30 Facts about Stevie Wonder

1. His full name is Steveland Hardaway Judkins, but he is legally known as Steveland Hardaway Morris.

2. He is popularly known by his stage name “Stevie Wonder”.

3. He was born on the 13th of May, 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan US.

4. His parents are Calvin Judkins and Lula Mae Hardaway, a songwriter.

5. He is given birth to six weeks before the speculated time and was placed in the incubator and it resulted in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a condition that the growth of the eyes is aborted and he became blind.

6. When he was four, his mother left his father and she moved to Detroit, she then changed her name to Lula Hardaway and later changed Wonder’s surname to Morris, Wonder retained Morris as his surname.

7. Stevie Wonder began playing instruments at a tender age including harmonica, drums and piano.

8. He formed a singing group with a friend of his and they called themselves Stevie and John.

9. When he was 11, Wonder sang his first composed song “lonely boy” to Ronnie White of the miracles and white took Wonder and his mother to an audition at Motown, where the CEO Berry Gordy signed Wonder to the Tamla label. Before he was signed the producer Clarence Paul gave him the name, Little Steven Wonder.

10. As a result of his age, he signed a five year contract with Wonders in which royalties were held in trust until he was 21. During this time Wonder and his mother were paid a weekly fee to cater for their needs. Wonder also received $2.50 weekly and a private tutor was taken for him while he was on tour.

11. Wonder was put in care of Clarence Paul and in a year interval he had produced two albums Tribute to Uncle Ray was recorded first which includes covers of Ray Charles songs and another song of Wonder and Paul titled Sunset.

12. In 1958, he dropped an album with instrumental soul/jazz tracks with a title Eivets Rednow which is Stevie Wonder spelt backwards.

13. In 1962, Wonder was 12 years old, he joined the Motortown revue, touring theatres all over America that accepted black artists. He released a single “fingertips” in May 1963 which became a major hit and was No 1 hit on the billboard hot 100. Winder was age 13 as at the time making him the youngest artist ever to top the chat.

30 Facts about Stevie Wonder

14. In 1970, Wonder featured and played instruments on the song “its a shame” of his colleague in his record label “the spinners”. During this time, Wonder singlehandedly recorded two albums and signed a 120 page contract with Motown records. The contract was precedent at Motown so he was given a higher royalty rate.

15. Wonder’s lyrics were about mystical, political and social themes likewise romantic ones.

16. In September 1970, at age 20 Wonder got married to Syreeta Wright who happened to be a former Motown secretary and a songwriter. Wonder and Wright worked together on his next album titled “where am coming from” with Wonder writing the song and Weight fixing the lyrics. In a review made by Vince Alleti in rolling stone, Wonder was seen as failing due to unjustified lyrics and an overall lack of unity. Reaching his 21st birthday on the 13th 1971, he allowed the contract to expire.

17. In conjunction with his marriage to Wright, Wonder was introduced to the Transcendental meditation. Following this he became a vegetarian and later a vegan. He sang about it on the late show with James Corden during the Carpool Karaoke Segment.

18. On the 6th of August, 1973, Wonder was involved in a fatal car accident while in North Carolina on a tour, this left him unconscious for four days and resulted in a partial loss of his sense of smell and a temporary loss of his taste. Regardless his health issues, he reappeared on the music scene on a European tour in 1974. He performed in Cannes at the Midem convention at the Rainbow theatre in London and the German television show.

19. He released an album “fulfillingness”, the first finale appeared in July 1974 and two hits from that album made the No 1 “You haven’t done nothing” and “Boogie on reggae woman”.

20. That same year, Wonder took part in a Los Angeles Jam session. He also jointly wrote and produced the Syreeta Wright album “ Stevie Wonder presents: Syreeta”

21. By 1975, at age 25, he had won two Grammy awards consecutively, in 1974 for innervisions and in 1976 for fulfillingness first edition.

22. On October 4 1974, Wonder performed at the historic Kingston, wonder dream concert in Jamaica. A benefit for the Jamaican Institute for the blind.

23. Wonder married three times. He got married to the Motown songwriter, Syreeta Wright in 1970 until they divorced in 1973. From 2001, he was married to Kai Millard whowas a fashion designer. They separated in 2009 but Millard filed a divorce in 2012. In October 2017, he got married to Tomeeka Bracy.

30 Facts about Stevie Wonder

24. Wonder has nine children from five several women. His fist child’s mother is Yolanda Simmons whom he met at a publishing company. She gave birth to his child on the 2nd of February 1975. Wonder and Simmons also had a son in 1977 whom they named Keita.

25. Wonder named his daughter Aisha Morris. After her birth, Wonder stated that she was the one thing he needed in his life and music for a long time. She was the inspiration to Wonder’s song “isn’t she lovely”. Aisha Morris is also a singer and accompanied her father to tours.

26. In 1983, Wonder had a son with Melody Mc Culley and also had a son with the name Kwame and a daughter Sophia with a woman whose identity is undisclosed.

27. Wonder has tow sons with his second wife, Kai Millard Morris. His older son Kailand sometimes perform on stage as a drummer with his father while the younger Mandla kadjay Carl Morris, he was born on his father 55th birthday, May 13, 2005.

28. The youngest of all Wonders children was born December 2014 and she was his second child with Tomeeka Robyn Bracy. The couple’s new daughter was called Nia.

29. In May 2006, his mother Lula Mae Hardaway died at the age of 76 in Los Angeles.

30. In course of his career, Wonder had won 25 Grammy awards alongside a Grammy lifetime achievement award in 1996. He is one of only two artists who have won the Grammy album of the year award three times as the most credited artist.

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