Stevland Hardaway Morris Biography: Stevland Hardaway Morris, better known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer who was born in Detroit, Michigan. He is frequently referred to as a “musical genius,” and he is one of the best-selling musicians in the world, with over 100 million recordings sold worldwide. In a variety of musical genres, including rhythm and blues, pop, soul, gospel, funk, and jazz, Wonder has been hailed as a pioneer and an influence on performers of all ages.
His employment of synthesizers and other electronic musical instruments during the 1970s, as a virtual one-man band, helped to change the traditions of soul and R&B music. As a result of his efforts, the genre entered the album period, with his LPs being cohesive, consistent socially conscious statements with intricate songs, as opposed to singles.
Wonder, who has been blind since birth, was a child prodigy known as Little Stevie Wonder, which led to his signing with Motown’s Tamla label at the age of 11. When Wonder’s record “Fingertips” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963, he was just 13 years old, making him the youngest musician in history to achieve this feat. The critical acclaim for Wonder reached its zenith in the 1970s.
With the release of Music of My Mind and Talking Book in 1972, he entered his “classic period,” which included “Superstition,” which is one of the most distinctive and famous instances of the sound produced by a Hohner Clavinet keyboard.
Several of his albums, including Innervisions (1973), Fulfillingness’ First Finale (1974), and Songs in the Key of Life (1976), have received Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, making him a joint-record holder for most Album of the Year wins with three. He is also the only artist to have received the prize three times in a row, which he achieved by releasing three consecutive studio albums.
Wonder’s “classic period,” which culminated in 1976, was distinguished by his funky piano approach, personal control over overproduction, and usage of integrated series of songs to create concept albums, all of which were hallmarks of Wonder’s career. On his soundtrack CD Stevie Wonder’s Journey Through “The Secret Life of Plants,” released in 1979, Wonder made use of the Melodian, an early music sampler developed by Computer Music Inc.
As Wonder’s debut digital recording, it was also one of the first popular albums to do so. It was also the technology that he would employ for all of his later recordings. The groundbreaking stylistics of Wonder’s 1970s albums are largely considered as having had a significant impact on the structure of pop music in the decade that followed them.
He has received a total of 22 Grammy Awards. He was the first Motown artist and just the second African-American musician to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song, which he received for his work on the film The Woman in Red, which was released in 1984. Among his many honors are inductions into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Songwriters Hall of Fame, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Wonder is also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He is also well-known for his work as a political activist, particularly for his 1980 effort to have Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday declared a federal holiday in the United States, which was successful. In 2009, he was designated as a Messenger of Peace by the United Nations. President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014. In 2021, he will be inducted as a founding member of the Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California.