10 Reasons Why Stevie is Wonder-ful

Celebrates 66th Birthday on May 13, 2016

Born Stevland Hardaway Judkins on May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan, Stevie Wonder has won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other male solo artist, and sold over 100 million singles and albums. In 1964, when he was 13 years old, Wonder became the youngest artist to hit number one on the Billboard 100 with his single "Fingertips." Signed at age 11 by Berry Gordy to Motown's Tamla label, Wonder has been recording for over 50 years.

His many awards include an Oscar, Kennedy Center Honors, the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the Billboard Century Award, the Songwriters Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he was named a Messenger of Peace by the United Nations.

Wonder is also a social activist, leading the campaign to make Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a national holiday.

Here are "10 Reasons Why Stevie Is Wonder-ful."

01
of 10
March 2, 1974 - Four Grammy Awards

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Stevie Wonder with Helen Reddy and Alice Cooper at the 16th Annual Grammy Award on March 2, 1974 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, CA. Echoes/Redferns

On March 2, 1974, Stevie Wonder received four awards at the 16th annual Grammys at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles. He won Album of the Year for Innervisions, Best Rhythm and Blues Song and Best RandB Vocal Performance, Male for "Superstition," and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male for "You Are The Sunshine of My Life."

02
of 10
March 1, 1975 - Four Grammy Awards

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Stevie Wonder at the 17th Annual Grammy Awards on March 1, 1975 at the Uris Theatre in New York City.. Tim Boxer/Getty Images

On March 1, 1975, Stevie Wonder received four awards at the 17th Annual Grammy Awards at the Uris Theatre in New York City. For the second year in a row, he won Album of the Year, this time for
Fulfillingness' First Finale. The title tune also won Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. "Living For The City" was honored for Best Rhythm and Blues Song, and "Boogie On Reggae Woman" was recognized for Best Male RandB Vocal Performance.

03
of 10
February 19, 1977 - Four Grammy Awards

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Stevie Wonder with George Benson, Valerie Simpson and Nickolas Ashford of Ashford & Simpson. Richard E. Aaron/Redferns

On February 19, 1977 at the 19th Annual Grammy Awards at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, Stevie Wonder won four Grammy Awards for the third time in four years. He won Album of the Year for Songs In the Key of Life, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for the title tune, Producer of the Year, and Best Male RandB Vocal Performance for "I Wish."

04
of 10
January 15, 1981- Washington, D.C. Rally for King Holiday

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Stevie Wonder celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday with Gil Scott-Heron, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Gladys Knight. Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)

On January 15, 1981, Stevie Wonder led a rally in Washington, D.C. to establish a national holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. 

Wonder told the crowd of over 100,000 people, "We ought to have a way to honor this human being and reaffirm the ideals he lived and died for; to honor him through a national holiday would also, of course, bestow a great honor on Black America by implicitly acknowledging him as a symbol of the tremendous contributions Black people have made to this country’s historical development."

He continued, "It would also represent another step forward in officially and symbolically embracing the lives and dreams of all the people who compose the American nation. Designating his birthday a national holiday would create and event for all Americans, for Dr. King was a champion for justice and liberty."

"So when you return to your cities, your homes, your jobs please carry on the vigil. For this dream our dream, goes beyond politics, beyond oppression, beyond mere history, but not beyond hope or love, for this dream shall never die."

Wonder recorded the song "Happy Birthday" in tribute to Dr. King on his Hotter than July album which was released September 29, 1980.

On November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed the King Holiday Bill, making the third Monday of January a national holiday which was first observed in 1986.

05
of 10
March 25, 1985 - Oscar for "I Just Called To Say I Love You"

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Stevie Wonder holding his Academy Award for Best Original Song "I Just Called To Say I Love You" from "The Woman In Red" at the 57th Academy Awards on March 25, 1985 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA. Stevie Wonder

On March 25, 1977, Stevie Wonder received an Oscar at the 57th Academy Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles for Best Original Song for "I Just Called To Say I Love You" from the film The Woman In Red.

06
of 10
1985 - "That's What Friends Are For" and "We Are The World"

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Stevie Wonder with Quincy Jones, Dionne Warwick, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

In 1985, Stevie Wonder was involved as a featured soloist in two of the most important charity songs, "We Are The World" and "That's What Friends Are For."

"We Are the World," written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and produced by Quincy Jones, was recorded by the all-star group USA For Africa. It sold over 20 million copies to benefit famine relief in Africa. It won four Grammy Awards in 1986 including Record of the Year and Song of the Year and raised over $63 million.

"That's What Friends Are for" featuring Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Elton John, and Wonder raised over three million dollars in the fight against AIDS. It won two Grammys in 1987: Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance by A Duo or Group With Vocal.

07
of 10
January 17, 1989 - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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Stevie Wonder being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 17, 1989. Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images

On January 17, 1989, Stevie Wonder was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony in New York City.

08
of 10
Decenber 5, 1999 - Kennedy Center Honors

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President Bill Clinton congratulates Stevie Wonder at the Kennedy Center Honors reception Dec. 5, 1999 at the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Robert Trippett

On December 5, 1999, Stevie Wonder was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. for his lifetime contribution to American culture.

09
of 10
December 8, 2004 - Billboard Century Award

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Stevie Wonder receiving the Billboard Century Award on December 8, 2004 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada with Diana Ross and Quincy Jones. KMazur/WireImage

On December 8, 2004, Stevie Wonder received the Billboard Century Award at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It is the magazine's highest honor for creative achievement.

Billboard co-executive editor Tamara Conniff said, "Stevie Wonder is an American icon. His genius has transformed not only RandB, but popular music overall." She continued, "He has used his vibrant music as a vehicle to sing about the highs and lows of romance while not shying away from addressing racial, social and spiritual issues. Stevie represents the essence of the Billboard Century Award -- an artist whose career and body of work continues to evolve and influence new generations of musicians. We are honored to present him with our 2004 accolade."

10
of 10
Feburary 25, 2009 - Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

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Barack Obama presents the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song to Stevie Wonder at the White House in Washington D.C. on February 25, 2009. Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images

On February 25, 2009, President Barack Obama presented Stevie Wonder with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song at The White House in Washington, D.C. The award is given to a composer or performer for their lifetime contributions to popular music.

In 2009, Wonder was also named a Messenger of Peace by the United Nations.