Stevland Hardaway Judkins
Stevie Wonder, Little Stevie
Saginaw, Michigan, United States
Stevie Wonder went to the Michigan School for the Blind in Lansing.
Musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, multi-instrumentalist
- Father – Calvin Judkins
- Mother – Lula Mae Hardaway (Songwriter)
- Siblings – Stevie has two older and three younger siblings.
- Others – Calvin Judkins (Paternal Grandfather), Emma Batch (Paternal Grandmother), Noble Hardway (Maternal Grandfather), Mary Ella Tilman (Maternal Grandmother)
Stevie Wonder is represented by Black Bull Music.
Soul, pop, R&B, funk, jazz
Vocals, keyboards, harmonica, drums
Tamla, Motown Records
6 ft or 183 cm
90 kg or 198.5 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Stevie Wonder has dated
- Lencola Sullivan – Stevie Wonder had a brief affair with singer and beauty queen, Lencola Sullivan, who was the first African American woman to have won the Miss Arkansas beauty pageant.
- Maysa Leak – Wonder is reported to have gone out with Jazz singer Maysa in the early 90s when she was working as a background singer for him.
- Brenda Russell – According to reports, Stevie hooked up with singer and songwriter Brenda Russell at the start of the 2000s. Some tabloids claim that they had grown fond of each other while collaborating for the single, Justice of the Heart, which Stevie performed for the Denzel Washington starrer movie, John Q.
- Minnie Riperton – Stevie is alleged to have had an affair with singer and songwriter Minnie Riperton in the past. It has been revealed that she died while listening to a recording, Stevie had made especially for her. Plus, he paid tribute to her life and career in an episode of the TV show Soul Train, which was aired just after her death.
- Debbie Allen – Wonder went out with actress and dancer Debbie Allen in the nineties. They were spotted together on the red carpet at a number of high profile events such as Black Business Association Lifetime Achievement Awards in September 1993.
- Yolanda Simmons – Stevie first met Yolanda Simmons after she had applied for a job for the secretary in his publishing company. Shortly after, Stevie had affair with her and as a result of their affair, she gave a daughter, Aisha Morris in February 1975. To celebrate Aisha’s birth, he released a special single Isn’t She Lovely, which was part of his iconic album, Songs in The Key of Life. In the single, Aisha could be heard gurgling and playing. In 1977, Simmons later gave birth to his son, Keita.
- Melody McCulley – Wonder had an affair with a woman named Melody McCulley. During the course of their relationship, she gave birth to a son, Mumtaz Morris.
- As a result of his relationship with an unidentified woman, he is a father of two children – a son named Kwame and daughter named Sophia.
- Syreeta Wright (1970-1972) – Stevie got married to Motown secretary and singer Syreeta Wright in 1970. However, Stevie’s first marriage didn’t last even two years as they got divorced in 1972 with their married life lasting mere 18 months. However, they remained on good terms. He even co-wrote and produced her second studio album, Stevie Wonder Presents: Syreeta, which was released in 1974.
- Kai Millard (2001-2009) – Wonder got married to fashion designer Kai Millard in 2001. After being together for about 8 years, Stevie and Millard decided to separate in October 2009. They filed for divorce in 2012, which was eventually settled in 2015 and as part of the settlement, Stevie was ordered to pay his ex-wife $25,000 per month in spousal support. In course of their marriage, she gave birth to two sons – Kailand and Mandla Kadjay Carl Stevland Morris. The younger boy Mandla was born on Stevie’s 55th birthday in May 2005.
- Tomeeka Bracy (2017-Present) – Wonder got married to his third wife Tomeeka Bracy in July 2017 in a lavish wedding ceremony which had the legend, Usher and Pharrell Williams serenading the new couple. They had been in a relationship for about five years before they decided to tie the knot. In November 2014, it was rumored that Bracy was all set to give birth to triplets. However, a month later, she gave birth to a daughter Nia, which means purpose, one of the seven main principles of Kwanzaa, the seven-day long African festival. Bracy had earlier given birth to a son. However, his name has been kept secret.
Race / Ethnicity
He is African-American.
- Balding head
- Always wears black sunglasses
- Dreadlocks hairdo
Stevie Wonder has appeared in the TV commercials for the following –
- Bud Light
- American Family Insurance
- Duracell batteries (His song You Can Depend on Me was used)
- TDK (Japan)
- Target (His single Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas was used)
He has also been featured in print adverts for the following
- Sony Digital Audio Equipment and Compact Disc players
- Full Sail University
- TDK audio cassettes
Stevie Wonder is a devout Christian.
Best Known For
- Being one of the most commercially successful music artists. He has sold more than 100 million records all over the world.
- Being a very highly acclaimed musical performer with more than 24 Grammy Awards to his name. He has won several other prestigious accolades.
In September 1962, Stevie released his debut studio album, The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie. He was 11 years old at the time of the release of the album.
In 1964, Stevie appeared in the musical comedy Muscle Beach Party as himself.
First TV Show
In July 1963, Stevie Wonder made his first TV show appearance in the music series, American Bandstand.
Stevie Wonder Facts
- In 1988, Stevie revealed that he wanted to stand for the position of Mayor of Detroit in 1992 elections. However, he didn’t follow his wish and didn’t participate in any campaign.
- Wonder was born 6 weeks prematurely, due to which he had to be kept in an oxygen-rich environment. This led to retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), which results in lack of eye development, leading to retinal detachment and eventual blindness.
- As he was only 11 years old when Motown Records wanted to sign him, they decided to go for a rolling 5 years contract as part of which all his royalties were to be deposited in a trust until he reached the age of 21.
- As part of his first record deal with Motown, he was paid $2.50 per week and was given a special tutor while he was touring. He and his mother were also given a weekly stipend to help cover their expenses.
- In 1980, he launched a campaign to declare Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday as a national holiday. He had even released the single Happy Birthday in his album Hotter Than July to kickstart the campaign.
- In recognition of his tremendous achievements as a performer and songwriter, he has been inducted into Songwriters as well as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- In August 1973, he was involved in a serious car accident in North Carolina during his music tour. As the car he was traveling in hit the back of the truck, Wonder’s forehead slammed against the truck bed.
- As a result of the accident, he remained in a coma for four days and partially lost the sense of taste and sense of smell. He had to take medication for around a year to get his senses back.
- When he became 21 years old, he became the first music artist signed to Motown to take full artistic control of his work and records.
- When he won an Academy Award for his composition I Just Called to Say I Love You, which was used in the movie, The Woman in Red, he became the first blind music artist to win the coveted award.
- As a result of an online poll conducted by Rolling Stone magazine, he managed to grab 9th spot in the list featuring greatest singers of the rock era.
- In November 2014, the US President Barack Obama honored Wonder with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the event held at White House.
- After winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song for I Just Called to Say I Love You, he became the first Motown artist to win the accolade. He was also the second African-American artist to win it.
- He had 4 albums in the list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”, which was released by Rolling Stone in 2003. He had three albums in the top 90.
- He was once a vegetarian until he decided to become a vegan. He also practices transcendental meditation.
- In 2009, he was made the United Nations Messenger of Peace in recognition of his social activism.
- For his tireless work for social causes, the National Civil Rights Museum honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
- After he dedicated his Academy Award in 1984 to South African leader Nelson Mandela, who was in jail, the South African government quickly banned his music from the country.
- Visit his official website @ steviewonder.net.
- Follow him on Facebook, YouTube, and Myspace.
Featured Image by Motown Records / Wikimedia / Public Domain