Stevie Wonder was born in the state of Michigan in the spring of the year 1950. Because of some medical problems, he was born six weeks premature. This proved to be a big problem, because 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 it was exacerbated by the oxygen pumped into his incubator.
While he was still little, his parents divorced. He ended up living in Detroit with his mother, alongside the other five brothers. Growing up, he played various instruments such as the piano, harmonica, drums, and bass. Little Steveland Morris (his mother changed his name after the divorce) never played a lot of outdoor activities due to his protective family. Due to his musical talent he quickly became an important member of the church choir.
Everything started in 1961, when, at the age of 11, “Little Stevie” signed a contract with a large recording company: Motown. “Fingertips” was his first big hit and his career took off from there. Hit singles came one after another before Wonder let his Motown contract expire. He was in his early twenties with about a dozen classics behind him, still, his best work was yet to come. From that moment, nobody and nothing was able to stop his ascent.
“Little Stevie Wonder”, playing Fingertips
Here is a list with awards that came next:
Wonder has been able to produce more than 30 top ten hits in the U.S.
During his career, he has also received 22 Grammy Awards (the most ever awarded to a male solo artist)
Became the very first blind recipient of an Academy Award when his composition “I Just Called to Say I Love You” won Best Original Song from The Woman in Red (1984) soundtrack.
Wonder collaborated on the 1985 smash hit “We Are the World” (USA for Africa).
He was voted the 15th Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Artist of all time by Rolling Stone.
Voted the ninth greatest singer of the rock era in a Rolling Stone magazine poll in 2008.
He has also been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1983.
Other interesting information:
Wonder dedicated his song “Sir Duke” (from “Songs in the Key of Life” (1976)) to lifelong hero Duke Ellington.
He recorded an instrumental jazz album under the name “Eivets Rednow” (“Stevie Wonder” spelled backwards).
“Little Stevie” Wonder grew up to not very little at all, as he is 6′ tall (about 183cm).
He has seven perfectly healthy children.
He also has loss of smell due to a 1973 car crash in North Carolina from which he also has a scar.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 7050 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Named U.N. Messenger of Peace [December 2, 2009].
Stevie Wonder is a great role model. Many people don’t know that he was born without sight. He is a brilliant man because despite his fate, despite his blindness, he took the bull by the horns and not only managed to keep up with the others… His music turned out to be so good, that the others god a hard time keeping up with him. A real legend.
Enjoy three of his best songs:
The list of awards was inspired from the Stevie Wonder page on www.imdb.com