Born on May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan as Steveland Hardaway Judkins, this man would endure many obstacles in his young life, all culminating to the point where he would become the greatest musician of his generation. At age 12, he took Detroit and Motown by storm as a true wunderkind. As a young musician, he innovated sounds with his ability to play piano and harmonica. He played with intonations and vocalizations that would create depth to his music. He effortlessly carried soul music in to the mainstream consciousness as a true musician.
But artistry aside, Wonder has also been a powerful force of philanthropy and social activism in the nation. From his annual House Full of Toys benefit concert, to his designation as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, Wonder has lived a life of service and humility. And of course, none of us can forget his seminal work with making the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday into a national holiday!
Now, some nearly five decades later, we can all be truly grateful for the man that produced “Isn’t She Lovely“, “Superstitious”, “Living In The City”, and countless, countless many hits!
It is only appropriate that we spend this moment to sing his own song to him: “Happy Birthday to Ya!”
Happy Birthday, Stevie Wonder!