DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit roadway has been renamed for Motown legend Stevie Wonder. The award-winning singer and songwriter attended a Wednesday ceremony to honor him, alongside hundreds of people including Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and U.S. Rep. John Conyers.
Applause broke out when the sign for “Stevie Wonder Ave” was unveiled along Milwaukee Avenue, two blocks from the site of Wonder’s first home in the city.
Wonder moved to Detroit from Saginaw, Michigan as a child and signed with Motown Records when he was only 11 years-old. His first recordings were done under the moniker “Little Stevie Wonder.”
According to Wikipedia.org, Stevie Wonder was born May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, Michgan, and has spent over fifty years as a revered, award-winning musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist. A child prodigy, he has become one of the most creative and loved musical performers of the late 20th and early 21st century. Wonder signed with the Motown label at the age of eleven and continues to perform and record for Motown as of the early 2010s. He has been blind since shortly after birth.
Among Wonder’s works are singles such as “Superstition”, “Sir Duke”, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and “I Just Called to Say I Love You”; and albums such as Talking Book, Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life. He has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits and received twenty-two Grammy Awards, the most ever awarded to a male solo artist, and has sold over 100 million albums and singles, making him one of the top 60 best-selling music artists. Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday a holiday in the United States.
In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart’s 50th anniversary, with Wonder at number five.
To learn more about Wonder’s life and music, click here. To hear him do a live version of “As” with a moving speech towards the end, click below: