Stevie Wonder

by Erika Cox
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Stevie Wonder was known as a wonder child when he hit it big in the music industry. Not only was this child a musical prodigy at Motown Records and full of talent, he was also blind. Stevie Wonder was born Steveland Morris, actually Steveland Hardaway Judkins, on May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan. Born premature and placed in an incubator, Wonder was given too much oxygen which caused his blindness.

His mother, Lula May Hardaway, and his siblings treated him as a normal child despite of his blindness, this enabled Wonder to have a normal, balanced childhood, which built his mental toughness, strength, and durability that ultimately allowed him to attain his many achievements in life.

Since he was blind his mother kept close watch on him not letting him out of the house often, so Wonder began playing the harmonica at age five, took piano lessons at age six, and started on the drums at age eight.

At the age of ten, he wrote his first song. He would also sing in the choir and along with songs he heard on the radio. Wonder's family eventually moved to Detroit, where he became noticed by Ronnie Wilson of the Miracles, a popular group signed with Motown Records.

Wilson introduced Wonder to Motown's executives, including Berry Gordy, Jr., and was given an audition. Shortly afterward, Wonder signed a record deal with Motown.

He became an instant success for Motown and one of their biggest stars. Wonder recorded his first album at the age of 12 called, Little Stevie Wonder the 12-year-old Genius.

Stevie Wonder became known as "Little Stevie Wonder" and achieved instant success. The public loved the 12-year-old musical prodigy who was full of talent. He had his first number one hit with "Fingertips", which was number one on the pop and R&B charts.

Wonder amazed audiences, black and white, with his amazing talent. Although not yet an adult, Wonder's voice sounded much more older.

The following year he enrolled in the Michigan School for the Blind to study classical piano. Throughout his childhood, including his teen years,

Wonder continued to have great success and his skills flourished. He wrote and co-wrote many successful songs not only for himself but also for various artists and groups.

Eventually Wonder was allowed to develop his own production company outside of his contract with Motown. This allowed him to expand his talent and skills by producing and writing. His musical genius was just beginning to expand.

Unlike many artists, Wonder's career remained successful and untainted, he has recorded and performed continuously throughout his career.

He has received numerous awards, including 21 Grammy Awards, 9 number one hit songs, 30 top ten hits, an Academy Award, an Oscar, Lifetime Achievement Awards, and a host of other awards and recognitions.

Wonder was inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame in 1989 and the Songwriters' hall of fame in 1983. He was also one of the first inductees into the Michigan Hall of Fame. He was also awarded the Polar Music award.

Wonder has influenced and worked with so many artists it is hard to keep count, the list is too long to mention. His musical career has been extensive and extremely impressive. He has been blessed with an abundance of musical talent and ability despite his blindness. Wonder has been an influential figure in social issues around the world.

His musical techniques are brilliantly and masterful composed, an attribute to his genius. Wonder is a true musical genius and is an inspiration to those who have to overcome hardships, like blindness, to achieve whatever they choose to do.

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