Stevie Wonder: A Biography Essay

1232 words - 5 pages

Stevie Wonder was born in Saginaw, Michigan on May 13, 1950. He was originally named Steveland Morris. He was the third boy in a family that would eventually include five boys and one girl. Of all his brothers and sister, Stevie was the only child born with a disability. He was born prematurely and this led to his blindness. In 1954, his family moved to Detroit. Later Stevie was enrolled in special classes for the blind in the Detroit public school system. In his special class, he was taught many things that would help him lead as normal a life as possible. He learned to speak more clearly and use his sense of hearing in place of his eyes. He also learned how to use his sense of touch. When Stevie was little, he wanted to have a real instrument, but his mother did not have enough money to purchase one for him. The Detroit Lions Club always held a Christmas party for blind children. During Stevie's first-grade year at school, he attended one of the parties. Each child received a gift, but Stevie's gift was very special. Someone must have told the Detroit Lions Club that Stevie wanted a real instrument, because his gift was a set of drums. One time when his mother went to get a haircut, the barber gave Stevie a harmonica. When Stevie was seven he got a piano when his neighbor was moving out. She did not want to take the piano with her so she gave it to Stevie. His mother, a member of the Detroit's Whitestone Baptist Church, encouraged Stevie to join the Junior Choir. He had a good voice so it wasn't long before he was singing lead parts in the choir's presentations. By the time he was nine or ten, he had been appointed a Junior Deacon in the church. Stevie loved to sit on people's front porches and play music. The people as well loved to come out and sing with him. His favorite singing partner was a boy about his age named John Glover. John's cousin Ronnie White, who lived in another part of the city, was a member of a singing group called Hitsville USA. Ronnie White came down to visit his relatives and Stevie was with John singing on the front porch. When Ronnie heard Stevie, he could not believe how good he was. Ronnie arranged with the president of Hitsville USA, Berry Gordy, to take Stevie to the company's recording studio and let him give an audition. When Stevie got there, Ronnie helped him around the studio letting him touch all the instruments and sound equipment. After the tour Stevie was introduced to Berry Gordy. Gordy listened to him sing and play the harmonica and drums. After hearing Stevie, he was hired on the spot. Every day after school, at three o' clock, he went to the studio and stayed until dark. He went to every instrument and played it. It wasn't long before he had mastered every instrument there. When he was twelve he wrote two concertos. His first record was "You Made a Vow," which was released under the title, "Mother Thank You." His next recording was "I Call It Pretty Music." Still at the age of twelve, he recorded yet...

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