A prominent figure in popular music during the second-half of the 20th century, Wonder is one of the most successful songwriters and musicians. He also helped drive the genre into the album era , crafting his LPs as cohesive, consistent socially conscious statements with complex compositions. Wonder is often hailed as a " genius ", and has been credited as a pioneer and influence to musicians of various genres including rhythm and blues , pop , soul , gospel , funk and jazz.
Where people listen
Stevie Wonder made his recording debut at age 11, becoming a s force to be reckoned with via chart hits like "Fingertips, Pt. Wonder showed an early gift for music, first with a church choir in Detroit, Michigan, where he and his family had moved to when he was four years old, and later with a range of instruments, including the harmonica, piano and drums, all of which he taught himself before age An audition followed with Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. The set's edited single "Fingertips, Pt. Rather than rest on his laurels, the hard-working Wonder, who would go on to study classical piano, pushed to improve his musicianship and songwriting capabilities. After dropping "Little" from his stage name in the mids, he churned out the top 5 pop single "Uptight Everything's Alright ," which reached No. Wonder scored two more No. Due in part to innate talent, but also because of his deep commitment to his craft, Wonder faced the difficulty of staying relevant as a musician as he grew from boy to man, and his voice matured into a shining tenor. In , Wonder negotiated a new contract with Motown that gave him almost total control over his records and greatly increased his royalty rate.
Blind from birth and raised in inner-city Detroit, he was a skilled musician by age eight. But Wonder was much more than a freakish prepubescent imitation of Ray Charles , as audiences discovered when he demonstrated his prowess with piano, organ , harmonica, and drums. Music of My Mind made his concerns even more plain. Although still only in his mids, Wonder appeared to have mastered virtually every idiom of African-American popular music and to have synthesized them all into a language of his own. His command of the new generation of electronic keyboard instruments made him a pioneer and an inspiration to rock musicians, the inventiveness of his vocal phrasing was reminiscent of the greatest jazz singers, and the depth and honesty of his emotional projection came straight from the Black church music of his childhood. Thereafter his recordings became sporadic and often lacked focus, although his concerts were never less than rousing. Wonder was the recipient of numerous honours.