American musician Stevie Wonder has released 23 studio albums, three soundtrack albums, four live albums, 11 compilations, one box set, and 91 singles. His first album, The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie, was released in 1962 when he was 12 years old, and his most recent, A Time to Love, was released in 2005.
He has had ten US number-one hits on the pop charts, as well as 20 R&B number one hits, and has sold over 100 million records, 19.5 million of which are albums; he is one of the top 60 best-selling music artists with combined sales of singles and albums.
He has 30 main album releases, all of which are single albums, apart from Songs in the Key of Life, which was released as a double album with a bonus four track EP.
There are 11 official compilation albums; in addition, a box set, The Complete Stevie Wonder, was released in 2005. He is eighth on the list of artists with the most number-ones on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Steve Wonder is known for his piano playing skills but his singing is among the best as well.
GENRE: SOUL, POP, R&B, FUNK, & JAZZ
Stevie Wonder is one of the most successful songwriters and musicians of all time. He’s seen as a pioneer of genres such as R&B, Funk, Rock, Pop, and Soul due to his heavy inclusion of electronic instruments before others caught on.
He’s sold over 100 million records and has won 25 Grammys. He’s in all of the Halls of Fame and even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Uniquely among musicians, he was even named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. He was given many honorary degrees, including a Doctor of Music from Yale University.
Trivia Facts: You probably know this, but Stevie Wonder is blind. He’s tied with Frank Sinatra for the most Grammy Award for Album of the Year awards ever. Kanye West said his goal is to compete with Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life, two of Stevie’s greatest albums. That’s a high bar!
Music icon Stevie Wonder is back with new music after a four-year hiatus.
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The 70-year-old singer held a press conference on Tuesday, the same day as his son Mumtaz Morris’ 36th birthday, to announce two new singles titled “Where Is Our Love Song” and “Can’t Put It in the Hands of Fate.”
The songs, both written and produced by Wonder, are the first to be released through his new label So What The Fuss Music. They will be marketed and distributed by Republic Records/Universal Music Group.
The 25-time Grammy winner revealed during the press conference that “Where Is Our Love Song” is a track he first started working on at 18 years old. At the time, he wasn’t sure what to make of it. “But then there came this year that we’re dealing with, and there came all of the confusion and all of the hate, and all the east versus west, left versus right, just heartbreak,” he explained, which inspired him to finish the song — a collaboration with Gary Clark Jr. — and donate 100% of its proceeds to Feeding America.
For “Can’t Put It in the Hands of Fate,” Wonder initially thought of it as a song about a relationship where a man was pursuing a woman who wants to leave their future up to fate. Then he changed his tune. “Most recently, I was listening to some of the old things that I had kind of done, but never finished the words to, and I was thinking about where we were in the world,” he said. That’s why the singer decided to broaden the scope of the song to deliver a more timely message, and brought in rappers Busta Rhymes, Rapsody, Chika, and Cordae to spit verses in the tradition of griots, as Wonder sees it.
While the two songs mark the musician’s departure from Motown Records, he notes that the legendary label will always be a part of him and he might even release a future gospel project with Motown. Wonder also teased that his new tracks may eventually be part of a Can’t Put It in the Hands of Fate EP, or go towards another project he is working on called Through the Eyes of Wonder.
Listen to “Where Is Our Love Song” and “Can’t Put It in the Hands of Fate” above.
Stevie Wonder launched his Songs In The Key Of Life tour last night at New York’s own Madison Square Garden, but it appears that the nearly 40-year-old masterpiece isn’ all we can expect from him in the coming months. In a recent interview with Billboard, Mr. Wonderlove announced that he has not one, but two new musical projects on the way. The first, a collection of symphonic reworks of his catalogue with Canadian composer David Foster along his side at the helm. The second, is a full-on follow-up to 2005’s A Time 2 Love LP, which will arrive (when it’s ready) in the form of the Through The Eyes Of Wonder LP. What’s more, those fortunate few of you that managed to cop a ticket to any one of the 11 dates of his nationwide run (myself not included) will be treated to a few cuts that never made off the floor for his double LP masterpiece, which were packaged in the A Something’s Extra EP with album when it was initially released. And I’m going to have to say that it seems only proper, after all, even love’s in need of love today. Go ahead and read through some of the more compelling snippets from the interview, just make sure you head over to Billboard for the full script. Keep it locked for all things Stevie in the months to come.
On the new LP :
There’s so much that has gone on between, say, Songs in the Key of Life and now — in my life, in lives, just in the world. There have been some incredibly great things that happened and there have been some incredibly horrible things that have happened. There are some things that’ll make you feel pessimistic that have happened, and there are some things that will make you feel optimistic as well at the end of the day. In that I’ve been able to witness all that, [the album] is kind of from the perspective as I see it. That’s where I write from.”
On the inspiration for touring Songs In The Key Of Live nearly 40 years later:
“It’s an actual concept or project that you do, and the music, thank God, has stood the test of time and all that. And for me it speaks of a kind of place that I was in when I did it; it speaks of a place that I was growing up in Detroit and things that I experienced. The songs are culminations of different experience that I had or different things that happened that influenced those ideas. So I wanted to do Songs in the Key of Life and really make the musical statement, because we had never toured Songs in the Key of Life like this. We did shows but never the whole thing all the way through, so I felt it would be great to do that.”
On a potential rerelease of SITKOL:
“There were songs that didn’t make Songs in the Key of Life that I probably might play at the concerts because the songs are good. “I did ‘Easier’ in December and it was fun doing that. There was talk about me re-releasing the album’ with those songs on it, but I don’t ever want to do that, only because I might want to just cut them over again and do them now.”