Stevie Wonder never hid when he could stand up for his fellow human beings. And so he also wants to help in the Corona crisis, as he did last time at the end of April at the Mut Mut concert of the aid movement Global Citizen.

“In difficulties like this we have to lean on each other,” said the superstar, who was born blind and wears dark sunglasses as usual. Then he plays “Lean On Me” by the recently deceased musician Bill Withers as only he can. Wonders’ career has lasted well over half a century – today the soul and R&B legend turns 70.

It started in the church choir

Seven decades has also been one of the greatest struggles in the life of Stevland Hardaway Judkins Morris: When he was born prematurely in 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan, he can only survive in the incubator. It soon became clear that young Stevie would be blind all his life. He compensated for his eyesight with the music. As a child he sang in the church choir and played the harmonica, drums and, above all, the piano. And so good that the legendary Motown label signed him when he wasn’t even a teenager.

The “Wunderkind” gave the then young record label the first number one album. They stayed together for almost ten years, Wonder and Motown. The older the singer grew, the more he wanted to break out of the Motown corset and influence the composition of his songs. That is why Wonder, at the age of majority, founded his own label: Black Bull Music. With the liberation from Motown’s guidelines, Stevie Wonder breathes more life into his texts and increasingly expresses a political and social awareness.

Gigaschnulze became a world hit

Some of his new songs anticipated social developments that would later upset America. In order to refine his texts, he is looking for new sounds. It is the time of experiments in which the exceptional talent matures artistically. The all-rounder did almost everything alone in musical matters and landed hits like “Superstition”, “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” or “Sir Duke”.

Then in 1984 came the success that was to make Stevie Wonder immortal: For the comedy “The Woman in Red” he made a declaration of love by phone: “I only called you once to tell you that I love you … and that is what I mean I from the bottom of my heart. “Sounds a bit snazzy, but sounds so much better in English:” I Just Called To Say I Love You “. A year later, the world hit was even awarded the Oscar.

What many do not know: The number was recorded in 1982 in the studio of Boney M. producer Frank Farian, the most successful German producer in history, in Rosbach near Frankfurt. Wonder wrote the song on the current tour.

Wonder is fit

Even after decades, Wonder remains loyal to many of his fans. One of them is former US President Barack Obama. The head of state paid tribute to him in 2009 at a concert by the multiple Grammy winner in the White House that he had touched the “heart and soul of a generation”. His music “knows no boundaries” and is an inspiration for everyone. Wonders relationship with the Obamas is considered close. No wonder, since he has been politically active for a long time and is fighting against racism and for equal opportunities for people of all skin colors.

Wonder appeared fit during his appearance at the Global Citizen Corona concert. A good sign, given that his health has been a cause of concern in some articles over the past few months. Wonder announced at a concert in London in July that he would have to undergo a kidney transplant. But he also emphasized there: “I’m fine”. (Benno Schwinghammer, dpa / KT)

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