Biography of Stevie Wonder and Facts

Published At: 13 January 2021 , 08:28 PM

Biography of Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder is a musician of American origin, blind from birth. The founder of the classic style of soul and R'n'B. Singer with a 4-octave voice range, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer. Winner of the Grammy 25 times.

The future singer was born on March 13, 1950, in Saginaw, Michigan. The family brought up six children, the third of whom was Stevie. The boy, who was given the name Steveland Hardaway Judkins, was born prematurely and was placed in a premature incubator. Naturally, weak eyesight finally deteriorated after the doctors did not calculate the oxygen supply to the child.

Young Stevie Wonder with a harmonica

Lula Mae Judkins, Stevie's mother, did not dwell on her son's illness, but in every way helped the boy adapt to the world around him. Stevie learned how to move independently, learned to read the usual alphabet, in which he groped for block letters.

In 1954, Lula Mae remarried and moved with children from her first marriage to Detroit, changing her last name to Morris. At the age of 9, the boy was presented with a harmonica, and then a piano appeared in the house, on which Stevie quickly learned to select the familiar musical compositions of Ray Charles and Sam Cook. In addition to playing the instruments, the boy sang in the church choir.


One day at Sunday service, the teenager was noticed by Gerald White, brother of Ronnie White of The Miracles, and invited him to audition. Stevie soon met the founder of Motown Records, Berry Gordy. The producer immediately gave the boy a pseudonym - Little Stevie Wonder - and signed a contract under which Stevie went on a 4-month tour. Together with musicians from the Motown company, Stevie performed 94 concerts.

At the age of 11, under the guidance of Clarence Paul, the firm's producer, Stevie recorded his first hit "I Call It Pretty Music, But the Old People Call It the Blues", a year later the young musician's first album "The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie" and singles "Little Water Boy" and "Contract on Love". With the beginning of his concert activity, Stevie Wonder dropped out of school, but to get a diploma, the boy had to unlearn a special school for the blind at an accelerated rate.

At the age of 13, Stevie lit up with the hit "Fingertips", which he performed with Marvin Gay, the song immediately took the first lines of the pop and R'n'B charts. In the same year, the singer's live album, Little Stevie Wonder the 12 Year Genius. Recorded Live ".

In 1964, the premiere of the movie "Muscle Beach Party" with the participation of Stevie Wonder took place on the screens, a year later the musician appeared in the continuation of the franchise - the film "Bikini Beach". In addition to his film work, Stevie has released several singles: "Pretty Little Angel", "Castles in the Sand", "Hey Harmonica Man", "Happy Street" and the album "Stevie at the Beach", which includes songs from the movies. Smokey Robinson's hit of The Miracles "Tears of a Clown", composed by Stevie Wonder as part of his work for Motown, peaked at # 1 on the music charts.

In 1971 Stevie Wonder created the first conceptual R&B disc "Where I'm Coming From", which differed from the previous compilations by the author's special musical style, devoid of sentimentality. The singer not only independently wrote and arranged all the compositions for the disc but also completely produced the album. After the release of the disc, Stevie ends the collaboration with Motown on the first contract.

After reconsidering the relationship with the main star of the label, the president of the company, Berry Gordy, signs a second agreement with Wonder, according to which the singer receives complete creative freedom. Economic independence allows the musician to surrender to conceptual projects. In 1972, two albums of the author appeared at once - "Music Of My Mind" and "Talking Book", close in sound to rock.

Stevie Wonder's albums "Music Of My Mind" and "Talking Book"

To record songs, Stevie Wonder used a large number of instruments, including a synthesizer, which he played himself. The singer used a voice-over technique, which made it possible to record all the vocals on his own. In his texts, Stevie, in addition to romantic plots, turned to mystical, political, and social themes.

In 2003, the albums "Music Of My Mind" and "Talking Book" were ranked 284th and 90th respectively on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Music Tracks of All Time" list. Stevie Wonder won three Grammy awards for two tracks from the second compilation. At this time, the musician began collaborating with the Rolling Stones and went on a world tour with the rockers.

The 1973 disc "Innervisions" won three Grammy awards, including in the category "Album of the Year", and was recognized by critics as the best disc of the musician's classical period. Pop stars Ray Charles, Tina Turner, Barbra Streisand, Eric Clapton, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and others have used the songs from the collection to create cover versions.

The album's release coincided with a car accident that involved Stevie Wonder. The singer lay in a coma for a week, after which he lost his sense of smell. After recovering, Stevie continued to make music. A year later, the artist recorded the disc "Fulfillingness' First Finale", which differs from the previous records by greater self-absorption. For the creation of the album, the author was awarded 4 Grammy awards.

In 1976, the album "Songs In The Key Of Life" appeared, which took 1st position in the Billboard 200 music rating and became the highest-grossing album among all albums created for the creative biography of Stevie Wonder. In the 80s, the musician recorded three albums: "Hotter than July", "In Square Circle" and "Characters".