Skip to main content

Stevie Wonder Fast Facts

By CNN Library
updated 9:26 AM EDT, Sat May 3, 2014

(CNN) -- Here is a look at the life of Stevie Wonder, singer, songwriter, producer and activist.

Personal:
Birth date: May 13, 1950

Birthplace: Saginaw, Michigan

Birth Name: Stevland Hardaway Judkins

Father: Calvin Judkins

Mother: Lula Mae Hardaway

Marriages: Karen "Kai" Millard Morris (2001-present, separated); Syreeta Wright (September 14, 1970-1972, divorced)

Children: with Kai Millard Morris: Mandla Kadjaly, May 13, 2005, (male); Kailand, 2001, (male); with Melody McCulley: Mumtaz,1983, (male); with Yolanda Simmons: Keita, 1977, (male); Aisha , April 7, 1975, (female); Mothers' names unavailable publicly: Kwame, (August 6, 1988), (male); Sophia

Education: Michigan School for the Blind

Other Facts:
Winner of 25 Grammy Awards, an honorary award, 74 nominations, and an Academy Award.

Born prematurely; doctors believe he was blinded when he was accidentally given too much oxygen in his incubator.

Learned to play piano, drums, and harmonica by age nine.

His first stage name was Little Stevie Wonder.

Wonder is one of six children. His siblings use the last name Hardaway. According to his mother's authorized biography, Wonder's surname was legally changed to Morris, "an old family name," when he signed with Motown and Berry Gordy gave him the stage name Wonder.

Timeline:
1961 - Signs a contract with Motown.

1963 - First chart-topper," Fingertips, Part 2," and the album "The 12 Year Old Genius," are released and reach number one.

1971 - Contract with Motown expires. Wonder negotiates for complete artistic control before resigning.

August 6, 1973 - Is in a near-fatal car accident.

1973 - Wins the Grammy for Best Rhythm & Blues Song - "Superstition" - (Songwriter).

1973 - Wins for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male - "Superstition."

1973 - Wins for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male - "You are the Sunshine of My Life."

1973 - Wins Grammy for Album of the Year - "Innervisions" (he received 2 awards, 1 as artist and 1 as producer).

1974 - Wins Best Rhythm & Blues Song - "Living For the City."

1974 - Wins Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male - "Boogie on Reggae Woman."

1974 - Wins Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male - "Fulfillingness' First Finale."

1974 - Wins Album of the Year - "Fulfillingness' First Finale" (he received 2 awards, 1 as artist and 1 as producer).

1976 - Wins Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male - "I Wish."

1976 - Wins Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male - "Songs in the Key of Life."

1976 - Wins Best Producer of the Year.

1976 - Wins Album of the Year - "Songs in the Key of Life" - (he received 2 awards, 1 as artist and 1 as producer).

1980 - Releases the song "Happy Birthday," a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and spearheads a campaign to make King's birthday a national holiday.

1982 - Collaborates with Paul McCartney on the song, "Ebony and Ivory." The song spends several weeks at the top of the charts.

1985 - Wins an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, "I Just Called to Say I Love You from The Woman in Red" (1984).

1985 - Wins Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male - "In Square Circle."

1986 - Wins Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal - "That's What Are Friends For" - with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight and Elton John.

1989 - Is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

1995 - Wins Best Rhythm & Blues Song - "For Your Love" - Songwriter.

1995 - Wins Best Male R&B Vocal Performance - "For Your Love."

1996 - Receives the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

1998 - Wins Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals - "St. Louis Blues" with Herbie Hancock and Robert Sadin.

1998 - Wins Best Male R&B Vocal Performance - "St. Louis Blues."

1999 - Is a Kennedy Center Honoree.

2002 - Wins Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal - "Love's in Need of Love Today" - with Take 6.

2002 - Is inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

2004 - Receives the Billboard Century Award.

2005 - Wins Best Male Pop Vocal Performance - "From the Bottom of My Heart."

2005 - Wins Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals - "So Amazing" - with Beyonce.

2006 - Wins Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals - "For Once in My Life" - with Tony Bennett.

February 5, 2006 - Performs during the pre-game ceremonies at Super Bowl XL.

2007 - Receives the first American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) American Troubadour Award.

2007 - First concert tour in more than a decade.

February 25, 2009 - President Barack Obama presents Wonder with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress.

December 2009 - Is designated as a U.N. Messenger of Peace in honor of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

March 6, 2010 - Receives the National Order of Arts and Letters medal from the cultural minister of France. The honor was originally given to Wonder in 1981, schedule conflicts delayed the presentation.

September 20, 2010 - Speaks before the U.N.'s World Intellectual Property Organization about the need for better copyright laws in order to improve access to audiobooks for visually impaired people.

June 13, 2011 - Is inducted into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame.

August 3, 2012 - Files for divorce from Kai Millard Morris.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT