additional tracks.[..]
For Once In My Life
"For Once in My Life" is a pop song written by Ron Miller and Orlando Murden for Motown Records' Jobete publishing company in 1967 (see 1967 in music). The composition was originally recorded by Jean DuShon, while other artists, such as Tony Bennett and The Temptations, recorded slow ballad versions of the song. Jack Soo was the first male artist to record a version of the song—it never made it to any public market and the recording was permanently shelved in the Motown Records[..]
My Cherie Amour
My Cherie Amour is a 1969 album by American recording artist Stevie Wonder on the Tamla (Motown) label, his eleventh studio album. The album yielded a couple of major hits, including the title track and "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday", as well as Wonder's takes on the 1967 hit "Light My Fire" by The Doors and "Hello, Young Lovers" from The King and I.
The song "My Cherie Amour" is featured on the game Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore.
Urban jazz keyboardist[..]
Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours
"Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" is a soul single by American musician Stevie Wonder, recorded for Motown's Tamla label. Released in June 1970, the song spent six weeks at number one on the U.S. R&B chart and peaked at number three on the U.S. Pop chart. In the same year, the song was also released on the album Signed, Sealed, and Delivered.
The song was a series of firsts for the 20-year-old Wonder: "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" was the first single Wonder produced on[..]
Where I'm Coming From
Where I'm Coming From is the thirteenth studio album released by Grammy Award-winning American singer Stevie Wonder on the Motown label on April 12, 1971.
This album is considered a groundbreaking record for Wonder, in that it is the first album in which he had complete artistic freedom in its production (Stevie Wonder had taken charge of his own music starting with this album). It was the last album produced under his first contract with Motown Records.
This is Stevie[..]
Music Of My Mind
Music of My Mind is a landmark album by Stevie Wonder, released on March 3, 1972 when Wonder was only 21 years old (see 1972 in music). Many observers count this album as the beginning of Wonder's "classic period", though others look to the previous one or the following one. It is his fourteenth studio release. Music of My Mind showcases Wonder's earlier experiments with the synthesizer, and is a more assured recording than Where I'm Coming From (his first effort while holding the[..]
Talking Book is the fifteenth album by Stevie Wonder, released on October 28, 1972. A signal recording of his "classic period", in this one he "hit his stride". The album's first track, "You Are the Sunshine of My Life", earned Wonder his first Grammy Award, for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.[..]
Innervisions is the sixteenth album by American musician Stevie Wonder, released August 3, 1973 on Motown Records; a landmark recording of his "classic period". The nine tracks of Innervisions encompass a wide range of themes and issues: from drug abuse in "Too High," through social anger in "Living for the City," to love in the ballads "All in Love is Fair" and "Golden Lady."
As with many of Stevie Wonder's albums the lyrics, composition and production are almost entirely[..]
Fulfillingness' First Finale
Fulfillingness' First Finale is a landmark album by Stevie Wonder, released on July 22, 1974; one of the albums from his "classic period". It is his seventeenth studio album overall. According to Billboard magazine, it was Wonder's first album to top the Pop Albums chart where it remained for two weeks, while it was his third album to top the R&B/Black Albums chart where it spent nine nonconsecutive weeks.
Subsequent to the epic sweep and social consciousness of Innervisions,[..]
Songs In The Key Of Life
Songs in the Key of Life is the 13th album by American recording artist Stevie Wonder, released September 28, 1976, on Motown Records. It was the culmination of his "classic period" albums. An ambitious double LP with a 4-song bonus EP, Songs in the Key of Life became among the best-selling and most critically acclaimed albums of his career. In 2003, the album was ranked number 56 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[..]
Stevie Wonder's Journey Through "The Secret Life of Plants"
Stevie Wonder's Journey Through "The Secret Life of Plants" is an album by Stevie Wonder, originally released on the Tamla Motown label on October 30, 1979 (see 1979 in music). It is the soundtrack to the documentary The Secret Life of Plants, directed by Walon Green which was based on the book of the same name by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird.[..]
Hotter than July
Hotter than July is the nineteenth album by Stevie Wonder, originally released on Motown's Tamla label on September 29, 1980. Despite the wide critical acclaim for Wonder's previous works such as Songs in the Key of Life and Innervisions, Hotter than July was his first album eligible for platinum status, as Motown sales records before 1977 were not audited by the RIAA. This was his most successful album in the UK, peaking at #2 and producing four top ten singles[..]
Stevie Wonder's Original Musiquarium
Stevie Wonder's Original Musiquarium I is a compilation album by R&B/soul musician Stevie Wonder, released as Tamla 6002 in 1982. It collects eleven Top 40 hit singles, and one album track, taken from Wonder's "classic period" running from 1972 to 1980. It peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200, at #1 on the Top R&B Albums chart in the US, and went to #8 in the UK. It has been certified gold by the RIAA.[..]
The Woman in Red
The Woman In Red Soundtrack is the second soundtrack album released by Stevie Wonder on the Motown label. Also featuring Dionne Warwick, the LP was released in 1984 for the film of the same name. It featured Wonder's biggest hit and international number-one hit, "I Just Called to Say I Love You", which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, and also featured the follow-up hit, "Love Light in Flight" (an US Top 20 hit) and "Don't Drive Drunk".
The album reached #4 on the US[..]
In Square Circle
In Square Circle is a 1985 album released by Grammy Award-winning American R&B/soul singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder (his twentieth overall). The album features the hits "Part-Time Lover", "Go Home" and "Overjoyed" (which was left off Wonder's 1979 album Journey through the Secret Life of Plants and re-recorded for this album).
In Square Circle broke into the Top 5 on the Pop Albums chart and spent twelve weeks at #1 on the Top R&B Albums chart.
"Go Home" was performed[..]
Characters is the Grammy-nominated twenty-first studio album by American singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder, released by Motown Records on November 6, 1987 (see 1987 in music) in North America. Although highly anticipated like its predecessor, In Square Circle (1985) upon its release, the album received mixed reviews from critics, and debuted at number 17 on the US Billboard 200, becoming his first album since Music of My Mind not to reach the top ten of the charts. In the UK,[..]
Jungle Fever is the 1991 soundtrack album by Stevie Wonder to Spike Lee's movie Jungle Fever. It was released on Motown. Wonder was asked by director Spike Lee to compose the film soundtrack and film score to the film, which depicted a black businessman falling for a white female associate. The hits included from the album include "Jungle Fever", "Gotta Have You", "Fun Day" and "These Three Words". It topped the R&B Albums chart for two weeks.[..]
Conversation Peace is the twenty-second album released by American musician Stevie Wonder, released on the Motown label in 1995. The album was Wonder's first full-length non-soundtrack studio album since 1987's Characters. This album yielded the hits "For Your Love" (a Grammy winner for Wonder for Best R&B Male Vocal Performance) and the reggae-flavored "Tomorrow Robins Will Sing".[..]
Natural Wonder is a live album by American musician Stevie Wonder, released in 1995 and recorded in Osaka, Japan. It is an edited version of a televised concert Wonder performed with the Tokyo Philharmonic.[..]
A Time To Love
A Time to Love is a 2005 studio album by Stevie Wonder, his first since 1995's Conversation Peace. Originally to have been completed in 2004, it was finally released to stores on October 18, 2005, following an exclusive electronic release on Apple's iTunes Music Store on September 27. It is his 23rd official studio album.
The first single, issued in April 2005, was "So What the Fuss", which featured Prince on guitar and En Vogue on backing vocals. Follow-up singles included[..]
Stevie Wonder's Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants
Signed, Sealed And Delivered