Happy birthday to you, Stevie Wonder! The Michigan soul legend was born 70 years ago Tuesday in Saginaw, and has been filling our lives with wonder ever since.
Stevie Wonder’s career began at an incredibly young age. He was just 11-years-old when he signed to Motown Records. WDET host Ann Delisi joined Stateside to talk about Wonder’s prodigious career and life.
“He just had a really incredible combination of knowing exactly what he wanted, going after it, saying things the way he wanted to say them and packaging them in some of the most incredible music ever, and it absolutely worked for him. And this was all before he was 30.”
Delisi says that those talents allowed Wonder to incorporate social activism into the music that people loved. He wrote his hit song “Happy Birthday” to draw attention to the campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a holiday.
Wonder is known for songs like “Superstition” and “Isn’t She Lovely,” but according to Delisi, other artists know him for his kindness.
“He was just so generous about other people who were in his field and talented,” she said.
You can hear Ann Delisi’s hour-long Stevie Wonder special on her show Ann Delisi’s Essential Music Saturday, May 14 at noon on WDET.
This article was written by Stateside production assistant Olive Scott.