Stevie Wonder Photography

Stevie Wonder

Technically speaking, Stevie Wonder was one of the very first child stars—no, make that all-out prodigies—though he continued to deliver well into adulthood. Despite going blind shortly after birth, this singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist channeled all those emotions into his art, signing to Motown’s Tamla label at just 11 years old.

After skyrocketing with early singles like “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” he evolved towards a series of landmark recordings in the 1970s. Songs In the Key of Life (1976) earned a slot in the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress thanks to the strength of favorites “Isn’t She Lovely,” “As,” “I Wish” and “Sir Duke.”

The 1980s through today proved equally fruitful, with benchmarks spanning 1984’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You” single to 2005’s A Time to Love album (complete with appearances from Paul McCartney and Prince). Throw in 22 Grammy Awards (the most ever for a solo male performer), slots in the Songwriters and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame, and Wonder is much more than merely this astonishing artist’s last name.

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