Stevie Wonder. biography
Born Stevland Hardaway Judkins on May 13, 1950, in Saginaw, Michigan, Stevie Wonder came into the world blind in result of being subjected to an overwhelming amount of oxygen as a incubated premature baby. At the age of 4, Stevie's natural music mastery revealed itself when he joined a church choir in Detroit and sat down at his first piano. After honing his instrumental abilities, Stevie was discovered by the Miracles band-mate Ronnie White at the age of 11, who introduced him to Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr.. Gordy immediately signed the young aspiring musician and later released Stevie's debut album Little Stevie Wonder the 12 year Old Genius in 1962.
Despite the album's first single "Fingertips" becoming an over night hit, Stevie continued to perfect his instrumental skills and followed up with the noteworthy single "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" after dropping "Little" from his name in 1964. Over the next few years, Stevie proved to be a true rising talent when he began writing his own music and gaining more confidence, resulting in him negotiating a new contract with Motown in which he was given total control over his records and a hefty pay increase.
The newly acquired artistic freedom quickly transformed into a string of ground-breaking albums, including Talking Book (1972), Innervisions (1973), Fulfillingness' First Finale (1974), and Songs in the Key Life (1976), as well as the historically indented singles "Living in the City," "Isn't She Lovely" and "Boogie on a Reggae Woman" - all of which resulted in 15 Grammies.
Stevie had less success in the 1980s, but still found a way to put out the single "I Just Called to Say I Love You" off the soundtrack for Gene Wilder's film The Woman in Red (1984), which earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Song and made him the first blind recipient to win an Oscar. He also worked with Paul McCartney to produce to the number one hit single "Ebony and Ivory" in 1982.
The music genius' projects then slowed way down and most recently released A Time to Love (2005) after a ten-year break from the music scene.
Over Stevie's entire career, he has won 25 Grammys, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and was honored with the 2009 Second Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Stevie has also been married twice and has a total of seven children.