Stevie Wonder is a beloved world-renowned artist whose music has no boundaries. Since his recording debut at age 11, Wonder has been recognized as a singer, songwriter, producer, musician, activist and humanitarian. Wonder’s music has been used as a blueprint for many of today’s most popular artists. His music has been sampled over 300 times by artists ranging from 2pac to Erykah Badu. Stevie Wonder was instrumental in shaping the landscape of popular music; he is an iconic fixture of mainstream culture.
Stevie Wonder started off as a child prodigy and through the cultivation of his talent; he became musician known and loved by many people around the world. Wonder is not a person that limits himself for others, and certainly was not going to do so in his music. Stevie wanted to sing about the world and all the adversity people face from day to day, but Motown records wanted him to remain the same way he was when he was discovered at age 11. Stevie knew that he needed to loosen the grip that Motown had over his career in order to grow and form into his ideal of a change-making person. Stevie Wonder’s new contract with Motown records was the impetus that allowed him to grow and express his feelings about the world through his music.
Stevie Wonder is a gifted: musician, producer, songwriter, vocalist whose work transmits and uplifts the world. Although, Wonder was blinded at birth, he was never without a vision. His works incorporates a colorful instrumentation while writing texts prevalent to the social ills affecting the world. I titled my paper A View Inside America’s Musicquarium because Wonder’s discography surpassed genres notorious for Black artist like Soul and R&B. Stevie Wonder style did highlight Soul & Funk of the 1960’s and 1970’s, but he dabbled into music styles notable in Gospel, Blues, Pop, and even Country. With an comprehensive discussion of Stevie Wonder’s life, I plan to examine how his life experiences shaped the music he created and how is productions are a living Musicquarium explored by multiple demographics in America. Stevie Wonder’s discography is a reflection on his positionality in America– A “disabled” (by definition) Black man. His works is a mere reflection of struggles and oppression among Black folk, but he offers a way out of darkness with his uplifting and colorful sound enjoyed by people of multiple backgrounds.