Stevie Wonder Talks About The Influence Of His Faith On His Life And Career
Stevie Wonder is a man who has lived up to his name, he may have lost his sight since he was young, but he never lost his vision and wonder!
A legendary musician who has made an indelible mark with his gifts.
Stevie Wonder's Background
Stevie Wonder was born in Saginaw, Michigan, on May 13 of 1950, he is the third of six children of Calvin Judkins and Lula Mae Hardaway, a lyricist. He was born a month and a half untimely which, alongside the oxygen-rich climate in the doctor's facility incubator, brought about retinopathy of rashness (ROP).
This is a condition in which the development of the eyes is prematurely ended and makes the retinas isolate; so he ended up visually impaired.
Wonder was barely four, when his parents got separated and his mother moved to Detroit with her kids, changing her name back to Lula Hardaway.
Wonder started playing instruments at an early age, including piano, harmonica, and drums. He formed a music group with a friend; calling themselves Stevie and John, they played on road corners, and once in awhile at parties and other social gatherings.
He has 9 children and currently married to Tomeeka Robyn Bracy.
An Amazing Career
Stevland Hardaway Morris known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is a legendary American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist. A child prodigy considered to be one of the most critically and commercially successful musical performers of the late 20th century.
Wonder signed with Motown's Tamla label at the age of 11 and he continued performing and recording for Motown up until 2010.
He is one of the best known and best loved musicians in the world today. He had written and sung some of the world’s best known popular songs with a string of huge hits across the globe.
With an outstanding commercial success with more than 30 top ten hit singles, including 10 number ones in the US, and 22 Grammy awards, wonder is a force in the music industry.
He also has an Academy Award for the song ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You’, and a Lifetime Achievement Award. Stevie has been inducted into both the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Rolling Stone magazine named him the ninth greatest singer of all time and he was only the fourth artist to receive the Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award in 2009. His world-wide album sales currently top 100 million.
Mr. Wonder’s Faith
Wonder is a devout Christian who, like so many of the great black musicians of his time, got his start in music at church. The Whitestone Baptist Church in Detroit to be precise.
Till this day, wonder is inseparable from his faith. It is evident in his music, like in the song “Have a Talk With God,” where he repeatedly sings: “When you feel your life’s too hard, just go have a talk with God.”
His Secret of Success
According to Wonder, it was God who gave him the ability and opportunity to rise to the top in the music industry despite his handicap. He said:
Many years ago, there were those who said, ‘Well, you have three strikes against you: You’re black, you’re blind and you’re poor’. But God said to me, ‘I will make you rich in the spirit of inspiration, to inspire others as well as create music to encourage the world to a place of oneness and hope and positivity’. I believed Him and not them.
Wonder is a man of great achievements, yet above all of this success, he believes he would not have been successful at all if it weren't for his faith in Jesus Christ.
He is a lifelong Christian who attributes his gifts and his success to God. His faith has often been strong in his songs from old hits like ‘Heaven Help us All’ in 1970.
In recent years Wonder has put greater emphasis on singing gospel songs at his concerts. He says his favorite gospel song is ‘Falling in Love With Jesus’ by his good friend and minister Jonathan Butler. He says this is his favorite gospel song because “the words so clearly express how I feel…”
Thank you Stevie for choosing to believe God instead of the critics. This is a great lesson for us all as well.