Singer. Songwriter. Music Producer. Multi-Instrumentalist. Activist.
Yes, we are talking about the legendary Stevie Wonder!
Stevie Wonder is not a name unheard of by music fans of the 60s and 70s, through to the 90s. If you sing along ‘You Are the Sunshine of My Life’ and feel like your inner R&B fan comes to life when ‘Boogie on Reggae Woman’ is blasting from the speakers then you might want to keep reading!
The world was introduced to the little AND wonderful Stevie Wonder when he was just 11 and then he was in the spotlight forever. Unstoppable by his inability to see the world around him, Stevie not only ruled the hearts of millions of followers but also the pop and R&B charts in his golden era. He and Frank Sinatra share the privilege of being the only solo male artists who won the most Grammy awards. The music artist also has an Oscar, Golden Globe as well as an Emmy under his belt. Apart from being an irresistible musician and as an avid follower of Martin Luther King, Jr., Stevie also sang for prominent social causes such as famine relief and AIDS awareness in order to make this world a better place for all. Sweet, right?
Since Stevie is such a dynamic personality, everyone has their own reasons for falling in love with the man. Similarly, there are so many hits that can be directly associated to the musician that it is downright impossible, if not disrespectful, to chart a list that can be tagged ‘Top Ten!’ However, we have still tried to come up with one knowing pretty well that you may have your own that matches ours not-so-well. Or maybe there are some folks that have stumbled upon the legend only now and want to know about a few hit numbers on their playlist for a magical first touch of Stevie’s Wonder. Either way, please keep reading for our picks of the artist’s masterpieces.
10. Boogie on Reggae Woman (1974)
Included in the album Fulfillingness’ First Finale, Boogie on Reggae Woman is the typical fun song of the 70s where you feel like Stevie is directly addressing his fantasy woman. It’s a one-man show with him playing nearly all of the instruments in the song himself, including the signature harmonica. This fun and playful song will get you swaying and singing along and secured the Grammy Award for best male rhythm for obvious reasons.
9. You Are the Sunshine of My Life (1972)
Whether or not there is someone in your life that you can dedicate this song to, ‘You Are the Sunshine of My Life’ is a song that will renew your faith in love. This song won another Grammy for Stevie (best male pop vocal performance) and hit number one on the top 100 list. Who knows, listening to this melody might bring back memories of the sunshine in your life!
8. Isn’t She Lovely (1976)
This song came into existence after Stevie was blessed with a baby daughter and was dedicated to her as a token of love. It not only portrays the strength of fatherly love but also makes one think about all the wonderful women in your life; mother, wife or daughter. Years later, you could see Stevie’s daughter performing alongside her father on this song and it is a heartfelt moment.
7. Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours (1970)
This song marked the first production for Stevie Wonder and revolves around the man who is repenting and swearing by his commitment to the lady in question. The title and chorus was dedicated to Stevie’s mother, Lula Mae Hardaway, while Stevie wrote this song with co-worker and wife, Syreeta wright. This song topped both the U.S R&B and Pop charts and *err* may recall an apology that is long due.
6. Living for the City (1973)
“…’Cause where he lives they don’t use colored people
Living just enough, just enough for the city…”
This song brings forth a more socially aware Stevie Wonder who speaks about inequality and social injustice through the lyrics. Being unable to see did not make Stevie turn a blind eye from the plague of racism and social injustice. This number made into the album titled ‘Innervisions’ and ranked 8th on the Billboard Hot 100 and 1st on the R&B chart.
5. Sir Duke (1976)
A tribute to his music inspiration ‘Duke Ellington’ and another hit that rocked the U.S Billboard Top 100 and UK Singles Chart, Sir Duke is a song that is about music and musicians. Some other music legends that are also acknowledged in the passing include Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. You will find yourself singing along this song shortly and will respect Stevie even more for the glorification of the legends.
4. I Just Called to Say I Love You (1984)
“…I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart…”
Talk about the era when a phone call was used to assure a loved one of your everlasting fondness instead of sending text messages that completely fail to deliver true emotions (yes, even with all those emojis!). This song hit number one on the Hot 100 and won an Academy Award, so beware, you might end up actually calling up a loved one (not that it is a bad idea!).
3. My Cherie Amour (1969)
Translated to ‘My Dearest Love’, ‘My Cherie Amour’ is another love song by Stevie Wonder that makes you fall head over heels in love all over again. As is very obvious from the lyrics, Stevie wrote this number while he was bowled over by a school romance which did not last by the time the song was actually released. Just sit back, relax and listen to the greatest love songs of all times from the golden era of the wonderful man!
2. I Believe When I fall in Love it will be forever (1972)
This song reminds one of the ‘honeymoon phase’ of love with the optimism that it will last forever. A timeless love song that reminds us that true love can be found and when it crosses your path, you won’t have to worry about it getting lost again. Included in the album ‘Talking Book’, keep this one up for when you are feeling hopeless and depressed and let the voice of Stevie guide you to the joy of everlasting love.
1. Superstition (1972)
Stevie Wonder does not fall back when it comes to creating awareness amongst his listeners as well as entertaining them at the same time. The song ‘Superstition’ talks about the false beliefs of people regarding certain things and the profound fear that engulfs them (Frankly, do you believe in beginners’ luck or black cats crossing your path?). Stevie very clearly states that ‘…When you believe in things you don’t understand, then you suffer…’ and we think that you should take his advice. The song topped the pop charts in U.S and ranked high on international charts as well.
Was our list helpful? Which of the above mentioned Stevie Wonder songs are your favorite too? Leave us a comment below and chat with other Stevie Wonder fans!