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Friday, June 14, 2024

Stevie Wonder Turns 74

Stevie Wonder Singing

Source: Lester Cohen / Getty

One of the most creative musical figures of all-time turned 74 today. To celebrate the life and legacy of the legendary Stevie Wonder, check out a gallery of all of his Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits!

Blind at birth, Stevland Hardaway Judkins was born in Saginaw, Michigan. While attending Whitestone Baptist Church in Detroit at a very young age, he began singing in the choir. By eight years old, Judkins not only became a soloist but was also a skilled musician. After thoroughly impressing Berry Gordy and Ronnie White (a member of the Miracles who introduced the two), the eleven year-old was signed to Motown’s Tamla label, where he was given the professional name Little Stevie Wonder. At age 12, Stevie made his recording debut. He went on to release two albums in 1962, The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie and Tribute to Uncle Ray. Less than a year later, the phenom would capture his first Billboard No. 1 hit with the single “Fingertips.” With this, he became the youngest artist ever to top the chart. Although his next few recordings failed to be successful, Stevie still went on to have a number of other hits in the mid to late 1960’s. The “Little” was eventually dropped from his name. Wonder began to work in the Motown songwriting department, composing songs both for himself and his label mates.

In the 1970’s, Wonder became interested in utilizing synthesizers. He also vehemently wanted to start touching on the social problems of the world and for his lyrics to mean something. After signing a new contract with Motown, he returned in 1972 with Music of My Mind. The album was different from most previous albums on Motown, which usually consisted of a collection of singles, B-sides and covers. Music of My Mind was a full-length artistic statement with songs that flowed together thematically. Wonder dealt with social, political, mystical and romantic themes. He also began exploring overdubbing and recording most of the instrumental parts himself. This components played a huge factor in the success of Music of My Mind. This album, along with Talking Book (which was also released in 1972), marked the start of Wonder’s “classic period.” His next three albums (Innervisions, Fulfillingness’ First Finale, Songs in the Key of Life) all took home Grammy Awards for the Album of the Year. At this point, Stevie had become one of the most influential and acclaimed black musicians ever.

With over 100 million records sold worldwide, Wonder is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He has the most Grammy Awards by a male solo artist with 25. He helped expand the sound of R&B with his use of synthesizers and further electronic musical instruments. He is also credited as one of the artists who helped drive R&B into the album era. For his work, Wonder has been inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also lauded for his work as an activist for political causes, most notably his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a federal holiday in the United States. He was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 2009 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014.

Stevie Wonder’s impact on the world can’t ever be overstated. To celebrate the legacy of the musical genius and his birthday, check out our gallery of all of his Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits. HAPPY 74TH TO STEVIE WONDER!

Higher Ground: Celebrating The Legendary Stevie Wonder’s 74th Birthday With All Of His Top 10 Billboard 100 Hits 
was originally published on

1. Fingertips, Pt. 2

Source:Stevie Wonder

2. Uptight


3. Blowin’ In The Wind

Source:Stevie Wonder

4. A Place In The Sun

Source:Stevie Wonder

5. I Was Made To Love Her


6. Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day

Source:Stevie Wonder

7. For Once In My Life

Source:Stevie Wonder

8. My Cherie Amour

Source:Stevie Wonder

9. Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday

Source:Stevie Wonder

10. Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours

Source:Stevie Wonder

11. Heaven Help Us All

Source:Stevie Wonder

12. If You Really Love Me

Source:Stevie Wonder

13. Superstition

Source:Stevie Wonder

14. Higher Ground

Source:Stevie Wonder

15. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life

Source:Stevie Wonder

16. Living For The City

Source:Stevie Wonder

17. Boogie On Reggae Woman

Source:Stevie Wonder

18. You Haven’t Done Nothin’

Source:Stevie Wonder

19. I Wish


20. Sir Duke

Source:Stevie Wonder

21. Send One Your Love


22. Master Blaster (Jammin’)

Source:Stevie Wonder

23. That Girl


24. Ebony And Ivory (with Paul McCartney)

Source:Reelblack One

25. I Just Called To Say I Love You


26. Part-Time Lover

Source:Stevie Wonder

27. Dionne Warwick ft. Elton John, Gladys Knight And Stevie Wonder – That’s What Friends Are For

Source:Dionne Warwick

28. Go Home

Source:Stevie Wonder

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