Born May 13, 1950, in Saginaw, Michigan, Steveland Hardaway Judkins grew up to become yet another icon of the music world in the late 1900s. Apparently, he was blind since he was a baby because cataracts had developed in his eyes when he was an infant, but like Ray Charesl, Steveland did not let his blindness get in the way of his music. He would later come to be known as Stevie Wonder and would be known as a record producer, song-writer and multi-instrumentalist because he could play so many different instruments. He has also often been referred to as a great musical genius.
Stevie Wonder began playing music and singing as early as four years of age. Impressed by Stevie’s talent, Berry Gordy signed the young boy up under the Tamla label. It was soon after this, in 1963, when Stevie had his first big hit, called ‘Fingertips’. This hit was what was responsible for bringing Stevie Wonder out into the public eye. He continued to have more hits throughout the ’60s and ’70s.
Due to the lack of creative control over what he could do, Stevie decided to leave the Motown label when he was twenty-one so that he could go out on his own and be more creative. He then created two albums on his own and used these to his advantage when Motown was trying to negotiate with him. They wanted his talent back, but he wanted to own the rights to his own songs and also wanted to have more creative control over his own work.
In 1972, Motown agreed to his demands and he decided that he would return. It was not long after his return that he released yet another album that was such a hit it was regarded as a classic at the time. His career continued to grow and he released more successful albums, appeared on television and won a number of awards.
Throughout his career, things went relatively smoothly and he later won a total of three Grammy Awards. He suffered a bit of a setback when he was involved in a vehicle accident that left him in a coma for about four days, which cost him his sense of smell, but luckily this did not injure him seriously enough to impede his career. He continued to put out a few more albums, toured a bit and played at a number of concerts.
As time went on, some of his music was a little hard to accept by some people because it was so different and perhaps not so easy to understand. In fact, in 1976 he released an album that was considered to be one of Stevie’s biggest achievements, even though it was not readily accepted by the audience. This particular album is still seen as one of the most accomplished in the history of pop music.
His music may not have always been understandable, but it was relatively influential in the sense that he showed how one can always improve or change the music of the time. There are no real boundaries unless a musician wants boundaries. There is always something new to try and one should never set the bar too low in their musical goals in life.