The Boy Genius Oct 25, 2004 17:08:04 GMT -5
Post by Emerald City on Oct 25, 2004 17:08:04 GMT -5
Born May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan Steveland Morris Judkins Hardaway is an American composer, singer, humanitarian and social activist. Even though he was blind from birth, at age eleven he began recording under the name ''Little'' Stevie Wonder and quickly became known as one of the most influential and innovative singer/songwriters of his time. As one of the most critically successful artists with the powerful Motown label Wonder began singing with a new social consciousness, perhaps best reflected by his hit version of "Blowin' in the Wind".
In 1971 he left Motown and recorded two albums which he used as a bargaining tool while negotiating with Motown. Eventually, the label agreed to his demands for full creative control and the rights to his own songs. The two albums, ''Where I'm Coming From'' and ''Music of My Mind'', are classics of the era. This is especially true of ''Music of My Mind'', which was more than the typical collection of singles and was an actual LP, full-length artistic statement. ''Talking Book'' and ''Innervisions'' continued Wonder's critical and popular acclaim, addressing more and more political issues as his music progressed. This continued on ''Fulfillingness' First Finale'' (1974) and his magnum opus, ''Songs in the Key of Life''.
Wonder's next album was a soundtrack for the film, ''Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants''. The album was panned at the time of its release but has come to be regarded as a classic album.''Hotter Than July'' (1980) included "Master Blaster (Jammin')", his tribute to Bob Marley and became Wonder's first platinum selling album which was a successful vehicle for his campaign to establish Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday as a national holiday. Since 1980, Wonder has continued to release singles and albums and received Kennedy Center Honors in 1999.