Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder was born on May 3, 1950, in Saginaw, Michigan. He was born as Steveland Morris Judkins. He was blind from birth.He moved from Saginaw,Michigan to Detroit as a young child .(Britannica .com p. 1)

Facts in Brief

Born: May 3,1950
Where: Saginaw, Michigan
Grew Up in: Detriot, Michigan

He sang in the church choir when he was young and kept singing until he grew older. he was a skilled musician by the age of eight , He could play the harmonica, piano, and the bongos. When he listened to late night radio shows, he was most attracted to the sounds of Johnny Ace and B. B. King.(Reference Library of Black America p. 1084)

When Stevie was around the age of twelve or thirteen, he knew one of the members of the Miracles, Ronnie White. Ronnie got him an audition for Berry Gordy Jr., who after he heard Stevie sing, he immediately signed the thirteen year old to Motown Records in Detroit. Berry gave Steveland the name of “Little Stevie Wonder,” for his stage name.(Reference Library of Black America p.1084 )

Stevie’s first single was “Fingertips ( part 2)”it was recorded at a show at the Chicago’s Regal Theater in 1963. He also released:Thank You (For Loving me All the Way)”and Contact of Love” in 1963, for his first three singles. “Fingertips(part 2)”became the first live performance of a song to reach the top of the pop charts.Also in 1963 Stevie became the first recording artist to hold number one on the Billboard Hot 100, R& B singles , and album charts. (Reference library of Black America p. 1084)

With the success of his career, he began to touring more frequently . Motown assigned Wonder a tutor from the Michigan School for the Blind, allowing him to continue his education while on the road. In 1964, he performed in London with the Motown revue, a package featuring Martha and the Vandella’s, the Supreme’s, and the Temptation’s. (Britannica.com p. 1)

By 1964, Stevie was no longer considered as being “little”. Around two years later, in 1966, he had a big hit called “Uptight( Everything’s Alright),” which he wrote. He already co-wrote, with Smokey Robinson for the song “ The Tears of a Clown.”(Britannica.com p. 1)

With working with Clarence Paul, a producer, Stevie produced a long succession of hits including Bob Dylan’s “ Blowin’ In the Wind” in 1966, “ I was made to love Her” in 1967, and “Once in my Life” in 1968. In 1969 “ My Cherie Amour” generated a single with the same name . Also in that year President Nixon gave Stevie a Distinguished Service Award from the president’s Committee on Employment of Handicapped People. ( Reference Library of Black America p. 1)

In 1970 Stevie came out with the Album “Signed, Sealed & Delivered.” Also in 1970 , Wonder moved to New York City and founded the Taurus production Company and the Black Bull Publishing Company, they were both licensed under Motown Records .He also in that year Wonder started writing more songs on Political and social issues. ( Reference Library of Black America)

In 1973, Stevie became the first African American to win the grammy award for album of the year. Released in 1979, Wonder’s Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants was a musical for a film documentary. In 1984, Wonder’s soundtrack for the film Woman in Red won him an Academy Award for best song with “I Just Called To Say I Love You.” (Reference Library of Black America p. 1084)

In 1985, Wonder participated in the song “We Are the World” for U.S.A for Africa, the famine relief project. Wonder’s 1985 album Square Circle produced the hit singles “Part Time Lover” and “Overjoyed.” Wonder was put in the Hall of Fame in 1989.

Stevie Wonder is also the founder of the SAP Awards (Stevie Wonder Vision Awards), which are given to research and products that enable visually-impaired people to enter the work force.

Stevie Wonder is now a known figure around the world . He has overcome a disability that would normally pervent someone from being a musician, he has become very successful. Stevie has enterained many people throughout the world and continue to do so as long as he is able.

Links
About Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder Info

Stevie Friends and Fans

Wonderful Wonder

Work Cited

"Stevie Wonder." Reference Library of Black America. 4th Ed. Vol. 5. New York: Gale Research Incorporated, 1990. 1084.

"Stevie Wonder." 5 Mar. 2001 <http://www.Britannica.com>.

"Stevie Wonder." Reference Library of Black America. 5 Ed. Vol. 4. New York: Gale Publishing Co., 1990. 1164.

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By: Jaymie, Amanda, and Laura