An annual holiday tradition many fans look forward to each season is the star-studded House Full of Toys benefit concert presented by the legendary and generous musician, Stevie Wonder. Now celebrating its 17th year, Stevie sat in with Pat Prescott of The WAVE’s morning show to talk more about what to expect at this year’s HFOT show.
“House Full of Toys, which really came from when I was ten years old; you know, then we didn’t have anything, and I said ‘if someday I became famous…I would do this show and call it House Full of Toys. It would be a house full of toys for all the kids all over the world who didn’t have any toys for Christmas.’ It’s been a blessing that we’ve been able to do it,” Stevie explained to Pat.
Each year, the HFOT concert brings in the star power of some of the biggest and up and coming acts in music for a huge show all to collect toy donations from the audience in order to provide gifts for children and families in need during the holiday season. Past HFOT shows featured superstars like Justin Bieber, Michael McDonald, The Jonas Brothers, Esperanza Spalding among many more.
“I’m so very thankful to every single one of the artists and groups, performers, personalities, comedians, etc. that have come out,” said Stevie. “We’re just looking forward to the people who are going to be there this year.”
Included on this year’s House Full of Toys line up features Stevie Wonder himself with Bruno Mars, Tye Tribbett and more “wondermagic” to come!
For more information on the 17th Annual House Full of Toys concert on Saturday, December 15th, visit nokiatheatrelalive.com and listen to part one of the Stevie Wonder interview below.
Winding down on a very busy year filled with TV appearances, award shows and charity events, Stevie talks about how he manages to keep his songs from sounding stale after each performance.
“To me a song is like a child, how can you abandon a child?” said Stevie. “As a writer, you say okay, I’ve been given this blessing, so I need to understand and cherish the value and significance of it being given to me, because it could have been given to somebody else.”
On what he thinks about receiving several awards and titles like the icon, legend or genius awards, Stevie is very grateful to have been in music for practically all his life, but he hopes that these awards doesn’t mean the end for him.
“Obviously I’m very thankful, but I hope that’s not saying to me ‘that’s that, this is it – close the chapter,’ because I’ve got more songs, more music,” said Stevie. “I myself still feel very brand new.”
Listen below to hear how Stevie feels about being called a legend in music and how he keeps his music fresh and new during every performance.
One of the great characteristics of Stevie Wonder is that he’s always been a willing collaborator with other artists over the years, which has also allowed him to stay relevant in today’s music.
“I just say it truly is a blessing…to meet all these really great, talented people in my lifetime,” said Stevie. “I just feel collaborations and singing with someone or writing with someone or producing with someone is a great thing.”
Listen below to hear Stevie tell a funny childhood story and how he feels about working with other artists in music.
Because he’s worked with so many people during his career, there are few artists and figures Stevie has left to meet, but as the people-person he is, Stevie wants to meet all the rising talents in music.
“I want to meet all the various talents of today,” said Stevie. “I just love people, I love life, I love music.”
One of the most memorable people he had the honor of meeting was President Barack Obama before he became president. Stevie tells Pat about a very powerful moment he had with the then Senator Obama when he prayed for him to become something bigger – the president.
Several years passed after that spiritual moment with Obama, and then came the day when his prayers came true, and to Stevie, it was due to the power of prayer.
“I wasn’t surprised because I feel that all my prayers that are good for everyone…they will come true. That’s what I believe,” said Stevie.
Hear more about his experience meeting President Obama below.
With Quincy Jones celebrating his 80th birthday next year, Stevie reflected on what Quincy’s close friendship has meant to him and how his work with several artists over the years has influenced music.
“I was influenced tremendously by what he did and how did it, and just influence by how he has just been consistently a great human being, a great man,” said Stevie. “The world would not be the same were it not for Quincy Jones. He has made his mark.”
Listen to a special in studio performance of Stevie Wonder singing his favorite holiday song “The Christmas Song” in the way only he can in the clip below!