Wonder, Stevie [Wonder, Little Stevie; Judkins, Stevland Hardaway; Morris, Stevland Hardaway]
- David Brackett
[Wonder, Little Stevie; Judkins, Stevland Hardaway; Morris, Stevland Hardaway]
(b Saginaw, MI, May 13, 1950). American singer, songwriter, keyboard player, harmonica player, and drummer. He was the most successful recording artist in black popular music of the early to mid-1970s. He displayed a restless creativity during this period, forging a style out of elements of soul, funk, rock, reggae, Tin Pan Alley, experimental electronic music, and African and Latin rhythms. However, he had already enjoyed an active career for a decade before his success reached its apex, and he has continued performing and recording into the 2010s.
Blind from shortly after birth he came to the attention of Berry Gordy, the owner of Motown, as a ten-year-old child prodigy. Around this time, his mother changed his legal surname from Judkins to Morris, and Gordy gave him the nickname Little Stevie Wonder. Wonder displayed his abilities as a multi-instrumentalist—he played piano, organ, harmonica, and drums—and singer from the start of his career, scoring a major hit with the live recording “Fingertips, Pt.2” in ...