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The Call & Post's Artist of the Week-Stevie Wonder

Ray Robinson | 8/7/2013, 8:32 p.m.

ARTIST OF THE WEEK- STEVIE WONDER

On August 6, 1963 Little Stevie Wonder’s song, “Fingertips, Part 2” reached the number 1 spot on the soul charts.

Born Steveland Morris in Saginaw, Michigan, the young boy wonder became an intricate part of the musical landscape that made Motown Records one of the most successful record companies to ever open their doors.

“Fingertips, Part 2”, was actually recorded during a Motown Revue performance in late 1962 at the famed Regal Theatre. The song was just one of many hits records that Wonder went on to record, setting the stage for the many Grammy’s, Grammy nominations, awards and honors that would be bestowed upon him.

Wonder was signed to the Tamla label, another label that operated and recorded under the Motown umbrella at the tender age of 11. The singer/songwriter/producer/vocalist and multi-instrumentalist has mastered playing the keyboards, harmonica, bongos, congos, accordion, keytar, guitar, bass and can lay down some heartfelt vocals at the drop of a hat.

Hits such as "My Cheri Amour", "You Are the Sunshine of My Life", "Sir Duke", "Uptight", "Signed, Sealed, Delivered", "A Place in the Sun", "Rocket Love," "I Just Called to Say I Love You" and a plethora of other mind blowers have forever etched the works of Wonder onto the old school radio formats all around the globe.

He has recorded more than 30 top 10 hits and has received 22 Grammy awards to date. He was listed on Billboard Magazines list of 100 All-Time Top Artist, coming in at number 5.

He became the voice and an advocate for making the birthday of civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., a national holiday. He penned and recorded the song, “Happy Birthday to You” to help bolster his cause and it eventually came to fruition, making the King Holiday a reality.

Stevie was introduced to Motown mastermind, Berry Gordy, by Ronnie White of the Miracles. After playing the bongos and the drums for Gordy, the labels owner wasn’t impressed, stating that, ”we have plenty of drummers and percussionist already on hand.” But, when Stevie pulled out his harmonica and blew a tune, Gordy was bowled over, proclaiming that Stevie was “a little wonder”.

As we now know, the name stuck and the world was blessed with a musical genius that has brightened up the dark corners of the universe through his passion and love of music.

Recently, in light of the Trayvon Martin decision that allowed the 17-year olds killer, George Zimmerman, to walk scott-free after killing the young Floridian, Wonder vowed to never perform in the state of Florida again until they strike down their Stand Your Ground Law.

The musical child prodigy was born on May 13, 1950.