Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images
This week for Black History Month we celebrate a true wonder of the world…Stevie Wonder! Wonder was born six weeks early on May 13th, 1950 with a condition called retinopathy of prematurity which led him to become blind shortly after his birth. Yet Wonder’s lack of sight failed to hinder his career and drive as he pushed pass this adversity to lead one of the most successful careers in soul music of all time.
Wonder was a true child prodigy with extraordinary musical talent, especially on the piano. At age eleven he signed with Motown’s Tamla label under the name “Little Stevie Wonder,” and at age 13 he released he first #1 hit Fingertips. While many child prodigies fade away from fame as they enter adulthood, Wonder only continued to grow as he matured while fusing together soul, R&B, gospel and various other genres into his own sound. His peak success came during the 1970s when he released critical hits including Superstition, Uptight (Everything’s Alright), and Sir Duke along with his groundbreaking album Songs In The Key Of Life.
Stevie Wonder is still going and continues to perform when he can. A legend and an inspiration, Wonder was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, won the Polar Music Prize for lifetime achievement by the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 1999, received a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement in 2005, and was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014 just to name a few of his well-deserved recognitions.
Watch Stevie Wonder perform Living For The City live in 1974 here: