Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder Headshot

Musician • Singer • Songwriter • Record Producer • Activist

Birth Date: May 13, 1950

Age: 73 years old

Birth Place: Saginaw, Michigan

An American musical genius, Stevie Wonder emerged from the Motown hit factory to reach even higher artistic ground. Born Stevland Judkins (later Morris) in Saginaw, Michigan, he was blinded as a result of his premature birth. As a child he learned to play piano, harmonica and drums, and passed a 1961 Motown audition at age eleven; producer Clarence Paul dubbed him Little Stevie Wonder. His first hit "Fingertips, Part 2" came a year later; it was a mostly-instrumental, near-novelty track that featured his harmonica. This however was just the start to a run of hits through the '60s, ranging from the pure exuberance of "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" to the first of many popular love ballads, "My Cherie Amour." His tenth and eleventh Top Ten hits-- the proto-funk "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and the topical, gospel-ish "Heaven Help Us All" both came in 1970, the year he turned twenty. He began producing himself on later '60s releases, and as the '70s dawned he began to break away from the Motown hit formula. A pair of transitional albums, Where I'm Coming From (1971) and Music of My Mind (1972) both explored headier territory; both were praised by critics and musicians though only there was only one major hit (the former album's "If You Really Love Me") between them. His experiments bore fruit with late 1972's Talking Book. By now he was heavily into synthesizers and studio wizardry, playing most of the instruments himself, but his melodic gifts were also back in the forefront. The album spawned two very different classic singles in "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," an instant romantic standard, and "Superstition," a rocker originally written for Jeff Beck (Wonder's version replaced guitars with the novel sound of the Clavinet). He effectively ruled the pop world for the remainder of the '70s, and his social conscience (shown on the hits "You Haven't Done Nothing," about Richard Nixon, and "Living for the City") made him a much-admired figure. His standing in the industry was so lofty that when Paul Simon won the Album of the Year Grammy Award in early 1976, he thanked Wonder for not releasing an album that year. Yet the end of that year brought Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life, a double album (plus bonus EP) that was a career peak for its musical ambitions and popularity. Among its hits was "Sir Duke", easily the only '70s chart-topper to reference Ellington. Wonder never quite matched his '70s-'80s creative streak. He ended the '70s with another double album, Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants, that was far more experimental (and keyed to a never-released movie) and a relative flop. The hit singles continued, though they weren't always as innovative as before (1984's "I Just Called to Say I Love You" was technically his best-selling single). A harder funk track, "Skeletons," became his last hit in 1987. He appeared at many notable events including Michael Jackson's and Aretha Franklin's funerals; and continued to perform his classic-era material (a 2014 tour featured Songs in the Key of Life in its entirety). He maintained his iconic status despite a lack of new material.

Credits

The Best of The Ed Sullivan Show

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2023

The 65th Annual Grammy Awards

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2023

Homeward Bound: A Grammy Salute to the Songs of Paul Simon

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2022

American Music Awards

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2022

George Michael: Portrait of an Artist

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2022

The 44th Annual Kennedy Center Honors

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2021

Secrets Of The River Clyde

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2021

Stand Up to Cancer

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2021

Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days

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2021

Summer Rules!

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2021

Summer of SoulStream

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2021
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6 Music Artist Collection

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2020

John Legend and Family: A Bigger Love Father's Day

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Dear...Stream

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2020
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One World: Together at Home

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Songs That Inspire

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2020

We Stand Together

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2020

Retro: Vintage Valentine

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2020

Motown 60: A Grammy Celebration

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2019

Dancing With the Stars: Juniors

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2018

Stand Up to Cancer

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2018

The Best of Tavis Smiley

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2018

BBMAIconicAwards

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2018

Ariana's Collabs

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'80s R&B

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2018

Grammy Gold

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2018

The 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors

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2017

George Michael: FreedomStream

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2017
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One Voice: Somos Live! A Concert for Disaster Relief

