1950: Stevie Wonder Born

When:
May 13, 2020 all-day
2020-05-13T00:00:00-04:00
2020-05-14T00:00:00-04:00

Stevie Wonder performing in 1973, courtesy of Wikipedia

Stephen Judkins Hardaway, born May 13, 1950, in Saginaw, MI has been declared immortal by the Library of Congress!

As if anyone in Michigan didn’t know that already!

Or should I say Stevie Wonder has been declared immortal?

Wonder first auditioned with Motown at 11 and had his first #1 hit at 13, the youngest artist ever to top the charts.

The Motown superstar, blues icon, and late rock star are joining a handful of artists whose masterworks will be preserved in perpetuity by the Library of Congress. All told, 50 recordings have been selected to be added to the National Recording Registry, it was announced Tuesday.

Instituted by Congress through the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the Library selects musical and spoken word recordings that are at least 10 years old and deemed culturally, historically or aesthetically significant for inclusion in the permanent collection.

The National Recording Registry represents a stunning array of the diversity, humanity and creativity found in our sound heritage, nothing less than a flood of noise and sound pulsating into the American bloodstream, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in announcing the class of 2006.

Wonder made the cut for his 1976 double album, Songs in the Key of Life, which according to the Library, marked the apex of his career thanks to impeccable musicianship. Featuring guest players like jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, Songs produced a slew of jazz, blues and gospel-tinged hits, including Isn’t She Lovely?, Sir Duke, Knocks Me Off My Feet, and Joy Inside My Tears.

In 2014 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

A few of his classic hits:

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours (YouTube)

You Are the Sunshine of My Life performed at the White House

I Just Called to Say I Love You

Stevie Wonder Carpool Karoke

Sources:

Josh Grossbert, Jimi, Stevie, B.B. Preserved, Eonline, April 11, 2006.

Stevie Wonder wikipedia entry

Signed, sealed, and delivered : the soulful journey of Stevie Wonder / Mark Ribowsky. Hoboken : John Wiley & Sons, [2010].  The first definitive biography of music legend StevieWonder, “Signed, Sealed, and Delivered” takes an in-depth look at StevieWonder’s life and his evolution from kid-soul pop star into a mature artist whose music helped lay the groundwork for the evolution of hip hop and rap.

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