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Who Is Stevie Wonder?
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. Blind since shortly after his birth, Wonder was a child prodigy known as Little Stevie Wonder , leading him to sign with Motown 's Tamla label at the age of In , the single " Fingertips " was a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot when Wonder was 13, making him the youngest artist ever to top the chart. Wonder's critical success was at its peak in the s.
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. That year he also became a Kennedy Center honoree. In Wonder received a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement.
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.