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2017

Stayin' Alive: A Grammy Salute to the Music of the Bee Gees

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2017

Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories That Changed America

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2017

Play Hits - Grandes Vozes 10

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2017

Play Hits - Black In Love 3

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2017

The Book of Clarence

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2017

Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come

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2016

The Magic of the Diary of Anne Frank

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2016

Common Feat. Stevie Wonder: Black America Again

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2016

Stevie Wonder Feat. Ariana Grande: Faith

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2016

Hearing Is Believing

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2016

The All-Star Dog Rescue Celebration

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2015

The Late Show With Stephen ColbertStream

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2015

The Late Show With Stephen ColbertStream

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2015

Transcendent Man

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2015

International Jazz Day

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2015

Lip Sync BattleStream

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2015

Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life -- An All-Star Grammy Salute

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2015

Snoop Dogg Feat. Stevie Wonder: California Roll

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2015

The Hollywood Christmas Parade

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2014

The Breakfast Club Power Hour

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2014

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonStream

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2014

The Beatles: The Night That Changed America - A Grammy Salute

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2014

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards

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2014

Tony Bennett Feat. Stevie Wonder: For Once in My Life

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2014

2013 Global Citizen Festival: Live From Central Park

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2013

A Message of Peace: The United Nations Day Concert 2012

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2013

Stevie Wonder and Friends-UN Concert

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2013

PJ Morton Feat. Stevie Wonder: Only One

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2013

The 40th Anniversary American Music Awards

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2012

Steve Harvey

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2012

Larry King NowStream

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2012

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee: Concert

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2012

Concert for the Queen: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration With Katie Couric

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2012

The 2012 Billboard Music Awards

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2012

NFL Super Bowl Gospel Celebration

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2012

IGenius: How Steve Jobs Changed the World

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2011

The VoiceStream

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2011

An Evening of Stars: Tribute to Chaka Khan

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2011

Stand Up to Cancer

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2010

Hard Rock Calling 2010

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2010

Paul McCartney: In Performance at the White House

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2010

An Evening of Stars: Tribute to Lionel Richie

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2010

Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade

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2009

Stevie Wonder: Live at Last

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2009

Stevie Wonder: Live at Last

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2009

Stevie Wonder In Performance at the White House: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize

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2009

Motown at the BBC

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2009

The 40th NAACP Image Awards

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2009

The 51st Annual Grammy Awards

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2009

Stevie Wonder: All About The Love Again

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2009

Transcendent Man

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2009

America's Got TalentStream

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2006

etalk

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2006

Dancing With the StarsStream

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2005

Extreme Makeover: Home EditionStream

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2004

Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder: That's What Friends Are For

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2004

Tavis Smiley

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2004

Fahrenheit 9/11Stream

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2004
82%

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

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2003

Dr. PhilStream

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2002

Tempo Rei

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2002

Friday Night with Jonathan Ross

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2001

Rock to Erase MS

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2001

The Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration

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2001

The View

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1997

Stealing Beauty

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1996

A Night of Wonder

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1995

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

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1995

New York UndercoverStream

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1994

Extra

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1994

Late Show With David Letterman

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1993

Jungle Fever

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1991
80%

School DazeStream

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1988
59%

The Oprah Winfrey ShowStream

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1986

Stevie Wonder: Part-Time Lover

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1985

Dionne Warwick & Friends: That's What Friends Are For

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1985

The Cosby ShowStream

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1984

Entertainment Tonight

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1981

FridaysStream

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1980

The Secret Life of Plants

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1978

The Stevie Wonder Story

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1977

The Stevie Wonder Story

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1977

Julio Iglesias & Stevie Wonder: Alma llanera

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1976

Saturday Night LiveStream

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1975

Great PerformancesStream

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1972

Soul Train

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1971

The Smokey Robinson Show

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1970

The Johnny Cash Show

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1969

The Dick Cavett ShowStream

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1968

Top of the Pops

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1964

Bikini BeachStream

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1964

Muscle Beach Party

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1964

What's My Line?Stream

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1950

News aboutStevie Wonder