Stevie WonderOn 13/05/1950: Stevie Wonder was born in Saginaw, Michigan. His full birth name was Stevland Hardaway Judkins.
He was born two months premature and was placed in an incubator for life support. Unfortunately, an excess of oxygen led to a condition known as Retinopathy of Prematurity, causing him blindness.
At the age of 11, Wonder performed his own song, "Lonely Boy", to Ronnie White of the Miracles. Ronnie then took Wonder to Motown, where he was signed. During that process producer Clarence Paul called him Little Stevie Wonder.
At thirteen, he became the youngest person to reach number 1 in the US single and album charts.
As part of the Motown hit machine, he made a string of hits in the 60s and early 70s. Highlights include "Uptight", "I Was Made to Love Her", "For Once in My Life", "My Cherie Amour" and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours". He also wrote hits for others, such as "The Tears of a Clown".
His 21st birthday marked the end of his contract (and first time he would receive the full money from his contract). He renegotiated with Motown and became the first artist at the lable to have full artistic control.
It saw a change in direction to his music, where he utilised synthesisers alongside acoustic sounds.
In 1972 he toured with the Rolling Stones in the US and made two number 1 hits of "Superstition" (which he originally wrote for Jeff Beck) and "You Are the Sunshine of My Life".
The next year he won his first Grammy for the best album of the year. He would go on to win Grammys for his next 3 albums also. In total he has won 24 Grammys in his career and been awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achieviement Award. He has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame, won Academy awards and Golden Globe awards.
In the 80s Stevie cut back on new recording, but still continued to tour and further increased his fame. He was a part of "We Are the World" in 1985, and won an Oscar in the same year for "I Just Called to Say I Love You,".
From the late eighties to more recently he has made less frequent recordings, but continues to produce new material and perform.