- 13 May 19
Take a look at some of the greatest moments in Stevie Wonder's career in celebration of his 69th birthday today.
No history of music is complete without the mention of Stevie Wonder. Having won 25 Grammy Awards and charting more than 63 entries in Billboard’s Hot 100, including 10 No. 1s, Wonder is one of the world’s most celebrated artists.
Beginning his career more than half a century ago, the iconic musician and multi-instrumentalist remains active to this day, recording and playing professionally around the world.
As the music industry celebrates Wonder’s 69th birthday today, Hot Press would like to shine a spotlight on some of the greatest moments in the legendary artist’s career.
1963 - Wonder First Entered the Billboard Hot 100
At just 13 years old, and under the stage name “Little Stevie Wonder,” Wonder entered the Hot 100 with his No. 1 hit "Fingertips – Pt. 2". The single led the chart for three weeks, making him the youngest artist ever to top the chart, and the first artist in history to top the pop charts and R&B charts simultaneously.
1972 - Released Talking Book
Wonder is said to have hit his stride with the release of Talking Book on October 28, 1972. The album exhibited a shift for Wonder, with sophisticated musical arrangements (including the use of synthesizers), and increasingly philosophical and political lyrics, signalling what would later be referred to as his "classic period".
1973 - Toured With Rolling Stones
Between 1972 and 1973, Stevie Wonder produced a multitude of No. 1 hits, including "Superstition". He also toured with the Rolling Stones during this time, as well as appearing on the popular children’s show Sesame Street.
1973 - Survived Severe Car Crash
Wonder was heading to a radio station in Durham, N.C., to promote his new album, Innervisions, when he was involved in a severe car accident that left him with a serious head injury and a four-day-long coma. Reports also indicate that Wonder had temporarily lost his sense of smell after the crash.
1985 - Released Duet With Springsteen
In 1985 and 1986, Stevie Wonder participated in several significant charity musical events, including an iconic collaboration of "We Are the World" with 45 of the nation’s most well-known musicians, including Bruce Springsteen.
1989 - Inducted Into The Hall Of Fame
In 1989, Stevie Wonder was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, solidifying his influence and legacy in the music industry.
1996 - Received Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
In 1996, Wonder was honoured with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Wonder is one of only three artists in GRAMMY history to win Album Of The Year three times in his career. The others are Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra. He is also one of the top GRAMMY winners of all time with 25 awards.
2008 - Inducted Into NAACP Image Awards Hall Of Fame
Wonder was presented with the prestigious Hall of Fame award which is bestowed on an individual who is a pioneer in his or her respective field and whose influence will shape the profession for generations to come.
2016 - Received Ornate Tribute
"Stevie Wonder: Songs In The Key Of Life – An All Star Grammy Salute” aired, featuring a diverse array of Wonder-influenced artists performing songs from throughout his career and culminating in a performance by Wonder himself. Tributes came from Beyonce, Annie Lennox, Ed Sheeran, Tony Bennett, John Legend, Lady Gaga, Pharrell Williams, Andrea Bocelli, India.Arie, Jill Scott, Jennifer Hudson, and more as they celebrated the life and music of Wonder. And his daughter Aisha, the inspiration for his hit track “Isn’t She Lovely,” took the stage to sing that song to her father.
2018 - Paid Tribute To Martin Luther King Jr.
On the 50th anniversary of his assassination, Stevie Wonder paid tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech in a video titled ‘The Dream Still Lives’, a modern-day version of the civil right leader’s monologue. It took 15 years to make King's birthday a national holiday, and for three years, Wonder put his career on hold to lead rallies for the cause. One of his biggest political accomplishments was his ultimately successful lobby for a national holiday in honour of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- 1963 - Wonder First Entered the Billboard Hot 100