Being Blind Is Not An Excuse – Biography Of Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder, whose name was Stevland Hardaway Judkins and known as Stevland Hardaway Morris, was born on the 13th of May, 1950, in Saginaw, Michigan, United States of America.

Little Stevie Wonder, as often called by Motown Records president, Berry Gordy Jr., was born a prodigy to African-American parents, Calvin Judkins and Lula Mae Hardaway.
Stevie Wonder was just four years when the parents divorced. His mother, Lula Mae, moved to Detroit in 1954 with her children and changed her children’s name. Stevie Wonder became Stevland Hardaway Morris.

He is a songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist who started with the church choir, mastering instruments like Piano, keyboards, drums, guitar, etc. before the age of 11 noticed Ronnie White; a member of the Miracle- owned by Motown Records.
Getting him introduced to the president of the music records in 1961 for an audit. Berry Gordy Jr. did not take much time to sign the young talented Stevie.

Stevie was born blind and premature (six weeks) due to an eye disorder aggravated after receiving excessive oxygen in an incubator, retinopathy of prematurity.

Under Motown Records, he took up the name given to Berry Gordy, Little Stevie Wonder. He teamed up with a producer and songwriter to make his first two albums all in 1962; A Tribute to Uncle Ray, and The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie.

In 1963, he dropped another album titled the 12 Year Old Genie, which has the track ‘Fingertips.’ He later released ‘Fingertips, Pt. 2‘, which climbed both Pop and RnB chart.
‘The 12 Year Old Genie became the Record label’s first LP to top the chart.

Stevie removed the ‘Little’ in his name in 1964 before dropping a smashing hit ‘Uptight (Everything’s Alright) in 1966, which made the top 5 charts. He equally dropped’ Nothing’s Too Good for My Baby,’ which also became a hit.

Stevie made a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ and ‘A Place in the Sun.’

Stevie debuted and co-produced many tracks. He wrote ‘My Cherie Amour,’ he made with Henry Cosby, ‘Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day,’ Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday,” You Met Your Match, and ‘I Don’t Know Why.
He co-wrote ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” with Syreeta Wright before getting married the year after.

Stevie Wonder was relentless in his career as he continued making hits like; ‘I Was Made to Love Her Amour and For Once in My Life.

He dropped an album, ‘Where I’m Coming From,’ in 1971, ‘Music of My Mind in 1972 and’ the Talking Book’. His ‘Innervisions’ came in 1973, ‘Fulfillingness’ First Finale’ in 1974, and ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ in 1976. Amongst other hits songs dedicated to Stevland Hardaway Morris.

In 1980, he dropped ‘Hotter Than July‘ while he teamed up with Paul McCartney in producing ‘Ebony and Ivory,’ which was among Paul’s ‘Tug of War’ that was supposed to promote racial harmony in 1982. The same year, Stevie Wonder released ‘Original Musiquarium I’, ‘Ribbon in the Sky, and’ Do I Do which had Dizzy Gillespie as the guest artiste.

Stevie Wonder divorced with Syreeta Wright (died in 2004 of cancer) in 1972.
He had his first child, Aisha, in 1975 with Yolanda Simmons, and Keita (1977).
Melody McCulley bore him a son, Mumtaz, In 1983.
Wonder equally had other children, Sophia, and Kwame from another woman.

In 2001, Stevie married Karen Millard, who bore him two sons, Kailand and Mandla, before getting divorced in 2015.
He went into another relationship with Tomeeka Robyn Bracy and had two kids before they got married in 2017.

Among the awards won by Stevie Wonder are;

Academy Award (1984).
Grammy Award (1986).
Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame And Museum (1989).
Grammy Award (1995).
Grammy Award (1998).
Polar Music Prize (1999).
Kennedy Center Honors (1999).
Grammy Award (2002).
Grammy Award (2005).
Grammy Award (2006).
Gershwin Prize For Popular Song (2009).

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