It was 66 years ago today, May 13th, that one of the greatest musicians of all time was born, Stevie Wonder.
Born in Saginaw, Michigan as Stevland Hardaway Morris, Stevie Wonder is the third of six children. Born six weeks premature, he developed retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) due to his early birth and oxygen-rich atmosphere in the incubator. ROP is a condition which the growth of the eyes stops which causes the retinas to detach, causing blindness.
At the age of four, he moved with his mother and siblings to Detroit, and began playing musical instruments.
At the age of 11, he was signed by Berry Gordy to Motown’s Tamla label, kicking off his incredible career of music.
Throughout his career, Wonder has recorded more than 30 U.S. top 10 hits, won 25 GRAMMY Awards, and has sold over 100 million albums and singles. He is listed as the sixth Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artist.
In honor of Stevie Wonder’s 66th birthday, here are 10 of our favorite songs by the legendary singer:
“Isn’t She Lovely” – Released in 1976 as part of the Songs in the Key of Life Album. The song is about his daughter Aisha.
“Living For The City” – The song was released in November of 1973 from the Innervisions album. It reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and hit #1 on the Hot Soul Singles chart.
“Love Light In Flight” – Peaking at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100, the song was released in 1984 and is from The Woman in Red Soundtrack.
“You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” – This single was released in 1972 and is from Wonder’s Talking Book album. It became his third #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 and won a GRAMMY for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
“Overjoyed” – From the album Square Circle, it was released as a single in 1985. It reached #24 on the Billboard Hot 100, remained in the top 40 for six weeks and reached #1 on the adult contemporary chart. Wonder first performed the song live when he hosted and was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on May 7, 1983.
“I Wish” – This song was released in November 1976 and is from the album Songs in the Key of Life. It focuses on Wonder’s childhood from the 50s to early 60s. It reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Soul Singles charts.
“My Cherie Amour” – The title track of the album, the song was released as a single in January 1969. It was originally written while Wonder was a student at the Michigan School for the Blind with the title “Oh My Marsha,” the name of his girlfriend at the time. After the two broke-up, Wonder changed the title. It peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Ribbon In The Sky” – This song was released on the greatest hits compilation album Original Musiquarium and was released in June 1982 and earned Wonder a GRAMMY nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. He performed the song at Whitney Houston’s funeral in 2012.
“As” – The single was released in October 1977 and is from the Songs in the Key of Life album. It reached #57 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
“Superstition” – This is the lead single from Wonder’s Talking Book album and was released in October 1972. It reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1977.